Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.


Jason Upton, New Life City, Published on Jul 11, 2017

“Seek First” by Jason Upton, Jason Upton Published on Nov 4, 2015

Be awake to what Yeshua is awake to, (; it should be more than a song for us – more than mere words. It needs to be the desire of our hearts.

Hearts set to seek Him, His Presence, His Heart, require that one is present to Him in order to not miss anything He may show us. If we are truly in search of Him/His Kingdom, we will not want to miss a possibility of knowing what He is up to, something He’s showing, or calling us to. We will want to capture every opportunity. We would live in fear of missing out on anything He has for us by what He might show us.

“Jacob, a slave of God and of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah,” (James 1:1); “Paul and Timothy, slaves of Messiah Yeshua,” (Phil.1:1); “Simon Peter, a slave and emissary of Messiah Yeshua,” (2 Pet.1:1). . .   All those who were walking in true surrender, living their lives for Messiah, were willing to humble themselves in the sight of the Lord, and let HIM lift them up (James 4:10), and identified who they were in relation to their position in the Kingdom, not according to their carnal self-identity. Their identity was in Yeshua. This is the mark of a true servant/disciple, of someone who places Yeshua, the Father, and His Kingdom ahead of self-interest, self-serving earthly, carnal interests and goals. Servants and ambassadors – that is what our roles are – to serve and to represent God’s Kingdom, for “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor.6:19,20).

Seeking His Kingdom FIRST, (, of course, requires the willingness to surrender; to enter into the ongoing process of putting the self to death. We need to give up and give over the self: self-life, self-interest, self-preoccupation, self-will, self-reliance, self-focus, self-concept, self-image. These must be repented of, renounced, put to death, and replaced – replaced with our right identity in Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, with our position in the Kingdom. Seeking First His Kingdom sets the stage for putting self last, not first. And if our focus is on His Kingdom, we must get the self out of the way. All aspects of selfish, self-centred selfhood are obstacles to “Seeking First His Kingdom.” After all, seeking first His Kingdom, necessarily includes seeking first His Righteousness, which cannot occur without getting the carnal sinful self out of the way. Surrender precludes, and accompanies, and corresponds with seeking “to know Him, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent” (John 17:3,4).

“Happy are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with a whole heart” (Ps.119:2). This is what brings true happiness, lasting joy and peace – seeking Him:  With my whole heart have I sought You . . .  with all my heart I keep Your precepts” (Ps.119:10, 69). “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and appear before God?” (Ps.42:2,3). Do more with these words than singing them in a song. Make them your prayer. Put them into your heart. Bring them to life and walk in them, by actively seeking, desiring with your whole heart to “Taste and see how good Adonai is” (Ps.34:9). Have you tasted of the Living Waters? Have you come to the fountain of life (Ps.36:10), for when we seek Him before all else, He will give us to drink from the abundance of His House, and give us drink from “the river of Your delights” (Ps.36:9).

When pursuit of Him/His Kingdom becomes number one, we can “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4), for it is then, and only then, that we can actually withstand the storms and desert times that sift and sand us, making us truly fit for Kingdom work. We must be willing to withstand and endure whatever hardships become part of that pathway. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt.6:33); He will supply the strength and stamina, wisdom and discernment needed, as long as we are willing. Upon such commitment, we are then able to “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt.6:34).

Seeking first His Kingdom requires living one day at a time. Because Kingdom work is unscheduled, unpredictable, and Kingdom workers must be ever-ready for the “call” of the Master. Remember, Yeshua said: “No one who has put his hand to the plow and looked back is fit for the kingdom of God”(Lk.9:62); and “He who loves father or mother more than Me isn’t worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me isn’t worthy of Me” (Matt.10:37). “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt.8:20). Yeshua followed no schedule, no blueprint; He simply went where the Father led Him: “the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise” (John 5:19,20). There is no blueprint for following Yeshua. When you seek first the Kingdom; when you sign up for Kingdom work, you must be ready to drop everything and go where the Spirit leads. “And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me  . . .” (Mk.1:17). Are you ready to put His Kingdom FIRST and FOLLOW Him?

© 2018, revised 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.


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