In many respects, this saying of Jesus is the core message of His Sermon on the Mount. After all, He came to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15) and to establish its beginnings (Luke 4:18-21). What we know to be “at hand” spiritually will be our physical reality when this age ends (Revelation 21).

Lest we forget, seeking the kingdom of God is very simply what devoted Christians do. The normal Christian life is fundamentally characterized by steadfast and diligent seeking. The kingdom we seek will not be found haphazardly, for it is on the other side of the narrow gate and down the difficult way (Matthew 7:14).

Indeed, Jesus instructs His followers that many who seek God’s kingdom will not enter for lack of striving (Luke 13:23-25). This may be new and sobering news to some; and worth more than a moment’s consideration. Go ahead, take your time. Really.

In Part 1 we discovered that seeking the kingdom of God requires the exchange of our life for the life of Jesus Christ, and the exchange of worry for trust in our heavenly Father. Here we consider two additional exchanges that accompany our seeking after God’s kingdom.

Exchanging Our Kingdom for His

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34

Here we come to the crux of the matter: Are we in the kingdom of God, or not? Are we seeking His reign over everything, or have we determined to reign and fend for ourselves? Are we first seeking His righteousness, or settling for some less?

Once again, we are faced with a seemingly impossible task: Who can stop worrying about food, clothing, and tomorrow? Because we cannot serve two masters – particularly God and treasures – we must stop worrying about our life in this world. Only then can we focus on the One who can be trusted to provide all that we need.

This brings us back to our only hope: the abiding life of Jesus Christ. He is the righteousness of God, and He has become our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Exchanging our kingdom is much the same as exchanging our life; His reign over us produces His life in us. Abiding in Him, we have His life, faith, and mind (Galatians 2:20; 1Corinthians 2:16).

Exchanging Our Thinking for His

Worry issues into our lives from the enemy that lies within: our carnal mind. Therefore, the solution to worry is repentance (thinking differently, with the mind of Christ) and faith (also a gift from God). We participate with the Holy Spirit in the renewing of our minds by reckoning certain truths of God as truths for ourselves. The following exercise will help us exchange our thinking about the kingdom of God for His reality and truth.

  1. Look around at what God has done (feeding birds and clothing flowers).
  2. Consider our value to Him (He has offered us the life of His Son).
  3. Recognize the futility of worry (it is powerless to change ourselves or our situations).
  4. Deal with our lack of faith (listen to God, Romans 10:17).
  5. Stop imitating the Gentiles (reject the ways of man).
  6. Trust in the Father’s omniscience (He knows what we need).
  7. Get our priorities in order (seek first His kingdom).
  8. Focus on today (one day at a time is hard enough).

There are two ways to leverage this list for spiritual transformation. First, consider these as steps in a process: each one a truth that will both set us free and activate faith to respond as Jesus commands.

Beginning in your secret place, meditate on each one, inviting God to search your heart for the doubt, fear and self-reign that has conformed you to the world. Confess (agree with) and repent (change your mind). God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).

As faith and courage come into your heart, ask God to give you the opportunity to exercise your newfound faith and courage. Ask Him for an experience of the mind of Christ in a particular way, that very day. You will experience the Holy Spirit’s transformative power as you prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

Second (and this may occur in the process above), allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attention on a step with which you have a particular difficulty. Very often, our greatest struggles become God’s most glorious victories. Work it out; trust that He is working in us to will and to do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13), to give us the very thing we are seeking: His kingdom (Luke 12:32).

Working it out will include searching out the matter in the Scriptures (Proverbs 25:2). The truth you find will make you free (John 8:32)). You will also want to seek counsel from those that the Lord is using to make you His disciple. Regularly reckon the truths you discover as truth for you. Lay hold of them, and put them into practice. This is God’s way for our spiritual growth.


Jesus spent quite a bit of His Sermon on the Mount speaking to the matter of our treasures. He knew that His church, in this day, would trade His Father’s desires for lesser dreams. He knew we would allow ourselves to be conformed to the world, rather than seek after His kingdom.

It will take more than wishful thinking to get us out of this mess. Battles are not won in skirmishes fought at the enemy’s periphery. They are won through bold attacks at the heart of the stronghold. What the church needs now are warriors like David’s Mighty Men, who trusted in the power and authority of God to accomplish great exploits.

Indeed, we can be encouraged. The Lord has not given up on us! He has strategically placed spiritually courageous men and women in positions of leadership for such a time as this. Remember, God uses the humble and weak to advance His kingdom. You may be one of His chosen warriors.

Please join me in prayer for these mighty men and women of God; that they would exchange the treasures of this world for the kingdom of God and boldly embrace their providential assignments (Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16). Pray boldly! Find your platoon! Fight the good fight!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Humbly yours and forever His,