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Put God First (2 of 4)

Mike Connell

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In that we see, that God doesn't require sowing and reaping, to be good to you. Many Christians think: if I just give this to God, then He'll have to do this to me - it doesn't work like that in the kingdom of God. Or if I sow, then I'm certain to reap - God will have to make sure I get something back.

Listen, God doesn't operate that way. God is generous. He gives to the birds, and they don't sow at all. God is just generous. This is hard for us to get a hold of, God is extravagantly generous. He is not mean. He does not withhold. It's the devil who withholds. The devil is the thief. It's the devil who's the robber. It's the devil who's the poor one. God is extravagantly generous, in every aspect - it's His nature to be extravagant and generous.

So He points it out: don't be anxious. God is so generous to the birds, and you're much more value than a bird, see? Then he goes on, and he said (verse 31): “Don't worry, saying: what will we eat? What are we going to drink? What do we wear? After these, all the Gentiles seek; and your Father knows you need these things.”

So he says: don't get anxious about how you're going to meet daily living requirements. God knows what you need. He said: the world worries like that. If you're a believer, God has a blessed life, where you don't live in anxiety and dread and fear about your provision.

God has become your provider. You're released from the burden of having to make it all happen, and to work under this dreaded spirit - this heavy task master - that drives and hurts people. We're called to live under the influence of the Spirit of God, under the blessing of God, in our financial and material area of our life.

So notice then it says: “but...” (it says what you should do). It says: “don't be anxious”. So it talks about firstly: here's the conflict, something is competing for your heart; and secondly: don't get anxious, because if you're anxious, you're not in the place of freedom; and then thirdly, it says here's what you do: Put the Lord first. Nothing could be clearer.

“Seek first the kingdom of God”, or seek God's rule or order around your life, and every aspect of it; and seek the way to live, or a right way before God to live, he said: “...then everything else will add to you”.

Now that's an extraordinary promise. Of course, it's not one that too many people see happen, because it requires of us: prioritising God in our heart.

It says: “seek first”, not seek second, or third, or add on a bit of God. It's not ‘add-on God’ - I'll run my life, and add God on. That's not what brings adding into your life.

Adding means God's power or God's blessing comes on your life, and around your life, and things start to attract into you; that before you had to work and stress and sweat to get.

So it says: “seek first the kingdom of God”, and I want to look at this area of putting God first, giving God the first place, giving God the first place; not the second or third, or a little add on.

In Exodus 13, you'll see this ‘Putting God First’; or this area of ‘First-Fruit”; or ‘first in your life’ – and you'll see this goes right through the Bible.

So what do I need to do with my money? Well I need to do two things at least: #1 I need to give God the first; and #2 – I need to steward, or manage the rest; and mismanagement is no substitute. You can't just expect God to meet everything, if you won't manage your part of it properly.

So notice here, the Lord spoke to Moses saying: “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both man and beast - it is Mine”.

Consecrate, or set apart, the firstborn. Verse 12 – “You shall set apart to the Lord all that opens the womb, every firstborn that comes from every animal which you have, males shall be the Lord's. Every firstborn of a donkey, you shall redeem with a lamb. If you don't redeem it, then you'll break its neck, and it'll be sacrificed. The firstborn of your men among your sons you shall redeem”