"Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33....."He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. At last He stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep...." Luke 22:44-45...."He did not want to be that alone. Jesus requested the disciples companionship: their alert presence could have been a comfort to Him. We know that Jesus' presence is valuable to us, but we rarely consider the possibility that our presence is valuable to Him." Alicia Britt Chole
These two scriptures may seem to have little connection, but I sense one in them, at least for me. I first think on Luke 22, and the familiar passage concerning how Jesus took His inner circle with Him into the garden to pray. But they, overwhelmed by the momentous events about to unfold, fell asleep from exhaustion. I think then on Chole's words about how Jesus desired their companionship as He prayed. A companionship that joined with His heart and spirit as He sought the Father. They couldn't join Him. They were crushed by the need of the hour. Though not intentional, they left Him alone. I think a little deeper, and I can see how I have so often been guilty of the same. Overwhelmed by all my perceived "needs," I come to Him and pour them out, so often to the point of exhaustion. With that done, I walk away...usually still burdened, and having never really connected to Him. More, in my inward focus on the need, and outward focus on the circumstances, I never actually stay there long enough to allow Him to share His heart, His burden for me, with me. I've left Him alone. Too often, the One who so deeply desired my companionship, especially in prayer, was left alone because I desired something else more than I desired Him. Do you have something in common with me there?
Then I contemplate Matthew 6 and Jesus' command to seek His Kingdom over and above all things. I know that command well, but I so easily get caught up with "all things." I end up taking shortcuts around His Kingdom, His cross, and seek first and foremost to lay hold of the "things" I feel I desperately need. A good friend said to me just the other day that in his prayer life, he no longer sees it as seeking His Kingdom first, but seeking it only. "All things" doesn't enter into it, because of the assurance he has that all things really are handled by the One who is King of the Kingdom. The connection in all of this comes for me in seeing that when we seek Him and His Life only, we join Him where He lives. We enter into true fellowship with Him. We no longer leave Him alone in our concern over all the other things that are not Him. When it is all about seeking His Kingdom and not improving ours, there is no possibility of our leaving Him alone, because we are now where He is....which is where He's been calling us to all along. We finally discover what abundant life is. What true intimacy with Him is.
Where are we leaving Him alone....especially in prayer? Is His longing for our companionship and presence going to be met, or go unrealized? Will the "things" we feel we must have continue to frustrate His desire, or will we lay them down simply for the joy of being where He is? He seeks our presence. Does He find it?