Making the Kingdom the Center
The language we use betrays the way we really see reality. Even when we want to believe or think we believe one thing, the things we actually believe show up in the things we hear ourselves and each other say regularly.
One thing I keep hearing is about "making the Kingdom first" and "pursuing the Kingdom", and then I keep going back to the passages in the gospels that speak of the Kingdom, and realize that our reality needs to be a simple relationship with the Triune God -- simple not because He is simple, but simple because the relationship is as simple as the relationship between a toddler and parent. I simply keep showing up willing to love and learn and be open and honest. He does pretty much everything else.
The language Jesus used betrayed His reality too . . . and as we immerse ourselves in His language -- both in scripture and in the places He speaks it into our daily reality -- we discover that "making the kingdom the center of our lives" and "pursuing the Kingdom" really boil down to a conscious abandonment of our own kingdom -- our own agendas and purposes -- over and over to more than just "an alignment of ourselves with His agendas and purposes". He isn't after a business team who will work with Him to bring in His agendas and fix up the kingdom of this world with the better kingdom of heaven.
The pursuit of the Kingdom is not primarily about "stewardship" or "alignment" or any kind of deliberate effort on our part to pick up hammer and nail and all the wood that we envision is lying in a heap that we call "His Kingdom Come" and that we imagine is waiting for us to put together in order for God to bring His Kingdom among us. The pursuit of the Kingdom acknowledges that Jesus said His Kingdom is HERE (check out that translation of "at hand") and we get to just live in it. No hammers and nails required.
Everything I need to live in His Kingdom and walk in obedience is in my possession, here and now. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" is a call to "walk in the Spirit", to translate Jesus' first words of invitation into Paul's later ones. Today I will choose to do that, right here and right now.