In Matt. 6:31-33 Jesus said we are to seek the Kingdom first, then all these things will be added to us. But isn’t there a little more to it than just being hopeful for the things of the Kingdom? Shouldn’t we be concerned about our Spiritual growth too? It is almost like some people are so excited for Christ’s return they don’t see the need to address Spirituality in this life, or does that just take care of itself as we focus on Jesus’ return? Jesus told us to “Occupy till I come.” Doesn’t that also mean we are to live life, plan, enjoy His blessings, while we build a strong relationship with Him, still putting Him first?
The so-called protestant work ethic is so deeply ingrained in us that it’s hard for us to resist adding our own effort to God’s work. As born-again Christians, we don’t make ourselves holy. We are made holy by the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. Our human works are totally insufficient to create in us the kind of person God wants. But if we are submissive to His will in our life He will use us in ways that please Him and our Spiritual growth will take care of itself. This is what Paul meant by offering our whole being as a living sacrifice to God as a spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1).
Adding human effort to the equation actually makes it harder for us to please God. But when we yield our life to Him to use as He pleases, we are fulfilling His command to “occupy till I come.”