In Matthew 6:33, we are told to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things (basic necessities – food, clothing, and shelter) will be added to you. It is not just His kingdom that we must seek; we must seek first His righteousness. John tells us that everyone who has his hope fixed on Jesus purifies himself because Jesus is pure. He said that no one who abides in Christ practices sin. Instead, those who follow and abide in Christ are going to practice righteousness. (1 John 3:3-7)
Many think that if you had prayed the sinner’s prayer and have asked God to be your Savior, then everything is going to be okay. You are doing great if you go to church once or twice a month, leave a few dollars in the offering, and hug a few folks along the way. In Matthew 7:21-23, some people got turned down at the entrance of heaven. They claimed that they had prophesied, performed miracles, and cast out demons, but Jesus’ answer was very clear. “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” We must come into a relationship with Christ, and getting to know Him is a priority. But, learning to practice righteousness is also a priority. We cannot continue practicing lawlessness and claim that we are abiding in or following Christ.
James talks about looking intently at the word of God, as if looking into a mirror (James 1:21-25). As we read the Scriptures every day, we should be looking at our own lives at the same time to see if our lives line up with what we are reading. We should ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and show us any areas that do not line up with His righteousness. When the Holy Spirit shows us things in our lives that do not reflect His image, we should confess these sins to God, ask His forgiveness, and thank Him for forgiving and cleansing us of these things (1 John 1:9). Then, we should use the Scriptures as a prayer guide, and pray these Scriptures over our lives. Finally, we should make applications of these Scriptures. When we begin to apply the Scriptures to our lives, we will be seeking His kingdom and His righteousness.