What are We Looking for When We are "Seeking the Kingdom?"

Jesus wants us to see what the Father is showing us.

“Open your eyes and look,” John 4:35.

“Seek and you will find,” Matthew 7:7.

“Seek first His Kingdom,” Matthew 6:33.

Likewise, Jesus warns us against missing what the Father is showing us.

“You will be ever seeing but never perceiving,” Matthew 13:14.

So, when we are looking for what the Father is showing us, what are we looking for?

Last fall, I blogged about this, offering a biblical framework for it (click link to take you to it): https://dwelling114.org/blog/2018/9/30/not-seeing-what-were-looking-at

Today, let’s get a little more specific. Think “indicator lights.” Like you have in your car.

In most cars, the manufacturers have included a variety of indicator lights that pop on in our dashboards when we need to pay attention to something.

An indicator light pops on when we are getting low on gas, or when we need to have a mechanic check the engine, or when a door is accidentally left ajar.

Indicator lights are important because they draw our attention to situations we may overlook otherwise.  We don’t always know what to do when we see an indicator light pop on, but at least we know we better pay attention.

The same is true for “seeking the Kingdom of God.”  In the context of worship, we are used to seeing and responding to God’s indicator lights.  When we see the Word of God being read, when we see a baptism or people approaching the Lord’s Supper, we know God is already up to something.  We are well trained to see and recognize these things as indications of God’s presence and activity.   When we see the fellowship of the saints whether in worship or sipping coffee in the fellowship hall afterwards, we are seeing indications of God’s presence and activity in the fruit of the Spirit being exhibited.

That’s Sunday and that’s easy.  But what about on Monday?  We may not be as experienced at seeking and finding the presence and activity of God in the crazy, work-a-day world of the weekday. However, God also gives us indicator lights we can watch for and even anticipate seeing there.

What are some of those indicator lights?  What are some indications that we should sit up and pay attention because God is showing us something He wants us to notice and respond to? (Ephesians 2:10)

Today let’s focus on three indicator lights:


Jesus is our model for seeing and recognizing interruptions as indicator lights from the Father.  As we read the gospels, the poor guy cannot walk ten steps without someone coming up and interrupting Him. (Among my favorites are Mark 7:21-43 and Mark 10:46-52.) But Jesus knows what He is really looking at (see John 5:17).  For Him interruptions are not simply someone screwing up His schedule.  For Jesus interruptions ARE the schedule.  Jesus recognizes that while interruptions may not have been on His schedule for the day, they were on His Father’s.  And Jesus is good with that.  So, we can be good with that, too.

The next time you are interrupted by someone, ask yourself, “What are You up to here, Father?” Take a breath. Take an extra second to look around, to look at the person, to look beyond your need to get to your next appointment so you can see what this appointment from the Father may be about.  This interruption is not simply an interruption. It is an opportunity. The only question is, how will you respond?


This just keeps getting better and better, right?  First interruptions are supposedly indicator lights from Jesus and now irritations??  Yep.  They are opportunities for us to look up and pay attention to what else may be going on right in front of us.

Think of it this way, when you feel irritation flaring up in you, consider it a pop quiz from Jesus.  When you “feel” irritation for a person, you can “see” that it is also an indicator light popping on.  How will I handle this? Like the same old me? Or like the one being slowly trained by Jesus in the ways of Jesus?  Will my irritation trigger me into adding fuel to a growing mess or will I see that my irritation is actually a perfect opportunity to respond like my Rabbi and be a way something good is introduced to a bad situation?

When irritations flare up in you, they are indications that Jesus is giving you a pop quiz… and He has gifted you and enabled you to ace it.  So be ready.  The next pop quiz will probably be any minute now.

Human Pain

If human pain is obvious to us, it is easy to recognize it as an indicator light.  If we see someone in obvious pain, we are more likely to slow down, have compassion and see how we can help.  (Although Luke 10:25-37 reminds us that while it may be easy to recognize, it doesn’t mean we won’t walk around it anyway.)

However, we also know that there is a lot more pain around us than is being revealed.  In our culture, these days, we have all become very skilled at hiding our pain.  So how do we see the indicator lights of human pain in our neighbors and co-workers if they are skillfully hiding it from our view?  There is only one solution.  We have to actually care about our neighbors and co-workers.


Truth be told, we are actually okay with not “seeing” their pain.  We would rather not bother with it anyway. But if we want to participate in the Kingdom coming and the will of the Father being done right here on earth as it is in Heaven, all we really have to do is get to know our neighbors, care about them as people and stay in touch with them. When they are in pain, it may not be obvious to the casual observer, but because we know them, care about them and are paying attention to them, we see their pain rippling out around their masks.

If we look, we are more likely to see.  If we care, we are more likely to ask.  And if we are Jesus-followers, we will stop what we are doing because we know we are looking at a big bright indicator light directly from the Father.

 Jesus wants us to see what the Father is showing us.

“Open your eyes and look,” John 4:35.

“Seek and you will find,” Matthew 7:7.

“Seek first His Kingdom,” Matthew 6:33.

So, let’s head into this wild and crazy day with Jesus, anticipating that an indicator light or two will pop on along the way.  Amen?