We often presume that spiritual things precede practical ones. And in one essential way, they do. We are commanded to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. As a result, we receive the additional benefit of every natural blessing God has in store for us. When the kingdom becomes first—in preeminence, in priority, in its pervasive power over every area of our lives—then every other thing becomes inconsequential, and once it no longer holds power over us, we can be trusted as stewards over it.
But what do we make of the teaching in Luke 12:34—that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also? Here, God clearly prioritizes our making a practical commitment which is, only then, followed by a spiritual demonstration. Wherever we commit our resources, we see the spiritual benefit of a change of heart. As kingdom seekers, king-priests in the earth, we are called to challenge and change the culture of the earth. We can only do so, however, as we access the culture of heaven. So what God really seems to be calling for in this passage is the continual practice of kingdom behaviors which, in turn, assures that our hearts will be transformed.
I recently shared a message with the congregation at Equippers City Church on seeing and seeking the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is not the same as the kingdom of God—but I’ll share more on the difference later. The kingdom of heaven is the realm in which spiritual matters are accessed. When we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done,” we are really praying for the release of the kingdom of heaven—that as it is in heaven, so shall it be in earth.
And so, when we examine the passage in Matthew 13:44 that speaks of a treasure—hidden truth, special revelation, reserved mysteries now released by God to his church—we see that that treasure is hidden, not easily accessible. Every good and perfect gift does come from God, but it does not come without our diligently seeking it. The practice of kingdom disciplines results in the release of kingdom benefits. Where we place the resource of our time and energy, even, says much about what we can expect to receive from God.
When the man finds this treasure of which Matthew speaks, he does not immediately take it away. He hides it again. He contemplates his action. He makes a strategic plan for how he will insure its safety. And then, he returns to the field—and for joy over it—he buys the whole field. He does not simply retrieve the treasure, he sells all he has and buys the whole field.
Seeing and seeking the kingdom is not simply about picking through the “treasures” of God though that seems to be the culture of many Christians today. We listen for what pleases us, dissect the messages we hear for the parts that most apply—for the “deep revelations” that might distinguish us. But this man sells everything he owns to buy the entire field. What might God be telling us through his radical act?
Every true kingdom endeavor requires that we surrender to the transformative power of the King. “Buying the whole field” is buying in wholeheartedly, settling in and staying the course, launching out into unknown and, sometimes, challenging territory all because of the treasure that is there. We’ve done that recently, literally, in establishing the Equippers City Church Apostolic Resource Center as a “treasure,” a place where the kingdom can come and the will of God will be done in greater measures than before! Doing so has meant change and, we know, will mean still more. But with the same joy of the man in Matthew 13, we are permitting the promise of the treasure that we have found, and the potential for still more to be found in that field, to completely transform our desires so that where our treasure is, there our hearts are also.