by Leigh Powers @Leigh_Powers
I got a gut check in the middle of the home décor section. I was bopping through my favorite craft store to pick up some ribbon for a project when a framed print caught my eye. As I passed by what I call the “girl boss” section, I spotted a print of a pretty pink typewriter surrounded by peonies. The calligraphy script read Building My Empire.
The typewriter and feminine design appealed to me, and the print was the perfect size to go above the printer in my newly reorganized office. I snatched it up to check the price, calculating how much it would be after my forty-percent-off coupon. Then I stopped and looked at the motto again. Was this really the message I wanted to claim? I put the print back on the shelf and walked on. My mission isn’t to build my own empire. My mission is to grow the kingdom of God.
I needed the reminder. As a writer and speaker, platform growth is part of the job. That’s not a bad thing. If God gives us a message, he wants people to hear it. Things like engaging on social media, building an email list, and networking with other writers are important tools for stewardship of our message and for ministry. Yet if all I do in this life is build my own empire, I’ve failed miserably. To build something that lasts—that truly matters—I need to be about building God’s kingdom, not my own.
I have goals, to be sure. I want to provide for our family. I want the sense of fulfilling my calling and the joy of doing what I love. And yes—it’s nice to have the feedback of good reviews, publisher’s contracts, and awards won. Yet Scripture reminds me to seek God’s kingdom first. Jesus said it: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” (Matthew 6:33, NIV).
To seek means to look for, earnestly desire, and strive for. For me, that means working for God’s reputation and not my own. It’s looking for where God is at work, desiring to see God’s name gloried, and striving to help people draw closer to God in what I do and say. I still grapple with the realities of financial and family pressures, but my heavenly Father knows my needs. If I seek his kingdom first, I gain both. I get to see God work in and through me, and by his grace God gives me“all these things” as well.
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV).
About the Author: Leigh Powers is passionate about helping women find hope and healing in God’s word. An author, speaker, pastor’s wife, and mother of three, she loves digging into Scripture and helping others find their places in God’s great story of salvation. Leigh is the author of Renewed: A 40-Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry. You can read more from Leigh at her blog, www.leighpowers.com