“Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” — Matthew 6:33
Last year I took the year to focus on one word: simplify. I had a goal to simplify my life — to get back to the fundamentals and focus on God, my marriage, my kids and then football. Anything after that I had to put on a back burner. I didn’t want to commit to too much, but instead focus on the things that mattered most to me.
It was a really fruitful year because as I focused on simplifying my life, I understood even more that everything in my life is affected by the strength of my relationship with God. By focusing on things that build the Kingdom, I saw God strengthen every other area of my life and the lives of those around me.
This year that word turned to “multiply.” I mean that not in the sense of multiplying commitments and responsibilities, but my aim is to maximize and multiply my obedience and fruit for God’s Kingdom. In the Bible, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Last year the fruit came from me simplifying my life, focusing on God, and letting Him do the work. It took complete and full surrender to Him for me to be used by Him for His will. Each day I would wake up and say, “OK God, I’m going to focus on growing in You today.” Then I look up and all this fruit is coming from my obedience. Now that I’ve learned how to surrender and rest in God, I want to see even more fruit be produced. I want to find the areas in my life that I still haven’t surrendered to Him so I can give it all over to Him and be used to produce even more for the Kingdom.
The more I decrease, the more He increases. The more He increases in my life, the more fruit will be produced. So however much I decreased and He increased in the past year, I want to multiply that for His glory in the year ahead.
In the flesh we become ambitious. We can easily confuse what God is doing as our own doing. We begin to chase after more, not for His glory, but for our own. Bearing fruit can mean enriching your own life or other’s lives, opening up more opportunities, but that might just cause you to be more busy or stressed. More work doesn’t always produce more fruit for the Kingdom. The fruit comes when we seek God and trust in Him, understanding that this is all God’s doing, not our own.
So each morning as I wake up and begin my day, I pray, “God, I hope this is what You want me to do today. And if it’s not, reveal that to me every step of the way. I want to walk in Your will, not my own.”
The challenging part comes when we begin to bear more fruit and have more resources come in. We begin to think we should commit to more. We might forget where the fruit actually comes from and who it belongs to. Be prepared to know that it’s not from you. Don’t get too busy to spend time with God.
The first thing I do each morning is spend time with God. I read His Word, I spend time in prayer, and I meditate on Him to make sure that every day I’m seeking God’s face. After that, it’s up to God to show me the way in which He wants to use me. I may mark off certain goals about how much time I intentionally spend with my wife and my kids, and what areas I want to grow in for my job, but ultimately, these plans are all up to God.
Wherever I go, I want to seek what would be beneficial to the Kingdom. This is what guides my decisions. This is what guides how I walk through life. But first I have to start by seeking God and submitting to Him every day.
— Demario Davis, New York Jets linebacker