We were created by the Supreme Being to be His loving servants. We were each created with a unique relationship with Him. Each of us has a unique personality and a unique spiritual identity. When we are living within this spiritual identity we are truly happy and fulfilled, because this identity is linked with loving and serving God.
At the same time, He gave us the freedom to love and serve Him - or not. Those of us living in this temporary physical environment are here because we chose not to love and serve Him. We chose to escape our true nature and attempt to be happy without the Supreme Being. So He sent us to the physical world to act out our self-centered desires.
Here in the physical world we are tested with many difficulties and stresses. These are set up as learning vehicles. As Jesus points out here, we must learn to rise above these difficulties and put our attention on the Supreme Being.
But it is still up to us if we want to re-establish our relationship with the Supreme Being and resume our spiritual identity. We have that freedom to change direction at any time.
But this will not be possible if we are focusing our attention upon the temporary physical matters that involve our bodies. Jesus stated this clearly elsewhere:
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24)
"Mammon" refers to materialism. The things of the physical world. Because our natural position is one of servant, if we decide not to serve the Supreme Being we will be forced to serve the physical realm. We will have to serve our bodies. And the things and people that keep our bodies alive.
But if we choose to serve the Supreme Being, these physical bodies will not be our masters anymore. They will be our vehicles, and we can take them or leave them. We can use them as vehicles to serve the Supreme Being. This is why Jesus says here:
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness...."At the end of the day, we each have the choice to put our love upon ourselves - which translates to loving our physical bodies - or putting our love on the Supreme Being. The latter was recommended by Jesus:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Devotional Translation - translated from the original Greek texts.)