PRESSING YOUR “SEEK” BUTTON
When I first saw this button in my friend’s new car, I had to laugh. Notice the one in the middle which reads “Seek Cat.” Really? Seek cat? Which cat? Where? (Actually, I’m pretty sure this button allows you to seek a specific category of music, not seek out felines on the freeway.) 🙂
I gotta admit it’s a pretty cool feature. With one touch of a button, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. I love the convenience of that, don’t you? Wouldn’t you love to have a command center in your home filled with buttons we could push to seek out the things we want? Think of the possibilities: “seek money”, “seek chocolate”, “seek the missing sock that the dryer ate.”
Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. The things we really want, we must seek out, we must put effort into, we must pursue with a certain amount of diligence.
In the book of Amos, the prophet records God’s words: This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.” Seek the LORD and live… (Amos 5:4-6a).
Right here in these verses is the key that unlocks the door of right living. God says, “Seek me and live.” He goes on to say, “do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba.” You see, these places—Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba—were once places of spiritual significance, but had become places of idolatry. Those places had become empty, hollow, temporary, and would amount to nothing—much like the places, people, and things we seek out to make us feel alive.
You see, we can’t fully seek the Lord unless we do not seek places of disobedience and self-indulgence. It’s not enough just to seek God…we must stop seeking other things. It’s not enough to walk in the light…we must stop walking in darkness. This is the essence of the word “repent.” It’s turning away from one thing in order to turn toward something else.
Here’s the thing…if we want to truly seek God, we’ve got to pursue Him where He is, not dabble where He isn’t. The fact is we’re really good at dabbling where God isn’t, yet hoping to somehow connect with Him. That’s not quite how it works. Check this out:
- When Jesus was at the home of Mary and Martha, Martha was in the kitchen hustling and bustling about, worried and upset over lots of stuff. And there was Mary in the other room at the feet of Jesus. Why wasn’t Mary in the kitchen? She’s a woman, and it was probably expected that she be in the kitchen. So why wasn’t she in the kitchen helping? Because Jesus wasn’t in the kitchen!
- Peter was with the other disciples in the boat on the stormy sea. Winds were raging, waves were crashing. And in the midst of the storm, Peter stepped out of the safety of the boat and he walked (ever so briefly) on the water toward Jesus. Why did he do such a crazy thing? Because Jesus wasn’t in the boat!
- Then there’s the woman in Scripture who was subject to bleeding for 12 years. According to the laws of that society, she was unclean. She’d been to doctors, and spent all kinds of money all to no avail. So, this woman risked the ridicule and public scorn of the crowd. Why did she put herself and all the others in the crowd at such great risk? Because Jesus was in the crowd!
For Mary, Peter, and the bleeding woman, they sought Jesus out. They didn’t dabble where Jesus wasn’t. They pursued Him. They weren’t satisfied with anything short of one-on-one, face-to-face, real-life time with Jesus.
God says, “Seek me and live.”
Jeremiah says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Maybe it’s time for you to push the button “SEEK JESUS”!