The Israelites . . . separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the Lord. (Ezra 6:21)
AN OLD CARTOON called Dennis the Menace featured an energetic young boy named Dennis who drove his neighbor, Mr. Wilson, crazy. In one scene, Mr. Wilson decided to play hide-and-seek with Dennis in order to keep the boy occupied and out of his hair. Mr. Wilson told Dennis to go and hide. The only problem with the game that day was that Mr. Wilson never went to find Dennis. Many minutes later, Dennis was found pouting. His mother asked him what was wrong. He said, “Mr. Wilson and I were playing hide-and-seek. The only problem is that Mr. Wilson doesn’t seek.”
The exiles were told to separate themselves from “unclean practices” and seek the Lord. Seeking involves looking for something. It requires focus, and focusing on one thing means we need to get away from other things.
We must ask: What are the “unclean practices” in my life? In my surroundings? Are there friends who distract me from my relationship with God? Am I going to unwholesome places? Do I seek God so that he can change my unclean attitude? Am I seeking a career, riches, relationships, hobbies, or other things more than I am looking to God in order to find authentic purpose for my life?
The beauty of seeking God is that he is not hiding, but rather waiting for you with open arms.
Separate yourself and seek the Lord with your entire being.
Jim Dunn is the vice president of church relations for the Wesleyan Investment Foundation. He resides in the Indianapolis area.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.