Being on target takes practice. . . and perseverance.
Enjoy this sweet post from Lisa Maples, another one of the Seeing Deep Ministry team!
Amos 5:14 (ESV) “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.”
After applying and interviewing with the office manager at my husband’s Veterinary Clinic, my daughter, who would graduate from high school soon, received the news that she would begin her first job in mid May. On her first day of work, she and my husband, her dad, rode together in his car. Her face lit up as they shut the door of the car and took off.
Once I waved goodbye, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me. Just like my child’s dad was with her in the car and would be with her at her job in his physical body, so also will the Holy Spirit be with her. The imagery of seeing my husband driving her away then being with her throughout the day and all the way back home provided great comfort. I knew that God would also be right beside her and would help her through the learning curve that lay ahead.
As I sat and read God’s Word that morning, I noticed this Scripture in Amos 5:14: “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.”
In the first five chapters of Amos, I saw the judgment of God being spoken on a wayward Israel. One of the first glimmers of hope came on the horizon in Amos 5:5 (ESV): “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.” When the Bible says to seek God, it is referring to going after God and his ways. If the people had pursued going into other cities, there would be unwelcome consequences of exile and destruction. God provided the direction, but it was up to the people to put their aim on following Him and adhering to his directions which led to life.
Knowing your target is the first step in seeking for then reaching your goal.
As a mom, I realize that my child will walk on paths that I will never walk. My daughter’s first day of work would look different than my first day of work. I have trained her, prayed for her and ensured she is responsible, but it is now her turn to be an adult. She sought the job and got it, but she’ll succeed by seeking and pursuing knowledge and wisdom from her dad.
I have to trust God that He will support her as she learns to navigate the working world while interacting with customers and colleagues. Her father and his employees will train our daughter to do a specific job within the business. She will likely do great, but there could be moments of uncertainty. I am praying that she will always seek good and not evil then God will be right there with her to help her reason and make wise choices.
Our child has been preparing throughout her life to seek good and not evil. She sought good when she befriended a girl in 4th grade, at the teacher’s request, because the other girl had trouble making friends. Knowing that she had a mission to be kind, gave her a purpose which turned into a special childhood friendship. I know that opportunities will be there each day of her life to choose to seek what is right and good. The evil choice will sometimes seem the easy way out, but I am praying that she will always choose the good.
Her dad’s presence is somewhat unique in that many teens begin jobs without their parents present. In our case, I just sense that there will be a safety net surrounding our child in knowing that her dad will give direction, connecting her to the right resources and instructing her. My husband will provide the needed wisdom and even pay her, but our child will have to not only be present in body but be fully committed to doing the job well. She has seen both her dad and I committed to our jobs and focusing on them through our homework and passion as we speak of our experiences at home concerning our work. We hope this first job will give her life experience as she prepares to head into college and boost her ability and confidence as a contributing member of our society.
Our Heavenly Father invites us to be connected to Him on a daily basis too. Jesus shared with us these words in Matthew 11:29-30 (ESV): “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” In my mind, this farming image depicts two oxen who would have been tied together with a wooden yoke placed on them so that the farmer could turn them in the direction that he wanted them on the field. Perhaps it was time to make a U Turn and head back down another row to plow the field or to stop in the shade for rest and water. Being yoked together allowed the oxen to be led and not try to wander away. The yoke allowed the animals to work together for the common good.
If the oxen were not under control, they could tear up the field by working against each other and ruining the plans for the day. If we, like wayward oxen not under the yoke of Jesus, run off and pursue plans that aren’t of God, then we should not be surprised when we have to deal with the consequences of our choices. Being yoked or connected to Jesus through prayer and reading His Word allows the Holy Spirit to correct us if we’ve gone astray and allows us to worship in His presence.
If there is sin in our lives, we must repent. The Bible speaks of how to earn wages on a job, but that job is the job of sin. Romans 6:23 (ESV) tells us, “For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sin has to be paid for. God through Jesus has already paid the price. Accepting Jesus in faith means that a person believes that He is the sinless Son of God who died on a cross to pay our sin debt. God has always required a sacrifice to atone for sin throughout the Bible. Jesus came to fulfill the law from the Old Testament and become our permanent sacrifice for our sins. I am thankful that God, though His Son, provided a way to pay for our sin debt which is through faith in Jesus.
Romans 12:2 (ESV) tells us our job description in this world: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” I pray that our daughter will not be conformed to the sin in the world but be transformed by the renewing of her mind and discern God’s will. Her earthly dad is training her and her Heavenly Father is transforming her.
I pray that you also would seek and pursue God’s plan for your life then allow his training to transform your mind. As your Heavenly Father, He wants you to seek and pursue righteousness and his will for you which will lead to life. Seek good and not evil then God will be with you.
Guest Post by Lisa Maples
Lisa Maples is a wife, mom, teacher and writer. She teaches K-5 students in her STREAM Studio at an Elementary School in North Carolina. She loves to spend time with her family and with God. She writes in her faith-based blog, Intend to Spend, and in her Teaching STREAM blog. She invites you to drop in and see what God has placed on her heart and on what has been going on in her classroom.
Visit Lisa at lisamaples.life