With the warmer weather come longer days and opportunities to be outdoors. As a kid growing up in the neighborhood, my friends and I would spend hours playing “hide and seek”. We had one rule: the property line was the boundary of the yard we were playing in. We could hide in the front, sides or back yards, but we couldn’t leave the yard.
This made the game of hide and seek fair for everyone. As long as you stayed within the boundaries, with a limited number of hiding spaces, eventually everyone would be found.
Once it started getting late, we would begin hearing the back porch calls of moms and dads telling us, it was time to come home. It didn’t matter if you were “it” or you were still hiding, if your mom or dad called your name, the game was over for you. It was time to go home.
Many times in our spiritual walk, we seem to be playing hide and seek with our relationships with Christ. The spiritual game of hide and seek takes place within set boundaries: our hearts and souls.
For our part, like our original parents, Adam and Eve, we are the ones hiding from God. This is due to their and our sin nature. After they disobeyed God, they tried to cover their sin by hiding among the bushes. They were found by God, naked and ashamed. They were caught. God provides a shed blood sacrifice to cover them. This points to the ultimate blood sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.
There are times in our lives when it feels like God is the One hiding and we are the ones seeking. A time like this is described by Moses as he instructs the people who are getting ready to enter the Promised Land. He tells them if they disobey God, He will scatter them among the nations to places that serve false gods.
It is in the places where the people feel abandoned by God, that He promises that he will be found by them if they “seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Even though they are physically away from the land promised by God, they can still find Him there, if they would only seek.
Many times, we may feel like God is hiding from us and is nowhere close to being found. But He can be found. He is not far from us. If we go look for Him in the places where He can be found, He will be right there. For some, it means returning to church, saying a prayer, singing a song, reading there Bible, or talking to a Christian friend.
God has set up a boundary for spiritual hide and seek. That boundary is our hearts and our souls. There are many hiding places within this small space. But, as we begin to seek and look and examine our hearts and souls, as we empty the inner chambers of our hearts, we make room for Christ to be found. He was there all along, hiding behind our sinfulness and selfishness.
For many people today, they are no longer looking for God. For some, they looked for God at church, but did not find Him there. Instead they found liberalism, legalism, traditionalism, ritualism, and many other things that hide the true nature of God from the people. Sadly, many never even hear about Jesus as well. Let us be a church where people who are seeking God can find Him.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.