Saturday, August 13, 2011

Not-So-Hide And Seek

"...97...98...99...100! READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!!!" 

Oh, those were the days. <Insert nostalgic sigh here> I remember those fun games of hide and seek, playing with friends, kids in the neighborhood, at school on the playground or on the farm with just my little sister and I. That rush of trying to find an ingenious hiding place... heart pounding... adrenaline pumping... waiting to see if you were found or you could find them (depending on your current "it" status.) Sometimes it was a lot of work-- especially if you instigated a "home base" rule. It then became a battle of the fastest runner once the hiding was over (or a battle of the most efficient tripper, if you were a kid who played dirty. Which I of course would have no experience with ;-) The seeking was such a rush-- So that brings us to the second section of our study verse from Luke 11:9 "Seek and ye shall find." 

Let's be honest. Sometimes we just couldn't find the other players. They were too good. So after hollerin' at the top of our lungs saying we give up, they would show themselves. Well, I have great news. God doesn't play like that. He doesn't even hide!! I must say that attribute makes our "seeking" of him much easier. He promises this in Jeremiah 29:12-14. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity."

Seeking God goes hand in hand with the asking portion that we have been discussing. In fact, asking can be the first step. It is based on the intention in our heart, just like the game of hide-and-seek. If we are "it" and not looking very hard, chances are we probably won't find who we are looking for. But if you sincerely reach out, pray, study and yearn for God through seeking, He will appear directly before you, anywhere, anytime.

God is always in the light. When we go "looking" for him, seeking him out, we don't have to go far. He isn't going to be hidden in some random, abstract place like a cabinet, behind the entertainment center or outside the game "boundaries." He is always present, even if he does feel distant. When he feels distant or "hidden," it is often our hearts (probably with the "help" of Satan) reverting back to the 2-year-old hide and seek peekaboo method, convinced that if we close or cover our eyes, everything disappears. But He is never gone. We just have to keep seeking. "This is what the Lord says to the house of Israel: "Seek me and live." (Amos 5:4)

Just like there are tons of different strategies to "winning" a youthful game of hide-and-seek, there are a lot of ways to seek Him. Maybe you want to seek as a team, so engage your friends/family/spouse to "search" after God with you. Or perhaps you seek best through music. Or quiet meditation. Or conversation. Or reading, writing, prayer, or through acts of service. Seek him in your own way.

Be earnest in your seeking. Seek his love. His presence. His wisdom. His guidance. His counsel. His prosperity. His freedom. His glory. His honor. You name it, you can seek it. Play the game-- it's a game of not-so-hide-and-seek and EVERYBODY WINS! Isaiah 55:6 says "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near." You don't even count to one hundred!

Open your eyes and heart, grab your spiritual flashlight and freely seek Him... You will find Him. Because ready or not, Here He is!!

Thoughtfully Seeking Him,

"Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek." Psalm 27:7-8

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