I got to play hide and seek with my two-year-old grandson the other day. Playing with a two-year-old is a unique experience. He plays by his own rules. Rule #1 – Don’t hide by yourself. He wants to hide with somebody because hiding is a little bit scary. Rule #2 – Cover your eyes. Apparently if you don’t cover your eyes you are not hidden. Rule #3 – Make a little noise. If you make noise you won’t be lost for long. Hide and seek is fun but the best part is being found. When he is found there is always a lot of laughing and giggling.
It is hilarious and fun to play hide and seek with a two-year-old. Two year olds are not the only ones who play hide and seek. Many of us play hide and seek with God and with each other. We hide from people because we fear what they would think if they knew the real us. We hide from God because we don’t know what He will do with us. So we hide because it feels safe. But the illusion of safety brings an isolation that brings about death.
If you have been hiding from God I want to tell you that you are living in darkness. You are living without experiencing the kind of love that you are longing for. You may feel like you have to hide but you can stop the game anytime you want. For some of you that is a scary thought. You have found a sense of security in your hiding. The security of hiding your sin and brokenness is a lie to keep you from the light of God’s love.
THE SECURITY OF HIDING YOUR SIN AND BROKENNESS IS A LIE TO KEEP YOU FROM THE LIGHT OF GOD’S LOVE.
YOU ARE NOT REALLY HIDDEN.
Here is the thing about hiding from God. You can’t. When we try to hide from God it is as effective as my grandson covering his eyes thinking we can’t see him. Psalm139:1-6 reveals to us the depth of knowledge God has about us.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
God not only sees our actions but He sees our thoughts and knows the words we are going to say even before we say them. He knows what we are going to say before we say it because we think before we speak (well – most of the time). How can you hide from a God who knows your thoughts? If you can’t hide your thoughts from Him then you are exposed. Listen to this wonderful truth. God knows everything about you and He still pursues you in love.
WE ALL WANT TO BE FOUND.
There is a great desire in each of us to be known. We want to experience the freedom of being completely who we are, not hiding anything and being completely loved. I have been married to a wonderful woman for 33 years. She has seen me at my best and she has seen me at my worst but never once have I felt unloved. I know I can be completely myself around her and I will be forgiven and accepted.
So why do we try to hide? Why do we refuse to admit our sin? There is fear in transparency. What would people think about me if they knew the real me? We are afraid that if we were truly known than we would be alone. Psalm 139 continues by telling us of the futility of trying to hide.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
What a ridiculous game we play. We think we are hiding in the darkness of our sin and brokenness but the light of God sees right through our sin-darkened heart.
Not only is hiding a ridiculous game – it is a dangerous game. As a pastor for over 30 years I have sat with many people who are covering their eyes thinking they can’t be seen. They deny the sin that is evident to God and is evident to others. By not confessing our sin and just admitting what God already knows they are blocking off the love and forgiveness that they could be experiencing. The irony of hiding our sin so that others will love us is that we block ourselves off from experiencing the greater love that God is longing for us to experience. Another pastor told me one time, “It is not your sins that will kill you, it is keeping your sins secret.” The power of sin to kill is overwhelmed by the power of God’s grace to forgive us. Look with me at these truths from 1 John.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:5-9
IN TRANSPARANCY WE FIND JOY.
When we hide in our spiritual life we are disconnected from God and from others. Honestly, it is hard to come out of hiding. It is hard to be transparent, but when we allow ourselves to be transparent we are seen and we are known. It is then that we can experience the joy of being totally loved.
No matter how long you have been hiding, God is still seeking. He is seeking because of the joy He has in finding you. He wants to bring you out of hiding and into His marvelous light. You can end your game whenever you want. Follow rule #3 from my grandson – Make some noise. Confess your sin. Stop denying that you have sin or that you are a sinner. You are dying in those sins. God’s grace and love pursues you to offer forgiveness and healing today.
He is not going to make you come to the light but He is drawing you to the light. In His light there is joy. In His light there is love and grace. Take your hands off your eyes and see Jesus. He is waiting for you.
What can you do to go deeper?
- Find one trusted friend and start talking. Be real with your struggles. Confess and grow together.
- Be real with God. Tell Him where you are struggling and failing. Don’t worry – He loves you.