Are you playing hide and seek?

People hide from God in many ways. They hide behind things, behind wealth and entertainment and partying. They’ll hide behind alcohol and drugs. They’ll hide behind busy work, and fill their lives with all kinds of activity. They do all this because they know that if they stop… they have to face what the things about their lives they don’t like. They’ve looked in the mirror and they haven’t liked what they’ve seen. 

They don’t want to stop. They don’t want to think. They don’t want to face the consequences of their sins. Like children playing a game they react to God by saying: “if I can’t see Him – He can’t see me… and He can’t punish me.” 

That seems to be the logic of those described in Revelation 6 on the Day of Judgment who cried out to mountains and rocks to hide them. They knew the impending judgment was upon them and they sought to hide from God because they know the shame of their sin. The guilt and shame of our sins cause us to want to go into hiding. But we can’t hide from God. Jeremiah 23:24 tells us “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth?”

We can’t be hidden from God… but we can allow our (hidden) sins to shut us off from Him Ps. 27:9 “Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger” Ps. 13:1-2 “How long O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” Our sins shut us off from God.When Jesus died on the cross – bearing our sins in His body – He cried out:“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Mark 15:34bJesus – the Son of God – was cut off from His Father for the first time in His existence because God could not look upon sin…. He is a Holy God.

Sin must be dealt with in order for us to come into His presence… and the first step in dealing with our sins is to acknowledge that we’ve done them… admit that we have sinned… agree with God that what we’ve done is wrong. There can be no comparing our sins with someone else’s.No making excuses about why we failed “this time”. No minimizing the pain we’ve caused God when we said or done something we shouldn’t have . You see, that’s all game playing. That’s all trying to play our game by our rules.The game? If God can’t see me (we think) it can’t be sin… and He won’t punish me. Those who do this (and Christians do it too) are playing a game with God He’s not going to play. David tried playing the game that way and it didn’t work for him. He said “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” Psalms 32:3-4. You see there’s a point at which God gets tired of our games. And the game God will never play is the one where we think we can engage in some secret sin and then act like God will look the other way. Back in Exodus 33:1-3 we find God has gotten tired of playing games with the Israelites.The Israelites have complained and rebelled and disobeyed til God tells Moses that He’ll send angel on ahead to lead the people into the promised land – but He won’t be going with them. Their sins threatened to cut them off from God. Moses was so disturbed by God’s threat that he cries out to God: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15-16 In essence, Moses is saying “what is life without You… what’s life without Your presence?” Without God and His presence… it’s all emptiness· If God weren’t involved in our daily activities our life would feel hollow. If God were not controlling our home life and our families they would be filled with emptiness and meaningless.

You see, God doesn’t play hide and seek.He plays an entirely different game called “seek and be found”. The rules of His game differ markedly from the game we’re tempted to play. Instead of hiding our sinfulness from God this game requires us to admit our sin and to seek God’s forgiveness. If you’re not a Christian, that means:

1. Believing that you’re a sinner and desiring not to live like that anymore.
2. Believing that Jesus’ blood can forgive you of those past sins.
3. And being baptized into Christ – washing away the past – burying the sins that have bound you and then rising up from the waters to a new life in Christ.

But what if you are already a Christian… and you mess up? What if you’ve already repented, confessed Jesus as Lord and been baptized into Him – and then after all of that you sin big time – now what?

The apostle John wrote these words to Christians in I John chapter one.“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9. In other words don’t pretend some “holier than thou” religiosity as a Christian. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – including you and me. Now granted, the longer we walk with Jesus the less likely we’ll fall prey to temptation, but it’s still going to happen once in a while.

Don’t hide the sin, says John. As Christians we have a promise from God that if we confess our sins…  if we admit what we did was wrong … if we admit that there was no excuse for our behavior… if you acknowledge that we hurt God by what we said or did or thought.

THEN GOD WILL FORGIVE US!

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