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Are Christians playing hide and seek with God?

Columbia Biblical Studies: Monday, February 10
Columbia Biblical Studies: Monday, February 10
George Hodan

Today’s bible study is Jeremiah 29:13: You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.'

It sounds almost as if Jeremiah is playing an old fashioned game of hide and seek. If you look hard enough, you will find him. If you look in every nook and cranny, in every brook and streak, in every crease and crevice, in every dark closet and well, you will find him. Close your eyes and count to one hundred while I find the best hiding place I can.

Jeremiah is not speaking of a game of hide and seek. He’s speaking of truth. Very often we feel that God and His ways are hidden from us. We cannot see them unfolding and we cannot sense His presence and we cannot understand His ways. We feel the need to search and, in many ways, searching is exactly what our journey as Christians is. It is searching for the truth, the will of God, and a greater understanding of His holy will and of eternity. It is seeking meaning in a life filled with frustration and hard work and disappointment. It is trying so hard to be good Christian followers and searching for ways to do so. But, most of all, it is seeking God through Jesus Christ.

There has long been a joke that with so many people looking for Jesus, surely someone must have found him. This has been a sermon topic at least twice in my own ministry. But it is a difficult search because we are not exactly sure what we are searching for. If we were to go on a scavenger hunt and look for a lemon, a book and a pine cone, we would know exactly what to look for and have a pretty good idea where to find them. We would look first in the refrigerator for the lemon, in the den or library for the book and outdoors beneath a tall evergreen for the pine cone. But the Holy Spirit of God cannot be seen and, sadly, cannot easily be found. No one can describe what it looks like, where it resides, or where to go to search for it.

Our scavenger hunt is over. We need search no farther than the depths of our spirits and our hearts to find God. He is always there, whether we are aware of it or not, just waiting for us to find Him. “Knock, and the door shall be opened,” is a familiar verse. And it is true. We need only to recognize the presence of God and the Holy Spirit within our own hearts and seek with all our hearts to find and know Him and His holy will.

Often we have been told to come to God as little children, and that is probably more important than all the knowledge in the world. If we come to God with the innocence and paltry knowledge of little children, we are more receptive to His will. He will always be there to enter our hearts and shoe us His way.

May we always know that God is waiting for us to seek Him with all our heart and will, assured that we can and will find Him. We will know His holy will and be better able to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. May we never rest secure in our knowledge, but be always open to the will of God and may we seek it with all our hearts. May we find it, even when we are not aware that we have done so, and use it to the best service of the Holy Spirit.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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