Most people have played a version of hide and seek as children? As adults, we sometimes feel we are in a sort of "hide and seek" game with God. We are the seekers who incessantly try to find God, and His whole purpose is to make himself harder to find. We may feel that He is hiding from us because we are sinners and evil. However, if this were true, we would never find Him. He has all the power of the universe and more to make himself impossible to be found. Any effort to seek him would be in vain.
When we see God’s transforming power in the hearts of people who have found Him, we sense that God can nonetheless be found. Also, the Bible, testifies that it is possible to find Him. We are told, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13).
If this is so, why do so many Christians feel like they cannot find God? I believe there are three errors that will keep us from finding God. The first one is a lack of understanding as to what seeking with all our hearts means. When God says to seek Him with all of our heart, He means ALL. Do not hide anything from Him. We are invited to give Him every desire and fear that we have. We should do this as if our lives depend on it.
Our second common error in seeking God is in thinking that our sins are too big for God to forgive. However, it does not matter how sinful we are. If we repent and give our hearts to Him, He will always receive us. The Apostle John reminds us that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Lastly, many of us hold on to the wrong idea that God is actively hiding from us. God is not actually playing a game of "hide and seek" with us. He is not hiding behind the curtains of our house waiting for us to look for Him or living in the farthest place on earth waiting for us to search for Him. Even before we start seeking Him, we need to understand that He has been seeking for us our whole lives. Yes, God is seeking for us right now.
When we read Jeremiah 29, a couple of verses before God encourages us to seek Him, He says, “I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:10-12).
Before He says to seek Him, God is already seeking and coming to us. Because He has come to us, we can find Him. God is stands before us waiting for us to call upon His name with all our hearts. We do not go to Him with a perfect heart but with a broken one. Let’s not try to fix ourselves, on our own. Let’s give our concerns to God and listen to His voice. It is only then that we will find the one that has always been by our sides.
Here is a prayer that we can all pray: Father, thank you for not hiding from me, but rather for seeking me daily. Thank you for dying for me and giving me eternal life. Help me trust in your truth that my sins are never too big for you to forgive. I thank you that you will always receive my sinful and broken heart. Lord, open my eyes to see that you are right here with me, where you have always been. If I have never sought you with all my heart, today I am. And, I give you all my desires and fears. Take my heart and make it new with your great power and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.