Remember playing hide and seek as a kid? The games could go on for hours. You didn’t want to be found, at least right away, but you wanted them looking for you. It was “Look for me! Look for me! But, don’t find me too quickly.”
Sometimes people think God is like that. They see Him as the cosmic hide and seek master, and Jeremiah 29:13 as His mantra “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
If we try really really hard, maybe we will find Him and connect with Him in some way. But, that is not the way the God behaves!
But, in the context of Jeremiah 29:13 (the immediate context starts back in verse 10 and goes through 14) God is saying that at the end of the 70 years of captivity in Babylon you will seek after Me and I will reveal myself to you. In other words, I will turn your hearts to seek Me and I will make certain you find Me.
God is the God who refuses to hide Himself
God wants you to know Him. From the beginning of human history He has been revealing Himself. Before Adam and Eve sinned God walked with them in the garden (Genesis 3:8-11). Now, you would expect this, they were after all His creation. But, what happens next in the story is what makes me stop and wonder. God refused to hide Himself from them AFTER they sinned. Adam and Eve only had one rule, one law to obey in the garden and they broke it. But, even after they sinned God sought them out. And He has been revealing Himself ever since.
With Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the name was God Almighty. He revealed Himself as the almighty God, the protector and sustainer (Exodus 6:2-3). He was a shield to Abraham (Genesis 15:1). He was the promise keeper and interpreter of dreams to Joseph. He was the one present with Joseph, Joshua, and Samuel, and David.
God is always revealing Himself to us
He revealed Himself in a burning bush to Moses and told him to challenge Pharaoh. In Exodus 6 we catch just glance of the intensity with which God reveals Himself.
God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel,
‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:6-7)
God said He revealed Himself as God Almighty to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob but to Moses and the nation of Israel He is going to reveal Himself by His personal name, Yahweh or Yhwh, the word we translate as LORD.
How is He going to reveal Himself? He will deliver them from their bondage (Exodus 6:6-7). Their freedom is how they will know that He is God. God’s deliverance becomes the revelation to the people of Israel. In the story of the Exodus God declares at least 13 more times in the next six chapters that the miracles or plagues He brings on Egypt are for one reason only – so that Egypt, Israel, the rest of the world would know that the LORD alone is God.
This is important. The plagues were not because God needed to convince Pharaoh to let Israel go. God did not need Pharaoh’s permission. God is capable of accomplishing His will without the okay of any king. God’s purpose was to reveal Himself.
God’s actions revealed His existence and His character! Who God is was seen in what God did!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea that as Christians we should discover who we were created to be. We will never understand who we are aside from understanding Who created us. And, the good news is that God is always in the business of revealing Himself. He refuses to be hidden.
What steps can you take to understand the God who refuses to be hidden?
Study the Word of God.
This sounds terribly simple, but the Bible is the Word of God. It is His revelation of Himself to us. By reading and studying the Scriptures you will see the revelation of God Himself to you.
Mark references to God in your Bible.
As you are reading draw a triangle around each reference to God and shade it yellow. The symbol and color are just a suggestion, but marking God as you read the Bible is a personal charge from me to you. Marking as you read slows you down and makes you pay close attention to the text. The results are amazing. You will see things you have never noticed before and ponder things you had only breezed by.
In a journal keep a list of what you are learning about God from your study or reading. There is no need to list every little detail, just list some of the things you see. God will guide you as write.
In your journal keep a very specific list of the things you see God in your life and the world around you. Over and over in Scripture the actions of God prove the character of God. Watch for His actions in your life. Note, what God did, when and where He did it. The journal will become a testimony for you, your children, and your grandchildren to the faithfulness of God.
Every few months review your notes. Take time to remember an enjoy what God has done in your life.
God is the God who refuses to be hidden. Watch for His hand at work in your life. He is working everywhere, but sometimes our eyes are too blind to see, our ears too dull hear Him. But taking time and being intentional you will be amazed at the revelation going on all around you.