I read of a retired business executive and his wife whose relationship had grown quiet over the years. One evening, the wife called friends to ask what they were doing. “Oh,” said the other wife, “we’re just talking and drinking tea.” The executive’s wife hung up the phone. “They’re drinking tea and talking,” she told her husband. “Why don’t we ever do that?” The executive said, “So, make us some tea.” Soon they sat with their freshly brewed tea, stirring the tea and staring at each other. And stirring. And staring.
“Call them back,” the executive barked, “and find out what they’re talking about!“
We can fall into that trap in our Christian life, also. We seek God in response to His grace. Then, after we surrender our life to Christ and get settled into a new routine, our relationship grows stale because we lose the pursuit. Actively seeking out the presence of God is the greatest pursuit you can partake in. The ancient Jewish community would say to seek the “face” of God.
I have some good news for you. The God of creation, the God who knew you before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb, wants you to seek, to know Him deeper. Writing to Christians living in ancient Ephesus, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. I like how the NIV translation states this verse, “…that you may know Him better.”
Have you ever played “Hide and Go Seek” with a toddler? That is so much fun. Why? Because toddlers hide in plain sight! And if you act like you don’t see them, they will start to giggle. After a little while, they will start making noises so you can find them. Then, after a while, they will call out your name so you can follow their voice! They hide with the anticipation of you finding them.
What if I told you that God hides in plain sight? Now, understand this. I know that God is everywhere at the same time. I know that the Psalmist wrote, “Where can I go from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). Yet, there is something special about His manifested, abiding presence or favor that He places on those who are sincerely seeking Him. God is with you, hiding in plain sight. If you take a moment to look, you can see His hand at work. He is there, waiting for you to call out to Him and seek out His presence.
In Ephesians 1:7-9 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ
There He is. Paul is telling us that God hides in plain sight through His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ. The Pharisees were very religious and devout. They could quote the Scriptures by memory. They knew and practiced all the religious exercises. They prayed. They fasted. They tithed and yet they were not able to recognize God when He was standing right in front of them through Jesus. How could they be so religious and yet so far from the presence of God? They were not seeking the face of God. Their religious preferences and traditions had become their idols. But to the ones who had a heart seeking to Know God, Jesus said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” – John 14:7, NKJV
Seek out the LORD, today. Go to Him in prayer. Spend a few minutes thanking Him for your blessings. Get off by yourself and spend a little time reading about Jesus in the Bible. The more you get to know Him, the more you will want to pursue His presence.
Join me here next week as I share 4 Effective Ways to Seek the Presence of God.