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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A God Who Hides


He's a God who hides. That's why we seek him. If his entirety is all readily and easily seen, then we wouldn't have to seek him at all. He hides so we can seek and pursue him once we see glimpses of him. It's God's glory to hide matters, but it's the glory of kings to seek and find them [Prov.25]. Desperate seekers of God are real kings of the King, thus the KING of kings.

It's like God hiding from us and then we see a glimpse of him turning into a street corner or an alley and see him smiling, enjoying the "game." He's a God who hides [Isa.45.15]. 

Of course, he intentionally lets himself be seen a short timely moment by us--by those who wholeheartedly seek him with their whole lives (God's flesh on earth)--just before he turns into a corner. That's enough for us to run as fast as we can, never taking our sights off that corner, eager to catch up with him and grab him as Jacob did before he was about to meet Esau in the book of Genesis, to never let go of him again, ever.

When we reach that corner and turn, we see that he's nowhere again. We lose him in a crowd of people and happenings and enchanting stuff in the street. So we seek him again. We squint our eyes carefully to find hints of where he might have gone, signs of God's presence or traces of it lingering in the air. As other pressing things and tempting sights happen all around us, we manage to ignore them and focus on seeking God. Yes, we see them and sometimes look at them a while, but soon we resume the search. 

We die-hard seekers can track down traces or signs God has left behind, not just footsteps or things touched by his passing by, but we can often trace his smell. And often, too, we just know it when he has gone this or that way. How? Well, we just know it. It's a Holy Spirit gift. Many try to trace God's trail through their stale and dead denominational doctrines, policies, manuals, and "logic"; we desperate seekers trace him with the fresh and lively spoken Word that God sends us and through supernatural Holy Spirit gifts.

Some would say that he went this or that way, but we'd know if he did or didn't. It's hard to explain, but we'd just know it. Instinct? Not really. Well, part of the explanation is because we daily master his Word. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a guide to our path. Christ is the end of the law (the Word). And my Jesus is the Way. So we could easily and surely find the right route to God by knowing what to watch out for as we seek him in the streets.

Without mastery of the Word, you'd easily get lost in the streets. It's a confusing network and ramification of streets and roads and highways out there all seemingly leading to the path you think you're headed for. You can be so lost out there and think you're doing okay, and invite others to take your lead. So you bring along a huge crowd of lost people, even a mega church of them, all happy and festive about it all, anticipating the end of the journey to be heaven. There's a way that seems right...but its end is death, says the Word.

He's a God who hides, and he's so good at it. Later, during the hide and seek (in some sense it's a Kingdom game, but in a larger sense it's LIFE) God lets himself be "caught" by you. You hug each other, both happy about finally having each other tightly in each other's arms, and there's so much laughter and excitement and holy teasing. You don't want to lose him again, so he lets you have him for some length of time. Then one day you just wake up and find yourself seeking for him in the streets again--only this time, it's one level higher in the spirit realms. You don't recall God getting away from your tight hug, but it happened. But anyway, you know that this round of seeking God is on a higher ground.

God never leaves you without clues and hints, if you're a genuine son or daughter. Genuinely God's flesh--his own flesh and blood. And in the midst of all the search and pursuit, God is in you and you are in him, a hundred percent. You'll never get really lost--for in a sense, it's just a game. But the reward is tremendous--LIFE. You can never compare anything you desire with it. That LIFE is what life is all about.

A God Who Hides and Never Let's Himself be Seen

In another sense, he's a God who hides and never lets himself be seen. In the context of Isaiah 45, idolaters and idol makers were promised that they'd surely suffer shame, disgrace, and frustration. They'd seek God but never find him. Idols are not just statues and images but things we overvalue and set up as idols in our hearts. And this can include our families, loved ones, career and job, positions, self-importance, achievements, titles and degrees, material possessions, church building, church denomination, ministry success, church membership or how big and moneyed your church is, and the likes. 

And in this sense, many are guilty idolaters and idol makers, even born again believers. They think they've found God but God just stacks them together with non-believers. Once upon a time they found salvation but later on just followed after the world, thinking that to be seeking after God. Genuine seeking God is following after him through his Word and actually catching him. That's being God's flesh. And when you catch him you never want anything else in life. But if you continue to be pressed hard by other things and succumb, you haven't started running after God. What you've been doing is nothing but idolatry.

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