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For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

Adam tried it, so did Eve. They borrowed a couple fig leaves from a neighboring tree. But God came looking for them in the cool of the evening, right about the time they took their normal walk.

Moses tried it too. He ran off into the wilderness and just about the time he thought he’s succeeded, God ignited a bush with an eternal flame.

Elijah used an obscure cave for his game of deified hide-and-seek. But God sought him out with a fire and windstorm before he quietly whispered his name.

Jonah used extra-ordinary measures as well, using the sea as his method of escape, but God intervened and used a fish to bring Jonah to his senses.

Before you are too hard on these men of God, think of how you try to hide from God. It’s easy to try to hide from God through religious activities, work, and family duties. Usually we hide from God because we are afraid of what he will think of us. We may think that unless we do certain things he won’t approve of us or consider us ‘holy’. After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us to be ‘holy’? Aren’t we instructed to obey him?

When I was young and I’d misbehave I’d run to the closet to hide from my parents. My young mind had me convinced that I could hide from my parents long enough for them to forget my wrong or miss me so much they’d overlook my faults. Maybe you did that too. That tactic never worked for me. (Maybe I should have tried a different closet occasionally!) That tactic won’t work with God either. Some pretty important people have tried it.

So when you have failed for the 100th time; when you are ready to cash in all this religion stuff because you can’t make it work; when you find yourself not only doubting your own ability to succeed but doubting God as well, remember Colossians 3:3.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

That verse reminds us that when God sees you it’s like he’s looking through a lens named Jesus. He doesn’t see your sin, he sees Jesus’ sacrifice. He doesn’t see your failings, He see’s Jesus’ perfection. He doesn’t see your rebellion, he sees Jesus’ humility. When God looks at you, he smiles because you are hidden in Jesus. That’s grace!

PRAYER: Lord, I seem to try to fill my days with all sorts of good things to make you love me. I’d never admit that, of course, but in reality, it’s the truth. Forgive me for trying to earn your favor. Empower me to live in the favor I already have because of Jesus. Amen.

Where can I go to get away from your Spirit? Where can I run from you? Psalm 139:7 (NCV)

The internet has given us a new level of anonymity. Never before in history has it been easier to be ‘someone you are not’. It’s easy to hide your identity on social networking sites and be whoever you want to be. Want to be a 14 year-old girl, rather than a lonely 30 something male? There’s an app for that!

But hiding behind false identity isn’t something unique to the internet age. We’ve been hiding ever since Adam and Eve ate that forbidden fruit. Hiding from others and God isn’t new, we just think we’ve gotten better at it.

We can on a different face for each situation. We have our parent face, and our student face. We have a face we put on for our customer at the counter and a face we put on in the break room. We have a face we put on when we demand our own way and a face we put on when we’ve been humbled by our mistake. We humans have much more in common with the chameleon than we may want to admit.

Not only that, our enemy, the great Satan is the master of disguises. He puts on the face of religion to guide us away from the truth. He puts on the face of accusation to keep us defeated. He brings the face of worry into our lives to take our focus off God’s redeeming love and the protection of his Grace.

We fight the battle for ourselves on two fronts. On the one hand we can have so many different faces we struggle to keep them straight. Some of us have been using so many faces to hide behind we eventually forget who we are. We lose ourselves in a myriad of identities, none of which bring us the peace we seek.

On the other hand we fight against an enemy intent on bringing us to our knees in failure, agony and defeat. He uses people to remind us of our weakness and bring doubt into our lives. When necessary he uses his best weapon and infiltrates our minds with all sorts of lies about God, about whom we can trust and who we can’t, and most importantly, lies about the grace God offers us through Jesus Christ.

It is in the midst of this battle for ourselves we can find solace in knowing that our heavenly Father pierces through the darkness of deception to show us the light of his truth. The Psalmist reminds us that there is nothing hidden from our Father. We can’t hide behind some false identity, nor can we be deceived when we rely on his wisdom.

As one writer puts it, “We may elude the vigilance of a human enemy and place ourselves beyond his reach. [But] God fills all space—there is not a spot in which his piercing eye is not on us, and his uplifted hand cannot find us out.”

In the midst of the battle for who we are there can be a sense of urgency to get answers, to know the truth, to gain the victory. But our God is not governed by time. His victory is inevitable. His grasp of our needs is sure, he understands our weaknesses, his grace is sufficient for us.

Where can you hide from his presence? You can’t. Even if you wanted to. He sees every one of your faces. Better still, he knows the real you and is passionately in love with you.

PRAYER: Lord God, I thank you and praise you for filling every void in my life. There are so many dark corners of my mind that I run to hide in. It’s comforting to know your light penetrates even the darkest of places I go to. Protect me today from the lies I tell myself and the lies others try to make me believe. In Jesus name, Amen.

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139:8

Adam and Eve tried it. Right after they ate the forbidden fruit. Put a couple fig leaves on to cover up their nakedness and hid in the bushes. It didn’t work of course. Right on schedule he came walking down the garden path looking for them. I wonder what look he had on his face when he saw the new clothes?

David tried it too. Right after his one night fling with the girl next door. He was a little more creative in his attempt of course. He attempted to sweep the whole thing under the rug of secrecy. God showed he could play the same game however and came up with a nice little story, delivered by the prophet to show David the same lesson Adam and Eve learned. You can’t hide from God.

Years later, Jonah tried the more direct approach. He didn’t hide. He didn’t go in secret. He made no bones about the fact that he wasn’t happy with God’s decision and he would have no part of it. God, of course, wasn’t about to be strong-armed by the renegade prophets tactics. Through the use of a fish and a scraggly vine Jonah learned you can’t hide from God, you can’t run from God and his purpose will be fulfilled in spite of our rebellion.

In each situation the lesson each person learned was that you can’t run from God or hide from him. Usually we run or hide from something that scares us or endangers us. Not so with our Heavenly Father. He will seek us out. He will find us. But his search for us isn’t based on anger or revenge. His purpose isn’t for punishment or judgment. God seeks out his children to bring them home.

Your Heavenly Father is more concerned about showing you grace than showing your faults. He’s more interested in revealing his love than he is about revealing your sin. His actions are directed more towards showing you forgiveness through his grace than loading up the guilt for your failures.

When you find yourself on the mountaintops of life, remember that God is there with you, celebrating with you and enjoying the moment. When you find yourself in the depths, when the darkness seems overwhelming and you can’t find your way, remember that he walks with you along the darkened path of despair.

He’s not a hunter seeking to destroy some enemy. He’s a loving Father seeking to show you the fullest extent of his love and forgiveness. You are never really out of God’s sight. When you stray, he’ll seek you out for all the right reasons.

PRAYER: Father there are times I feel removed from you either due to my wanderings or due to other things that darken my path. I praise you for the fact that no matter where I am, whether on the mountaintop or in the darkest valley, I’m not lost. You will seek my out. Amen.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 (NLT)

Closed doors can send a variety of messages. We close doors for protection at night or when we leave home, making sure they are locked to keep out intruders. We close doors for privacy when we need time for ‘personal business’. We close doors for time to think about issues of the heart. Sometimes we close doors to hide. We could be hiding for simple reasons like a friendly game of ‘hide and seek’, of because we are guilty and afraid or ashamed. Generally speaking, a closed door means ‘do not disturb’.

Physical doors are relatively easy to deal with. We can see a door to a room or building and know if it’s open or closed. We can try the handle and tell if it’s locked or unlocked. In emergency situations we can break it down and enter by force.

The door to our heart is quite a different matter. The door to our heart is impregnable. We close the door to our heart for a variety of reasons. We close the door to our heart to protect us from further damage. We get hurt in love and vow never to be hurt again. We close the door to our heart due to fear. We opened it once and it was abused, neglected or stomped on. We are afraid to open it again because it may bring more pain. We close the door to our heart in anger when people or God don’t measure up to our expectations. We close the door to our heart when the feelings of guilt or inferiority are too great.

Perhaps you can add your own reasons to the list. Reasons why you have shut up your heart to others or to God. Some may be perfectly understandable. Others, you’d admit are suspect. Whatever the reason for your closed heart, here is something you need to know. Jesus is at the door knocking.

People knock at a door for two reasons. People knock at a door because they desire admittance. Let that sink in for a moment in regards to Jesus. He knows your heart. He knows every room. He knows every secret sin. He knows where you store the feelings of anger and hate and bitterness. He knows where the box of unforgiveness is stored and the jar of judgmental attitudes is found. Still, regardless of the condition of your heart, Jesus desires to come in.

The people in thechurchofLaodiceahad done some things that were repulsive to Jesus Christ. They are likened to a drink that is lukewarm when it should be hot or cold. Their condition is such that were they to be drunk, would be vomited out of a person’s mouth. Even so, Jesus longed to enter in. Such Grace! Such Mercy! Such Love!

Secondly, a knock at the door means that the person knocking realizes and respects the right of the owner to keep the door closed. I don’t have to open the door of my house, my room, my business to you. I don’t have to open the door of my heart to Jesus.

Jesus Christ will never force himself on you. He’ll always respect your right to choose, but he earnestly desires for you to choose him so he can enter in and built a relationship of love and grace. He earnestly desires to come in and help clean out the corners of your heart that haven’t been touched in a long time.

I grew up hearing sermons on this verse in a variety of ways to refer to winning the lost to Christ. While there may be some justification to that line of thought, the letter was written to the church. Jesus stands at the door and knocks and calls to us. Will you recognize his voice? Will you realize his desire to enter in to heal those damaged rooms of your soul? He’s waiting patiently. He’ll never force himself on you. He loves you too much for that.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you know my heart. You know the doors I’ve closed to you and others. You know the feelings of guilt and fear I have when I think of opening those doors. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Empower me by your Spirit to be willing to open myself completely to you. Every door. Every closet. In your name I pray, Amen.

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