by Sharon Tubbs
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” –James 4:8 (NLT)
As a child, I used to play hide-and-seek. Whoever was “it” would count to ten, while the rest of us hid. We scrunched behind the couch, hovered in the closet, peeked from behind fat tree trunks. Most times, the “seeker” found us. After all, there weren’t many new hiding places around our yards and in our homes. Only occasionally would the seeker have to give in and cry defeat: “Come out, come out wherever you are!”
I’m reminded of this as I think about how we play hide-and-seek with God. At times in life, it seems He’s hiding from us. We want circumstances to change or we’re looking for answers, yet the Creator of the universe is nowhere to be found. So we cry out to Him, longing and searching for a breakthrough, as if He were a playmate gleefully hiding out of view.
In spiritual hide-and-seek, however, our motive for “seeking” God should be altogether different than the childhood game. We look for Him, not because God is hiding or lost, but because we are. The Amplified version of Psalm 70:4 tells us what seeking God really means: May all those who seek, inquire of and for You, and require You (as their vital need) rejoice and be glad in You…
When we truly seek God, we make Him vital to our lives; we make Him our No. 1 priority. When we don’t seek Him, we get lost in the cares of the world. It’s so easy these days to be distracted from our spiritual purpose by society’s definition of “living life to its fullest.” We focus on career ambitions, outer appearances, on unhealthy relationships. We scroll postings on Facebook and Twitter and envy the images of so-called success that we see in other people’s lives. Sometimes we just become self-absorbed, caring only about ourselves and our immediate families, unconcerned with God’s calling to impact a continually dying world.
All of those things can put us in the “wrong place” in life. That’s where we feel weary about our past and uncertain of our future. That’s where we become burdened by doubt and regret and our spirit cries out to God: “Come out, come out wherever You are!”
Still, God is so faithful that He will reveal Himself if we seek Him with all our heart. He doesn’t want to be apart from us. He’s not playing games, lurking on the side of the garage or hiding under the bed like our childhood friends. With each step we take toward Him in prayer, in studying His Word and focusing on His truth, God makes His presence all the more known to us. “Come close to God,” the Bible says in James 4:8, “and God will come close to you.”
Sharon Tubbs works with the Women’s Ministry at Grace Family Church. She is also an inspirational speaker, author and business owner. As she continually strives to reach her potential in Christ, Sharon’s joy comes from inspiring others to do the same by truly seeking and knowing Him.