Sometimes when I am getting ready to read in the Bible I have a particular issue I am thinking about and check different reference sources to find the reading I need to do in that topic. Other times I just try to pray a little and seek His guidance. Hoping He will put something in mind to read. And if I don’t feel something in particular from God I try to see if there is something around that it appears He is using to tell me something. Well. Yesterday I was trying to figure out what to study on and not getting answers. So. I thought maybe I will try doing some of the stuff I need to get done around here. Some of the things at my folks house I am sorting through are CDs and DVDs. Some of the CDs are for computer. I just grabbed a bunch and they were all mixed together. I looked. First was a gospel CD with the first song about the Garden of Eden. Hmmm, the next was a computer CD of about a 6 or so disc set the had Genesis through Judges. Hmm, Sometimes I miss the obvious clues He tries to give me. But it occurred God was suggesting Genesis. Ok. Got it. So. I did a bit more work and then decided to go ahead and read some. Not directly related to what I feel He wants me to write about. But He speaks to us in different ways. All we have to do is listen.
As as I read about Creation, the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve. And how they had tried to hide themselves from God. They were hiding because of shame. They understood their nakedness and they knew they had disobeyed God by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They knew they were wrong and were embarrassed for God to see them. But, He knew what they did and so did they.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. Genesis 3:8-10
I was thinking on that part, trying to hide from God and sort of themselves. I read next about Cain and Abel. When Cain killed Abel he tried hiding from God, with his words, by denying knowledge about his brother’s location when God asked Him. Cain tried hiding from God and himself but they both knew the truth.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
Thinking about that made me think about times I tried hiding from others because of shame. I wrote about my friend that I had betrayed. Well. For several weeks when he called I would tell whoever to take a message. When I saw him somewhere at school I tried to duck into a room so I didn’t have to face him. We both knew what I’d done. Not facing him didn’t change that truth. What it did was further compromise the friendship. I was hiding, punishing him to an extent, but more than that, punishing myself.
There were times I did something I knew would displease my parents. Some as a child but even as an adult if there were things I did they wouldn’t approve of, whether they knew about them or not. Now, let me take a minute to mention that no matter how old we get, our parents are pretty smart and usually KNOW when we have done something wrong. They may or may not know exactly what it was, but they knew I had done wrong by how I acted. Even as an adult, if I knew I was wrong about something, drinking maybe, and I didn’t want to face them I avoided them, I hid from them. Now, same as before, I sort of punished them, but more so punished myself by denying me the time with them, and having lost them both, I regret every time I avoided seeing them.
One thing I now realize is that in the case of my friend, I made a problem I created by how I treated him worse, by not dealing with him directly I cost myself what had been a good friendship. I was ashamed of one act, and made it worse with another. And, did the same thing with my parents when I avoided spending time with them out of shame. In both cases, they would have all likely forgiven me without a thought. Oh, my friend would have possibly been a little guarded, but we could have worked it out. My parents, they’d have forgiven me without a thought, oh, my dad may have given me a lecture, but that would have been it. I cost myself with my hiding, when, I wasn’t really because one way or the other, people knew I was avoiding them. And, I knew, making my shame and guilt worse when I could have addressed it all without a big problem I not tried hiding.
And, the same thing applies to me trying to hide from God, when I was not living right I didn’t go to church, denying me to opportunity to seek forgiveness from God, not getting the fellowship with other Christians, not getting the spiritual nourishment I needed. All leading to me getting further and further from God. But, through all that, I KNEW what I was doing wrong, I was hiding from shame. I was trying to hide from God, but HE knew, oh, He knew. And, when I finally stopped hiding, well, my life sure got better. It is not perfect, but its so much better than how I was before. I have my salvation, I have forgiveness, I have mercy and I have the relationship I wanted with God.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
I just had to come out of the hiding, I could confess my sin, seek my salvation through Jesus, the Son of God and have all things as they should be for me.
So, whatever you have done, whoever you think you are hiding from, that only makes things worse, because, you risk not restoring things with others and you aren’t hiding from the two from whom you most try to hide, yourself and God.
God, I come to you tonight, praying in Jesus name, asking for Your help and work in my life. Teach me not to try to hide from You and myself. That I not ignore my sins, but confess them to You to keep me where You want me to be in my Christian walk. I praise You for the promises You give assuring me that if I confess that Christ is Your Son, that His death on the cross and resurrection gives me life eternal. Give me the faith to continue work for You, the faith to trust in You completely and totally. I know You have strengthened my faith, please make it even stronger. Help me even better stand on Your word. I pray for family and loved ones, that You make their faith stronger, those not saved I ask You to draw to You and Your way. Those who are saved, I pray You strengthen them, work Your will and way in all our lives. I thank You for my salvation and the life eternal I will spend with You and Christ.
I appreciate your patience as I work through things to understand how I can better walk with Christ. I hope that something I find about my life and areas of needed improvement helps another. I hope something I say blesses you.