Often the believer feels like God is hiding and we need to seek Him. It’s a spiritual game of hide and seek. However, this is really not the reality of the situation. Before you met God – God was not lost – we were. We didn’t seek Him – He came seeking and saving the lost – us! He initiated and we responded. He loved us first and, as a result, we can now love Him in return. This is the secret to our spiritual lives – He initiates and we respond.
So, then a time comes when His presence cannot be felt and you are not experiencing Him in your daily walk. At this point we “go searching for Him” as if He is hiding on us and from us or has moved to some distant place? Why is it that we immediately begin to initiate things – which, in reality, is moving from walking in the Spirit to walking in the flesh?
You wake up one morning and you don’t feel God’s presence. You read your Bible and it seems that nothing speaks directly to you. You pray and it seems like your prayers don’t make it past the ceiling of the room – and they definitely are not making it all the way to the throne room of your God. And, what do you do? You go seeking to find Him as if He was lost. You send out a search party.
You examine your life to see if there are any sins that have crept in recently that might have separated you from your God. You switch versions of the Bible to see if the fresh wording of a different translation will help you get in touch with him once again. You pray – but with fasting this time. You worship more, pray in tongues more often and longer each day, you seek others to help you. But usually nothing works. God remains hidden.
It is as if God has run away and hidden Himself and you now need to go and seek Him. Like the kids game of “Hide and Seek” we all use to play. So, now you initiate and you hope He will respond. Backwards from everything that has gone before in your relationship with God.
Well, I was reading the other day – sorry, don’t remember which author or book as I read three or four books a week and have a dozen or more on the go at any given time. The author mentioned the “omni-hiddeness” of God. That, at times, God just does not allow us to experience, touch, or taste His presence. That God in His wisdom chooses to remove any sense of His presence.
Theology (the study of Theo – God)tells us that God is omnipresent – He is everywhere present. There is not a place in creation that you can go to get away from God’s presence. But, in the quietness of your prayer closet – it is TOO QUIET. God apparently has made an exception and is not present with you as you can’t feel or sense Him. But the Bible says He is omnipresent.
Here is your choice. You can go out and play spiritual hide and seek or you can simply rest in the knowledge that God is everywhere present at all times – even when you cannot feel Him and are not experiencing Him. He is and always will be omnipresent but at this point in time you are not experiencing His manifest presence. The choice you need to make is – that the Word is always true even when you are not experiencing what the Word states. That if the Bible states that God is omnipresent – and it does – then even when, in our experience, He seems omni-hidden the truth still remains the truth.
Many years ago I was pastoring a young church that was growing very quickly and woke up one day to no longer feeling the presence of God as I had been accustomed to doing. Since the night I was saved I could always know and experience God’s loving touch and hear His voice very clearly and without doubt. Now, years later, that all disappeared. Nothing. And it remained nothing for 5 years, 2 months, and 2 days. Then, the next morning I rolled out of bed and boom I was back hearing, sensing and touching God.
I learned in that time to simply walk by faith and not by “sight”. To believe God’s Word regardless of what I was personally experiencing. To stand up and preach (only 3 times a week back then) God’s Word without feeling anointed or empowered. To pray for the sick without a Word of Knowledge or without ‘feeling’ the healing anointing I had been accustomed to feeling and walking in.
It was a tough time and one I cried out to God to take away. But, I very quickly came to understand that this was His will for me and that I should accept the situation for what it was – from God. And, that God caused this because He loves me.
Looking back at it many years later I realize now what a precious time it really was and how many lessons I learned – valuable lessons – during that time. I would not trade that 5 years, 2 months and 2 days for all the gold in the world. Never! It was one of the greatest blessings the Lord ever gave to me.
And, now, thanks to my recent reading I have a word to describe this “hide and seek” experience -“omni-hiddenness”.