In the Garden of Eden Adam, the first man, invented the game of “hide and seek.” After he sinned he hid from God because he knew he was naked. God came seeking him calling out “Adam, where are you?” not because He did not know but because He wanted Adam to know what he had done and the consequences for his actions.
Jesus, the Second Adam, came to replace the game of hide-and-seek with a new game – “to seek and save the lost.” Jesus calls us back to God with the voice of the Great Shepherd and there we find forgiveness and acceptance. In His arms we find value and meaning. In the safety of His presence we know we are safe and secure. From this place of confidence and assurance we can then move back out into the world (our new and bigger garden) with God and seek and save the lost.
This “new game” is almost always ignored by those who come in out of the night into the light. Once safe and secure in God’s arms they settle in forgetting what it was like ‘out there’ without God’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness. This is not as it should be. Once saved and walking with God we must recognize that we are no longer the centre of our existence – God is. He must be our focus. This is such an abrupt difference from our unsaved condition where it was all about us and only about us. Regretfully, often this switch is focus is not forthcoming after someone’s salvation and the person still remains the centre of their universe and the focus of their new walk. Their relationship with God is still self-centered and all about them – their needs, their wants, their hurts, their dreams, their desires, their comfort, their safety, their security… and on and on the list goes.
There is something wrong here. When we come into a relationship with God through a valid salvation experience of godly sorrow and repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-10) our focus will truly change. It will no longer be “hide and seek” but it must become “seek and save.” If not, then God is here to serve us and we are really still ‘lord’ of our own life and He is not Lord, only Savior – which, I don’t believe, is a biblical possibility. You cannot separate Saviour from Lord. He is both or He is neither. And, if He is Lord, then His agenda and His will is what it is all about and not our will, our needs, and our agenda. Salvation includes the losing of our self-centredness and the taking up a wider picture and understanding of the plan and purpose of God – seeing our role in His Kingdom because we are no longer focused on our own personal little and insignificant empire.
So, maybe, just maybe, many who claim to be Christians but who are still self-focused and playing the “hide-and-seek” game are really not converted and born again. They are simply using and abusing God for their own benefit and supposed gain. Maybe, we have a great number of people who believe, sincerely believe, that they are saved and thus okay with God when, in reality, they are not and are simply holding to another form or religion – but religion just-the-same.
This was brought home very clearly last night at Bethel Church in Moscow. I prophesied over a young man about his future – the opportunity God was offering to him, the potential God sees in Him and what God wants Him to grab hold of and become. It mentioned that he must become involved in winning the lost and seeking those of his own generation whop were lost. He is just a young believer and someone who has only recently begun to attend the church. He is not all fixed up, healed, and mature – he is simply a true believer. Well, after the service ended he went up to another young man who was attending the service for the first time having come with his girlfriend. And, because of his word just received he shared his testimony and the Gospel of the Kingdom and led the young visitor to the Lord.
That is what it is all about. Giving up ‘hide-and-seek’ and picking up ‘seek and save the lost.’ What game are you currently playing?