“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 6:31, NIV
From Genesis to Revelation, God exhorts believers not to be afraid. Join me this week as we venture to be fearless in a world packed with reasons to fear.
But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:10, NIV
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
These were the words of the person designated “it” in the game of hide-and-seek―a favorite after-dinner game in the neighborhood where I grew up. After counting to one hundred as fast as he or she could, the seeker would try to find those who were hiding. The goal was to hide so well that you couldn’t be found. The last one found was the winner, and then that person was it.
Being it was fun, but for me, the challenge of stumping the person who was looking for me was more fun. I hated to be found.
Today’s text is the first conversation recorded between God and Adam in the garden of Eden. Adam’s response to God’s “Where are you?” was “I was afraid … so I hid.”
Adam and Eve’s sin created a barrier between them and their Creator. The loving fellowship they’d shared in the garden was now broken. Sin not only brought a sense of shame to their lives, it birthed fear. And humankind has been afraid ever since.
Our sin separates us from our Creator and breaks our fellowship with Him. Just as Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves, we make foolish attempts to hide our sin from an all-knowing, all-seeing God. We strive to justify our sin with human logic, good works, and even silly humor, hoping to make it acceptable. God isn’t swayed by our logic, nor is he impressed by our works. He is not laughing. Instead, He longs to restore us and renew our fellowship with him. No matter how far we stray, God always comes looking for us.
Have you ever played hide-and-seek with a young child and left just enough of yourself visible so that you could be found? Chances are when you were discovered, you responded with laughter and a big bear hug. The fear that has dogged us all our lives is a lie—that God does not want us. Instead, He loves us. We should long to be in His presence, for being found out is not fun, but being found is freeing.
God went to extreme measures to restore fellowship with a fallen world. The blood of His only Son was the ransom that covered our sin. Are you hiding and afraid? You have no reason to fear the One who loves you and longs to be with you. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV).
Come out of hiding. Make yourself visible. I once was lost, but now I’m found.
I love it when I’m found.