This is part three of a seven part series of devotionals based on “Oceans” by Hillsong United. If you missed the beginning of the “Oceans” devotional series, click here.
I loved to play hide and seek as a kid, but I’ve also played the game quite a bit as an adult. Youth pastors, like myself, sure do love some games! What’s great about hide and seek – no, the best part of hide and seek, is finding the perfect hiding spot.
While working at various churches over the years, I have found myself scouting out the best hiding spots well before youth group, just preparing ahead of time for the inevitable game of hide and seek.
Hiding can be fun when we play it as a game, but it becomes very dangerous when we play it as a life style.
You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. -“Oceans”-
When we learn to hide, we also learn to cover a piece of ourselves from others. In other words, hiding leads us to learn how to shield ourselves from God.
I’m not completely certain why we do this, but hiding seems like it is an inherent trait of humanity. We don’t want God to have to see us like we really are, we want to be all nice and clean before we go toHim. Maybe we hide because we think God is too holy to deal with the dark portions of ourselves. Maybe we think He doesn’t care or have time for our petty problems. All of these reasons, and the countless others we concoct, are direct results of fear. We’re afraid of what God may or may not do.
So we hide because we are afraid, but God calls us out of hiding, just like He did with Adam and Eve. They hid, but God came and called them out from their hiding spot. Let’s face it, hide and seek wouldn’t be a good game to play with God!
Nobody seeks us out with more veracity than God.
That’s the thing, we think we have a really good hiding spot, that no one will ever find us there and we can win the game. But is it really winning? Sure, if you never want to heal, never want to live free. But that’s not what I want, I don’t want to find the best hiding spot. I don’t want to “win” the game, if that’s what winning means. I desperately want to live in close proximity to God, and in order to do that God must prune away all of the dead branches that keep me from growing closer to Him.
So God calls.
God calls us out of hiding, calls us to Him. He is standing right there, just like He was with the first ones who sinned and that’s what He does with us now. He calls. How do we respond?
I love God so much – I mean, how amazing is it that the Creator of the universe – of everything, of us – loves us so much that He wants to be in our lives? I’m not just talking about going to church on Sunday, volunteering, and attending a Bible study kind of life. I’m talking about really, truly, 24/7 being in the center of our lives.
In order for us to walk with God on a moment to moment kind of basis, we must allow Him to remove our idols, our sin. He’s so good that He takes His time in this process, not overwhelming us with all that needs pruned.
He’s calling us away from everything that stands in the way of us being close to Him.
He’s calling us away from our way of living – the hiding and fearing way – to His perfect way. He wants all of us, not just the parts of us that we think are acceptable.
He wants all of us.
So He calls.
What is it that God is calling you out of? Maybe it’s negativity. Maybe it’s jealousy. Maybe it’s debauchery. Maybe it’s self-loathing. He’s calling you out of your hiding spot, do you hear Him?
He’s calling, “olly olly oxen free.”
Reflect on the first verse of “Oceans”-
“You call me out upon the waters
the great unknown where feet may fail.”
Reread the verse several times and allow the Holy Spirit to bring forth a word, phrase or concept. When something emerges take time to reflect on what has come forth. Think about how that concept is relevant to your life. Ask God to guide you in this process, allowing Him to take you where He wants you to go.
Thank you for loving us so much that you want us to be whole and close to you. We know you are always there, it’s us who are distant. Help us to trust you. Help us to see that living your way is the only way, because it brings us healing and closeness with you. There is no better way to live than to live aware that you love us and are with us. Thank you so much for saving us from this sinful world and giving us the option to grow into you. We love you. Amen.