Have you ever seen a toddler play hide and seek? They’ll sit in the middle of the room, put their hands over their eyes, and be convinced no one can see them because they, themselves, can’t see. It is an instinctive tactic and our childish innocence allows us to believe it’s effective.
I wonder how many of you, like me, when you were little and scared at night pulled the covers over your eyes, following the same logic. It’s the same level of intellect at play when we, as adults, hide from God’s Word. And yet, should we take our hands down, we will see Him there, surrounding us. Nothing is hidden from Him, including the fact that we think we can plug our ears and chant “na na na na na” and not hear the very words of our Creator.
And yet, this is often our thin excuse to ignore His words and instructions. If we don’t read them, we can say they don’t apply to us, that someone else told us differently so that other person must be right, that God’s words have somehow been rendered irrelevant, or that we are somehow so special that we have no duty or obligation to Him. The list goes on. But the reality is that we are still just like that child sitting in the living room floor.
For most of my life I ignored the glaringly obvious word of God Himself because I was told it did not apply to me. As if the words of the Creator of all had somehow been rendered disposable, irrelevant, used up, relegated to the back room or a weekly visit in the nursing home to placate Him. And I, a professing Believer in the omnipotent Creator of the universe, fell for it.
By His grace and mercy, I’m on the other side of that now. I’m discovering and devouring His Word with new eyes and a Holy Spirit driven heart that relishes every precious morsel of meat, having an appetite far beyond what milk could every satiate and realizing that every bite, every morsel, every crumb, holds untold blessings when applied to my life. I realize what all I missed, and I mourn the years of vain worship and sacrifice. It grieves my heart when I think of the years spent not opening the carefully wrapped gifts from my Father. So when I see these gifts collecting dust in the lives of my brothers and sisters I want to hand them over and say with an excited voice “Look what Father got you!! Open it!! Open it!!” But that’s not how this works in our world. Some will not see it. Not can’t, but won’t. You see, it is not an accident when a Believer does not open the Word of the Father. It is a decision.
It is not an accident when a Believer does not open the Word of the Father.
It is a decision.
He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:31
Yes, it can be frustrating and disheartening when believers ignore and avoid the Word, but that battle is not ours and pressing will only cause the neck to grow stiffer. Why do I say believers? Because this is our first line. If God’s own people do not hold his word in authority how can we expect others to? Even so, we must also be mindful of the fact that we were where they were five spiritual minutes ago and we are surely still lagging behind in ways the Father, in His mercy, has not shown us just yet.
We must pray, be kind, tend our own gardens, and maybe others (believers and unbelievers) will begin to wonder why the fruit there is so much sweeter. In the meantime, if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if you were to rise someone from the dead. You can’t convince someone to see something they have willfully closed their eyes to.
What to do, then? Love them where they are at. Truly love them. Where they are at. We have been shown so much grace by the Father that surely it is a small thing to show it to others. Grace upon Grace He has given us. More than enough to share. Tend your own garden and encourage them in theirs when the Father presents an opportunity.
Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Read your Bible.
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