When we were children there was nothing more fun than playing Hide and Seek with our friends. However, before we could walk and talk, a prerequisite game is learned called Peek-A-Boo. Parents tease their babies by first putting their own hands over their faces for a nano second. Parents then take away their hands with shouts of, “Boo!” “I see you!” We all do it, we all did it. These games seem primal to our being. Hiding and seeking are part of our generational DNA. When we stay in hiding, it becomes a problem—a crisis, really.
It all began with Adam and Eve, the first humans, made in God’s image, by God Himself. God loved his created humans. God gave them all they would ever need. God also gave them free will to make choices. God wanted to simply be loved back by His created because they chose to love Him, not because they were forced to love Him. God’s wisdom of love asks, what kind of love is that? Forced love is no love at all.
Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden with no reason to hide—until they chose to turn from God to evil who enticed them to follow their own way, which ultimately was evil’s way to follow him into darkness. They did. God knew they did. God came to walk with them as usual but they could not be found. They hid from God. Here’s where the real crisis of heart begins for the world.
But God had a plan from the beginning of creation. That Plan was Jesus. Jesus came into the world to shine a Light in the Darkness, to save the world from all sin, to make a way for us to walk with God again. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV)
Those who do not believe remain hidden in the darkness that leads only to death. Jesus explains the real crisis of faith to a religious leader who is questioning Jesus, Son of God, with what seems to be a tiny faith sliver of God in him. Jesus sees the heart of Nicodemus and takes loving time to answer his questions while warning him of the real crisis at hand in the lives of people. “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God.” –Jesus
Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of darkness but walked away with a decision to make.
John 3:1-21, The Message
Born from Above
1-2 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”
3 Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”
4 “How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”
5-6 Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.
7-8 “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”
9 Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”
10-12 Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?
13-15 “No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”
We have a real crisis decision to make.
Do we walk with God in the Light of Life?
Do we choose Jesus as our salvation who sets us free to love God like He loves us?
Do we love each other in the Light of His love for us?
What are we hiding in the dark?
What are we seeking?
Isn’t it time to stop playing games and walk with God in a growing intimate relationship with Him?
Are we interested in truly and exclusively living our lives to please God? OR do we fall to merely pleasing the world around us, who pull us in all directions, distracting us from God with evil’s desire to destroy us?
Am I seeking the Light or hiding in the dark?
Pause, reflect, pray.
Lord and Savior,
Hallowed is Your Name, May Your Kingdom come and reign in us and all around us. May Your Will be done in every detail of our lives on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day a revelation of your glory and power. And forgive us our sins as we forgive those wo sin against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from all evil and evil’s schemes to bring us down and send us into darkness. For you have all power to bring us into the Light of our perfect Love. You want to help your created and beloved. You are the Victor over all. To YOU be all glory, honor and praise forevermore!
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.