DayBreaks for 04/30/15 – Choosing Hiddenness

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DayBreaks for 4/30/15: Choosing Hiddenness

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

John 3:18-21 – There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.  19 Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.  20 They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished.  21 But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants.

In his book, God Is Closer Than You Think, John Ortberg relayed a story told by Dallas Willard about a little two-and-one-half year old girl named Larissa who discovered how to make mud pies in her back yard (in typical childhood fashion, she called it “warm chocolate.”)  Her grandmother was with her, but had been reading and didn’t notice that the little girl was literally covered in mud.  After cleaning up the mess, grandma instructed the little girl to made no more warm chocolate.  She even turned her chair around so that she could keep an eye on the little one.  It didn’t matter to the little girl, who simply said: “Don’t look at me, Nana.  Okay?”  Ortberg continued: “Nana (being a little codependent) of course agreed.  Larissa continued to manufacture warm chocolate.  Three times she said, as she continued her work, ‘Don’t look at me, Nana.  Okay?”  Willard writes, “Thus the tender soul of a little child shows us how necessary it is to us that we be unobserved in our wrong.”  Any time we chose to do wrong or to withhold doing right, we choose hiddenness as well.  It may be that out of all the prayers that are ever spoken, the most common one – the quietest one, the one that we least acknowledge making – is simply this: Don’t look at me, God.”

John says that this tendency to wish, even ask, that God not look at us is a sure indication that we are involved in sin.  Isn’t it silly how we try to convince ourselves that we can hide what we do from His eyes?  Yet we all do it, have done it, and will almost certainly do it again. 

It is quite a different story when we do what is right.  When we do something good, we’re all hoping that God is watching and that He hasn’t missed a moment of the good things we’ve been doing.  We want Him to see us then.  Just as we tried to hide from our folks when we were misbehaving as small children, we continue to repeat the pattern. 

It’s a tragic thing when we ask God to not look at us.  But there is one thing that is even worse.  It was experienced by Samson, one of the judges of Israel.  He had great opportunity and blessing by God, but his impulses got the better of him over and over again, and he broke the vows he’d made to God.  Near the end of Samson’s life is a terrifying statement: “But he did not know that the Lord had left him.”  Here’s what’s so frightening: the Lord had been with Samson on many occasions, but Samson had gotten so far away from God by pretending that God couldn’t see him, that the time came when Samson didn’t recognize that God had indeed left him.

What is your modus operandi?  So you spend more time hiding from the light of God, or running to the light so that your works, words and attitudes can be seen?

PRAYER: Give us confidence in Your character so we will never fear running to the Light! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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