Ever play hide and seek as a kid? I did and I even play it as an adult with my kids. It’s lots of fun isn’t it? Why is this simple game without many rules so much fun? All you do is choose someone who will count to a predetermined number, while the other players run and hide. After the counter reaches the predetermined number, they then head off to find those who have hidden in the specified playing area. After an allotted amount of time the game is called to an end and either the hiders have been found or not and those that have not are to come out of their hiding spot. That’s the basics of the game, of course, some may choose to tweak, embellish or improvise a few additional rules to help spice up the game, but the basics remain the same.
Well, the other day I was reading scripture and I came across this verse: Hebrews 11:6, which says “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (KJV) This verse really sparked some interest in me, so I then dug in to understand it more completely. Here’s what I discovered:
You see we all have faith as scripture declares: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 KJV) Notice the small little word: “the.” God has given not a measure of faith but the measure of faith to everyone. In other words, we all start on the same playing field (hence the reason for the reminder at the beginning of the verse to think soberly of ourselves). It’s up to us what we do with our faith from there.
Faith is like a grain of corn, placed in our heart. Will we grow it or let it die? Many have done nothing with it so there it sits still waiting to fulfill the purpose residing within it. They may have planted it by taking an initial step towards God but then gave up or simply moved through the motions never really connecting with Him and they continually wonder why their lives have not been changed. But, simply planting the seed is not enough. The grain must germinate for there to be growth. In other words, the hard outer shell must be cracked open (apparently die) and the interior exposed to the elements surrounding it for it to begin to absorb the proper nutrients and for the beginnings of growth to occur. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24 KJV)
However, the key to keep something growing like a grain of corn or wheat is to not only plant it but also to 1) nourish it with water and 2) sunshine and of course 3) keep anything from coming by and devouring it.
So, what are the analogies we can use for watering our faith? The prominent thing is of course the words we use. “The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.” (Proverbs 18:4 KJV) “…The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith…” (Romans 10:8 KJV) “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8 KJV) Hence, our words can either increase or decrease our faith depending on our attitude because of course our words are a result of our inner attitude.
Yet, it’s not just our words that water our faith it is more importantly God’s word that can sustain our faith. “… even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (the church); that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…” (Ephesians 5:25-26 KJV) “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38
Water is usually provided for through rain that falls, which of course can symbolize our difficulties and pains in life but God encourages us in these things as well. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1-Peter 1:7 KJV)
Besides water, our seed of faith requires some sunshine. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11 KJV) “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3 KJV) “Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.” (Isaiah 60:20 KJV) “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Malachi 4:2 KJV) “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:43 KJV) Hence, God is our sunshine and he illuminates his will and ways to our hearts when we praise, thank and obey him.
Lastly, we need to protect the seed from predators that would come along and devour it before it is ready for harvest. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1-Peter 5:8 KJV) I have addressed this idea in my recent blog entitled “Weakening Discouragement” so I won’t get into this here outside of giving one more scripture quote: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 KJV
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 KJV) This is the summary then of how we grow our faith by hearing and speaking the word of God, and by implementing it in our lives. Additionally, this is what pleases God, that we grow our faith, which will move us closer to God. The only reason we would be willing to grow our faith is upon realizing our need for God and believing that 1) there is a God and 2) we’re not it. Once we have these things figured out, then we have fulfilled the first part of God’s promise to us in Hebrews 11:6 (“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is…”)
Ah, but as we all know, promises go two ways. If one party does their part, then the other party is obligated to do their part. In this scenario, it is God who is obligated to us if we have been growing our faith and coming to him as a result. What is God obligated to do according to Hebrews 11:6? (“…and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”) Reward Us! How cool is that?
God will reward or bless us if we diligently seek him. As we already discovered part of the diligently seeking is allowing our faith in him to grow. However, here the two words diligently and seek him come from the same Greek root word and imply such investigation and determination as to leave no question in the mind. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2-Timothy 2:15 KJV)
When we seek after God with all our mind, heart, soul and spirit what will be our reward? I believe we will find that our needs are met for food, drink, clothing, shelter, protection and every good thing. Please be aware, however that there is a true difference between our needs and wants (just read my blog entitled “Need VS Want”). “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2-Chronicles 7:14 KJV) “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psalm 9:10 KJV) “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.” (Psalm 22:26 KJV) “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” (Psalm 34:10 KJV) “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” (Proverbs 28:5 KJV) “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:25 KJV) “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (food, drink & clothing) shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33 KJV)
However, I believe our greatest reward in seeking God is in finding Him. After all do you remember what fun and giggles ensued as a result of finding the one who was hiding? “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV) “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV) “…I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1 KJV)
Finding God is not that difficult if we simply begin to look for him. It’s as easy as hide and seek. You see God is acting as both the counter and the hider. We have been chosen to be the seeker and there is a limited amount of time available to us, of which none of us knows exactly how much, to find Him. He has hidden himself all around us: in the beauty of a painted sunset, the quiet of a relaxing moment, the smile of a stranger, the gentle touch of a loved one, the playfulness of a child, the song of a colorful bird, the pain we feel in saying goodbye, the tears of the hurting, the loneliness of the imprisoned, the wisdom of the aged, or even in the laughter of those playing a simple game of hide and seek. I would encourage you today to play along and discover for yourself the rewards of seeking!