I grew up with a childhood friend that consisted of a friendship full of mischief, interesting conversations, and mainly lots of laughter. However, on this particular day it was anything but that. We were about nine years old sitting on her swing set talking about marriage and how we thought babies were made. I very confidently told my friend that babies are made instantly when two people kiss at the altar. She was listening in awe, wondering how I had all of this wisdom. She then stated that she will never get married because she didn’t want to have children, and if children are made once the couple kiss, then she definitely didn’t want to get married. Right as we were finishing our conversation, I turned around to see my friend’s sister listening in on our conversation. When she noticed we spotted her, she quickly ran to her other sister to share about our topic of conversation. I look back now and laugh because I realize the innocence in me and my friend’s conversation (and now know that she probably ran to laugh at us). But at that moment in time, I thought I was in big trouble… So much trouble that I quickly ran to my friend’s closet and hid.
Isn’t it interesting that when we do something wrong (or something we think is wrong), often times our first instinct is to hide? You struggle with lust, so you keep it a secret that only you know about at night when lustful thoughts start attacking you. You lack self control with money and splurge all the time. Instead of talking about your splurging with someone, you burry yourself in debt after debt after debt and continue to spend more and more and more. You long to read the Bible more and know more about Jesus, but you can’t seem to make time. So instead of carving out a designated amount of time for him each day, you add tasks to your list so you can live by the excuse that you’re too busy to cut out a lot of “Jesus time.” You hide behind excuses.
Adam and Eve also hid.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
The reason we hide is because that’s how the enemy works. We mess up and he quickly comes in to try and isolate us. We’re weaker when we’re alone. We’re more likely to fall again and be susceptible to more of his attacks.
The one lie I can’t stand is the lie that we’re alone. The enemy loves to make us feel like we’re the only one’s dealing with an issue. If we mess up, the devil will try to cast condemnation to make us feel like we’re the only one dealing with a particular issue and that issue is something God wouldn’t be happy about. He convinces us that the only logical answer is to hide whatever we’re dealing with and try to fix it on our own… he tells us not to talk to Godly leaders or confess it to God — that’s a big no-no.
I’ve always been a hider. Anytime I faced a stronghold in my life, I kept it a secret. I didn’t want to be condemned for facing what I was facing and I didn’t want to disappoint God. What’s interesting about the thought of not talking to God is that God already knew. He knew what I was going through and He knew that I was purposely keeping it a secret. Yet, He’s the one that holds the freedom to be released of a stronghold. He was just waiting for me to confess it with my mouth.
I believe the reason God asked where Adam and Eve were in the Garden was not because he honestly didn’t know where they were located. I believe God asked where they were because he wanted them to confess that they were hiding something. Opening your mouth and confessing is the first step. As “AA meeting” as that sounds, it’s so true. Often times the hardest battle to overcome when trying to let go of a stronghold is the initial hurdle of confessing that there’s an issue.
God already sees everything. He knows exactly what we’re facing and knows what we will face in the future. He wants us to have open communication with him. He longs for us to be in such an intimate relationship with him that when an issue arises, he’s the first person we want to talk to — not another friend or family member. He wants us to go directly to him. The safest, nonjudgmental place to be is in God’s presence. When we take a stronghold to him, he sheds his light on the subject and allows us to see more clearly. It’s amazing how many times I allowed trivial things to distract me from so much for so long, but once I brought it to the feet of Jesus, I could see clearly.
There’s a song I absolutely adore by Steffany Gretzinger from Bethel Church called Out of Hiding. It’s a love song directed to us, spoken like it’s coming from God. Listen to it and imagine He’s saying this to you in your place of hiding.