Intro From Bill Yount:
I have known Randy and Barbara Walter for twenty-some years and have witnessed their faithfulness in digging the trenches in the dark places of the Chesapeake Bay Area in Maryland and Virginia.
This powerful word, "Where Do You Hurt? Where Do You Hide?" goes with what I have been hearing the Lord saying recently to all of us and the nations: "Olly olly oxen free " It comes from a children's game similar to Hide and Seek and means, "All ye out there come in free." Meaning that anyone still hiding out can now come back into the group without fear of being tagged or penalized. This word will burn the roots of many of our surface problems and set us free.
Blowing the Shofar Ministry
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"Where Do You Hurt? Where Do You Hide?"
When a couple requested our advice for their marriage and ministry, I asked the Lord how to respond without sounding critical or judgmental. He instructed, "Don't ask them what they have or have not done. Ask, 'Where do you hurt and where do you hide?'"
"Hide from what? I'm not hiding," most of us think. The Lord continued, "Suppose 'hiding' was defined as failing to place your whole confidence in Me? It would be the condition of fallen man."
Man first hid in the Garden of Eden. "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'" (Genesis 3:9-10).
Adam and Eve's fear was not an awareness that they were without clothing, which they had never worn or even seen. They perceived that the mantle of God's glory, which once covered them, was gone. Now their flesh had to provide its own protection. They recognized nakedness as vulnerability, became afraid, and hid. Think of the height from which the first man and woman fell. They had walked and talked with God daily, face to face. They trusted Him without reservation. They were immortal and knew no fear. Suddenly, all that was irretrievably lost.
The serpent made Eve believe God was holding out on them. "Did God really say you couldn't eat everything in the garden?" Satan taunted. Then he lied, "You won't die if you do, but you will know everything God knows and be like Him." Satan tempted Eve with envy and self-seeking, which produce rebellion and every evil thing (see James 3:16). With the knowledge of good and evil came the realization that Adam and Eve exchanged life for death and forfeited the intimacy they had with God. Imagine the agony and shame of their new reality! When they hid from God, they were trying to hide from their fear and pain. They hid because they hurt. (Photo via Pixabay)
Men have been hiding ever since. Jonah ran away. Gideon concealed himself in a winepress. David feigned insanity.
Peter denied who he was. Job declared he would not hide if God stopped frightening him.
Hiding From God
No matter how we hide, all hiding is hiding from God. Demons try to hide what and where they are. Hiding is an attempt to obscure something. One of the meanings of "occult" is to be hidden, referring to secret knowledge and practices. But where can we hide from God?
"Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?" says the Lord; "Do I not fill Heaven and earth?" says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24
It is futile to hide from God, yet men try to camouflage themselves in the world that accommodates their fears. It's the only place dark enough that they think God won't see them. John wrote that men "loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed" (John 3:19-20).
The world accepts its own by telling them it's okay to ignore God. Repentance is the only thing that transforms the way we act. It is not just telling God we're sorry and asking His forgiveness; it is changing the way we think, which alters our behavior.
How Do We Hide?
I hid in the world before I repented and was spiritually reborn. Yet hiding was a habit which accompanied me into my new life. Now I see hiding for what it is – SELFISHNESS, and I recognize the things I have hidden behind since I became a Christian. (Photo via Pixabay)
See if you can relate to any of these places where I have hidden:
• Religion – A religious spirit impedes intimacy with God; it has a form of godliness but no real power (II Timothy 3:5).
• Intellectualism – Talking about big ideas to make an impression without making a commitment (I Corinthians 4:20).
• Ability/Giftedness – Finding identity in what we do rather than who God says we are (Ephesians 2:8-9).
• Self-pity – Entitlement which panders for sympathy (Psalm 69:20).
• Unforgiveness – Inability to release the past (Philippians 3:13).
• Shame – Feeds fear and an orphan mind-set (II Timothy 2:15).
• Procrastination/Perfectionism – Waiting until conditions are perfect before moving ahead (Psalm 119:60).
• Man-pleasing – Changing who we are to meet the expectations of others and manipulate them (I Thessalonians 2:4).
• Church – Putting in an appearance to be seen by men (Matthew 23:5).
• Ministry – Using position as a front to impress rather than a platform to serve (Mark 9:35).
• Duty – Joyless obedience reduces Christianity to just another belief system (Hebrews 12:2).
• Personal Appearance – Relying on how we look (good or bad) so people won't know the real us (I Samuel 16:7).
• Entertainment – Making life about gratifying ourselves rather than pleasing God (Romans 13:14).
• Comparing – Either makes us feel superior or inferior, but seldom equal (II Corinthians 10:12).
• Resisting/Stubbornness – The opposite of being humble and teachable (I Samuel 15:23).
What Are We Afraid Of?
We can actually hide behind experiences we don't initiate:
• Rejection – Being misunderstood or disrespected can make us doubt our identity and destiny (Luke 21:12-13).
• Abuse – Mental, emotional or physical/sexual abuse can produce a martyr spirit and victim mentality (Jeremiah 38:19).
• Abandonment – Calls our worth into question and produces fear that God will forsake us (Joshua 1:5).
• Disappointment – Making someone or something other than God our source (Colossians 3:5).
• Embarrassment – Being self-conscious rather than God-confident (Proverbs 3:5-6).
• Fear of the Future – Worrying about pain or lack (Matthew 6:25-34).
All fears stem from the fear that "God does not love me." To convince us of that, our enemy uses shame, false guilt and a sense of unworthiness. He does not want us to know the truth in John's first epistle, "God is love" (I John 4:8). No other Scripture captures His character so precisely and succinctly. (Photo via Pixabay)
Satan, our adversary, would make us believe God's love must be earned, that He operates on a merit system, and the requirements are out of reach. Our accuser wants us to think we will never qualify, that we have no hope, that our Father in Heaven has given up on us. That is so contrary to God's nature.
We suppose satan wants to make us sin. He really wants to make us ashamed, and sin is the way he does it. Then shame produces hiding and separates us from God.
The Orphan Spirit
After listing many dangers faced by Christians of his day, Paul asks in Romans 8:35, "Who (not "What") shall separate us from the love of Christ?" He is referring to satan, whom Revelation 12:10 calls "the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night."
When lucifer led a rebellion and was expelled with one-third of the angels, he fell "like lightning from Heaven" (Luke 10:18) and became the first orphan. Now he tries to persuade men, "Your fate is the same as mine." He uses fear to convince us.
The orphan spirit makes its victim anxious about provision and protection. That person expects failure, rejection and abandonment. He feels out of place, unwanted, unappreciated and alone. He is insecure about relationships and avoids genuine intimacy. He has trouble trusting others and is leery of those in authority. He embraces a victim mentality and interprets disagreement or correction as disapproval and disrespect. He is critical, judgmental and condemning. Anger and poverty often accompany an orphan spirit.
Hiding is a strategy satan uses to make us feel distant from God so we expect nothing from Him. Then the orphan spirit has free reign in our lives. God sent His precious Son to purchase our forgiveness with His Blood and secure our place in His family. It insults Him when we think and act as orphans.
"If you hide from God, wisdom will hide from you," the Lord told me. When we hide from God, we are hiding from His goodness. Romans 2:4 says the goodness of God brings a man to repentance. We are to be containers of His character and conductors of His power. Hiding from God is like erecting a NO TRESPASSING sign to protect the parts of us that we refuse to surrender. We don't want Him or others to see them – as if we could outwit the One who "searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts" (I Chronicles 28:9).
Hiding From Your Assignment
Christianity is comparable to a contact sport. However, many Christians wear the uniform without ever getting it soiled because they are not in the game. Like spectators, they only watch. It's better to get dirty or even hurt while engaged, rather than hide in the locker room or warm the bench on the sidelines. Displaying the jersey of our favorite sports franchise shows support, but it doesn't mean we're on the team.
God did not form any of us by accident. He has a blueprint for our lives. Each of us is uniquely made with gifts and a calling (Psalm 139:14), destined for His plans and purposes (Jeremiah 29:11). He loves us, and He doesn't want us to hide from Him. We will never be more fulfilled than when we do what He created us for.
God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). Part of repentance is coming out of hiding. God has given Believers "the ministry of reconciliation" (II Corinthians 5:18) to bring others out of hiding too. He wants to reconcile the world to Himself.
We are commanded to pray (Philippians 4:6), even while we await God's individual instructions to us. Don't pass the buck. God told the prophet in Ezekiel 22:30, "I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one."
How sad. Will you be one He can count on to pray?
Heavenly Father, rescue me from the hidden hurts I carry. Expose them, help me overcome them, and set me free.
Reveal how and where I hide, and help me repent for it. Forgive me for trying to hide myself and what I do from Your love and goodness. Forgive me for running from my calling, wearing Your name without displaying Your nature, and hiding my light when the world is in darkness.
Show me whenever I try to hide by acting as the world does, thinking like an orphan, trusting in my strength instead of Yours, and most of all, failing to put my whole confidence in You.
Father, forgive me for not praying, not conducting Your assignments with my whole heart, not using my spiritual gifts for Your Kingdom purposes, and not embracing the authority You give me. Help me love others with Your love, and bring them out of hiding.
Cause resurrection life to flow into my dead places, and the Blood of Jesus to cleanse me from fear that You don't love me. And help me always remember that You have my best interest at heart. In Jesus' name, amen.
Randy and Barbara Walter
Shiloh Ministries | Salisbury Revival Prayer Network
Randy and Barbara Walter conduct Shiloh Ministries on Maryland's Eastern Shore, emphasizing intercession and the prophetic, and facilitating seminars and workshops. They have interceded on-site and led prayer journeys at hundreds of locations through their Chesapeake Revival Prayer Network. The Lord has assigned them to pray for awakening, outpouring and cultural transformation. For 25 years, Randy edited a regional Christian newspaper called the Manna. Randy and Barbara have ministered together throughout their 33 years of marriage. They have recently published their sixth book, Where Do You Hurt? Where Do You Hide?
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