You’ve got to admit, if there is a God, He must be pretty big. That would mean it’s pretty hard to hide. Yet God can hide Himself from us, just as He can reveal himself to us. Although it may seem like a cosmic game of hide and seek, God promises that when you seek Him, you’ll find Him. (Recorded October 25, 1998)
Watch The Video
“For God does speak — now one way, now another — though man may not perceive it.”
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
1. A cosmic game of hide and seek that resulted in this web site
2. God can hide himself, and God can reveal himself.
II Kings 6:15-17
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
3. God promises when we seek him, we will find him.
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Thank you for revealing yourself to us.
Thank you for promising that when we seek you we will find you.
Lord, we commit right now to seek you out, to look for you, for Lord, we do want to find you, and be with you forever. In Jesus’ name,
Hi, this is Eric Elder broadcasting Live from The Ranch. I am glad that you are with me tonight.
I was thinking this week, that some people spend tens of thousands of dollars to build a studio that looks just like their living room. We actually broadcast directly FROM our living room. So it is sort of like you and me – whether your sitting there at home at the computer or sitting at work, on a break, and watching this message. So I just want to invite you to come in. I will just pray a little bit and we will just speak a little bit.
My main purpose in coming to you with these messages is that you would be encouraged in your faith in the Lord. God is everywhere. In fact, He is all around us. That does not mean He is in the trees. That does not mean He is in the earth somehow. But God is a VERY BIG GOD. In fact, if He created all of this and if He is really omnipresent, which means everywhere at once, and capable of being everywhere at once. Then, it would make sense that we are able to see Him occasionally from time to time. In fact, I would think it is pretty hard for God to hide at all from us. Yet, somehow He is able to reveal Himself and hide Himself.
A Cosmic Game of Hide and Seek
Tonight, I want to talk about that cosmic game of hide and seek. I want to encourage you and God especially wants to encourage you that THE SEEK is worth it. God promises that if you SEEK Him – YOU WILL FIND HIM. So I just want to encourage you that God is here, God is with us, and God is with us right now, too.
If you have not been with us before – would you take a look at the Message Notes on your screen? There is a little spot on the page that you came here from, and it says Message Notes. On that, there are some scripture references from the Bible. If you have a Bible you can look them up in your version – and if you do not have a Bible you can just read them on the screen (I typed them up beforehand, and you can take a look at that).
I am just going to play a song and let you clear your mind and just give you a chance to unwind from the day and let your mind have a little break. Why don’t you read that passage on that page listed from Luke? While you read that just ask God to open your heart and reveal Himself to you again today.
Job 33:14 For God does speak, now one way, now another thought man may not perceive it.
God does speak, now one way, now another though men may not perceive it. Do you realize that God is speaking all the time? It is just like your TV or your radio. Unless you have your TV turned on or your radio tuned to the right channel you are not going to hear any of it. God says, there is a way to get your channel tuned into Him, so you can hear Him 24 hours a day. He can reveal Himself to you and you can just put your hand up just like an antenna and start receiving prayers from God. Your receiving answers from prayers to God. It all comes through a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.
Maybe you have walked with Jesus for years or you are new to Jesus. Well, let me explain up front before we go any further, in explaining how God speaks.
1. You are only going to hear God speak when you can be reconciled with God. When we sin we turn away from God. We cannot hear Him when our back is to Him. We need to come back to God and say, “God, I am here and I want to do what you want me to do.” That is called REPENTING and it is just saying, “God, I have turned away from You and I have sinned and done things in my life that I know You do not want me to do. And now I am turning back.”
2. Then you need to BELIEVE that Jesus died for your sins so you do not have to. Otherwise, you would pay the penalty for those sins and you would die here on earth and in eternity. You would be separated from God forever if you continued to walk that way, not believing in Jesus.
3. You just need to RECEIVE Jesus into your heart and say, “Jesus, come into my heart and I thank you for forgiving me and I ask you now to come in and take over my life and be Lord of my life.” That is what it takes to get your antenna up and get tuned into God’s plan.
Now, back to hearing from God. We will pray with you at the end of the program if you would like to have some prayer regarding accepting Jesus Christ. I also want to talk to those of you who have been walking with God for years, because I think it will be an encouragement to you to hear that God still speaks now this way, now another. God does reveal Himself and sometimes He just lifts the veil right off our eyes. Let me take you to some passages where that happens.
God Can Hide Himself and God Can Reveal Himself
Let us start with the passage that you looked at in Luke 24:31. If you look down in that passage there is a part where He says,
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.”
Now this is about two men who were walking along the road after Jesus had died and they were lamenting over how Jesus had gone away from them. Jesus was disguising himself and hiding Himself from them so they could not recognize Him. He explained why Jesus had to come and why Jesus had to die. The men were walking along and asking Him all kinds of questions. Then they said, “Would you come and eat with us”, and Jesus looked like He was going to go on. But they begged Him to please stay and so He stayed. He broke bread with them and He handed it to them.
At the instant, that He broke the bread, they realized that it was Jesus and it says, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us.”
Unfortunately Jesus disappeared at that same moment. God is like that many times. We look and we look and we are seeking for Him and all of a sudden we say, “That is it God!” and He disappears just like a Dad playing hide and seek with His kids. He will be able to play hide and seek and His kids are looking for Him and it brings great delight to His kids. This is the same way that God brings delight to us.
It is not really a game to Him. He just wants us to search Him out just like you would search for someone that you loved. You would look for them and try to find them and you would do anything to search for your lover, for your mate, for someone you really loved and had a passion for. That is the way that God wants us to be with Him. And He promises that when we seek Him we will find Him.
II Kings 6:14-17
Let us look at another passage, this is back in II Kings. An older passage, but God also hid Himself and revealed Himself to a man named Elisha. Here Elisha was hiding; he was running away from a king who was trying to kill him. He was hiding with his servant in a particular place and it turned out that the king it says in II Kings 6:14,
Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
So here are all the horses and chariots of the king surrounding the city where Elisha and his servant are hiding. Verse 15 says,
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh my Lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.
Because he saw all the horses and chariots.
“Don’t be afraid”, the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more then those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Oh Lord, open his eyes so that he may see”. Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the enemy came down, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike these people with blindness.”
So they all became blind and could not even see Elisha. And he said, “He is not over here, he went this way, let me show you the way.” Elisha led them to another city and disappeared again. So God is not only able to reveal Himself to the servant but He was also able to strike the other people with blindness.
So God has the capability of revealing and hiding, revealing and hiding. I want to encourage you to LOOK FOR GOD. Look for God and He promises you will find Him.
Let us look at one more passage before we close for the night. This is in John 21 where Jesus once again reveals Himself to His closest disciples. In John 21:4-7
Early in the morning Jesus stood by the shore, but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friend, haven’t you any fish?”
So here the disciples are there and Jesus cries out to them “Friend, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
It says that they did not realize that it was Jesus.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some”. When they did they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” And as soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Here somehow the disciple whom Jesus loved, who we know as the apostle John, this apostle realized the act of hauling in this large number of fish was just like what He had done when He first called them. When he realized that this man said, “Throw your net in on this side,” and he caught the fish. He said, “That is just what Jesus did and in fact IT IS JESUS.” He was able to see that it was the Lord and he said, “It is the Lord.” They all recognized Him at that moment and ran to the beach.
God Promises When We Seek Him, We Shall Find Him
It is an amazing thing when God reveals Himself to us. I want to pray tonight that God would reveal Himself to us right now as we are speaking. If you look back in that passage in Luke that is exactly what He did. As soon as they were talking about it, God revealed Himself to them. In Luke 24 those two disciples, whom God revealed himself to and then disappeared from just like that, it says that those disciples went to the others. This is in Luke 24:33
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those assembled with them, and said, “It is true the Lord has risen and appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke bread. While they were still talking about this Jesus himself stood among them and said “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened thinking it was a ghost. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled and why do these doubts rise in your mind? Look at my hands and my feet, it is I myself!”
Even, as we speak about God revealing Himself, I pray God, right now, that You would reveal Yourself to me, to Lana as we are sitting here in our living room. I pray that You would reveal Yourself to the people watching, both live and as this is stored God, at their home or their office or wherever they are watching. I pray right now as we speak about You, that you would reveal Yourself in ways that we can’t imagine. I just pray that You would do it. In Jesus Name. Amen.
God has told me, when I began tonight. I asked Him what do you want me to tell the people? What do You want me to tell those listening? This is what God said to me, “Tell them I AM alive. Tell them to look for ME and I promise they will find ME.” Tell them I AM alive. Tell them to look for me and I promise they will find Me.
You know what, you may not believe me, but I hope that you will believe these words from scripture that promise the exact same thing.
Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
This makes since, because God wants to be found by you.
“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. ” Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?”
God Will Continue to Reveal Himself
I will close with one more Scripture after a song here, and I hope you will join me after the song. I just want you to say, “God, continue to speak to me. Continue to reveal Yourself to me through these scriptures.” If you want to look over the scriptures that I have given tonight, if you want to just pray right where you are. I’m just going to sing a song where God just said, “Go and tell the whole world about Me. Tell the world what I’ve done. Ask them to come and follow me, too.”
Thanks for joining me. I want to share one more scripture with you and then pray with you. Pray that God would continue to reveal Himself. Even as He did as I was singing the song, I was just thinking that God had given me that song a few years ago as I was praying for Brent, and praying that he would be able to stretch his missions activities throughout the world. He now runs his own missionary endeavor where he takes groups throughout the world and they are able to see what God is doing. I just pray that his ministry would be blessed as well.
I was also able to see that God has called me to preach the gospel throughout the world. Through this medium He is allowing me to do it. I am just thankful for Him that He would bring this to pass in my life.
Let me share this scripture, because it relates to The Ranch vision sketch. When we were living at that house, near the Dallas Cowboys practice field, I also got a verse of scripture that I heard for the first time. It struck me as very interesting, because God had shown me that He had brought me to that exact spot on the earth. He had known it a year beforehand. He had known exactly where I was going to live the following year. That was great comfort to me. Here in Acts 17, it says that is exactly what is going to happen.
“From one man God made every nation of men. That they should inhabit the whole earth and He determined the time set for them and the exact places where they should live.”
It hit me for the first time that God has determined the exact places where we will live. He determined that we would live right here. Now sometimes we can walk outside of His will. I cannot say that I understand how it all works and how God’s perfect will works out in the world. But I do know that God at that moment spoke to me and said, “Eric, this is exactly where I want you.” That was a great comfort to me for what was going on in other parts of my life at that time, just in knowing that God had me right where He wanted. You can know that too. You can know that God has you right where He wants you. And if you are not there, He will show you the way. If you seek Him, you will find Him.
Lord, I just thank you for this time with these friends. I know that you have called me to preach to them and to share with them an encouraging word in their faith. And it is not just because I want to share it with them, but You, Yourself, have said You want to speak to these people. You want to let Your words be known. I just thank You that You so much want to touch their hearts. As they are tuned in watching this God, they have their antennas up they are listening God.
Are You Wasting Your Life?
For anyone who doesn’t know Jesus Christ yet, I just pray right now with them, just say a simple pray with me, you can just repeat it after me, if you want, if you want to just accept Jesus Christ right now tonight. You do not need to wait any longer.
In fact, I watched Billy Graham last night do his first live Internet crusade from Tampa, Florida. On that crusade he told a story about a juggler who threw a diamond up in the air and was able to catch this diamond. He had bought this diamond at a great price; he spent all of his life’s savings to buy this diamond. He was also a juggler, and he was on this ship, taking his diamond back home with him.
He impressed the crowd saying, “Look at this, look at what I can do.” He would juggle that diamond, throw it up in the air and catch it and everybody would gasp. They would say, “Oh, that is great!” and they would clap. Then Billy Graham, went on to tell that the man got bolder and said, “Here, watch this!” He threw it up higher and caught it. Everybody clapped and was amazed. He said, “Now, I want to show you this. I’m going to throw it so high that it will go out of sight.” He took that diamond and he threw it up in the air and as he did the boat lurched, he lost his balance, the diamond fell down, hit the deck, and rolled into the sea. Lost forever, the man never got his diamond back.
Some of you are like that with your lives right now. You are playing with things in your life that are like fire and they are going to burn you. God doesn’t want you to get burned. You are taking something that is very precious, in fact, YOUR VERY LIFE, and you’re throwing it up in the air, trying to impress your friends. When actually you could just lose it in a moment! Just like that. God does not want that to happen. I do not want that to happen for you.
So tonight, do not delay any longer. Just say Lord, I do not want to waste my life. I want to be used for you. I want to repent from these things that are fire and are going to burn me. And I want to believe in you.
So just, pray with me and say,
“Lord, I am sorry. I am sorry for the things that I have done wrong. Please forgive me.”
Jesus says you are forgiven.
“Lord, thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for loving me and dying for me. I do believe in Jesus, I do believe He died on the cross for me. Thank you that He took that penalty for me so I do not have to endure that death. God, right now (say right now) I receive that free gift of eternal life, that Jesus is offering to me. Thank you Lord.”
I just pray that the peace that passes understanding would fill your heart. You would be filled with the joy, like all of us who are watching and all of us who are in this room, me and Lana, when we have done that and God has just brought that peace to us. I just pray that the peace would overwhelm your life as well.
Now, for you, who have believed and just need to catch a glimpse of God like we have been talking about tonight. I just want to pray for you.
Lord, I pray that you would reveal Yourself to us in new ways. Sometimes this way, sometimes that way, though we may not perceive it. I pray that God, You reveal Yourself to us that we would perceive it. Thank You for ever revealing Yourself to us. Thank You for Your promise that if we seek You we will find You. And right now I just commit and these people with me watching, commit to seeking You with our whole hearts and our whole souls. God we commit to that right now – we will seek You, we will read Your bible, we will look for You, we will pray for answers from You, for words from You, for visions from You, for dreams from You. Whatever, way You want to speak to us I just pray that You would speak to us. Fill these people up with Your joy, that passes all understanding, Your joy that brings laughter, Your joy that will get us through these days when we need your strength. For Your joy IS our strength.
Thanks for Joining Me
I pray that you will join me next week as well. I just ask that you would continue to come back and get some feeding from the Lord every week, from this. Have a look around the web site.
Also, if you want to chat for awhile after the broadcast, you can join us in the chat room. It is on the icon with the two chairs and you can come pull up a chair with us and just have a chat. We will be glad to talk with you. There are people that can pray with you, one on one. If you will just go into the chat room and we will be glad to pair you up with somebody or you can just join us all in the chat room. We will pray with you individually or talk to you as a group. Just enjoy the fellowship of common believers around the world through the Internet.
Thanks for coming, glad you are here! Come Back Again!