“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)

My four-year-old thinks I am quite talented. He was in awe when I knew he had been eating a cookie he hid under the chair. “How did you know Mom?”, he asks in utter amazement. My daily work is with children and it is almost comical when they get caught doing something because they lack the learned art of hiding. Sadly, as we grow, we do learn that art and as humans we are often tempted to hide things like children. We hide things we are ashamed of; we hide secrets that could get us in trouble; or hide aspects of ourselves that are unlike Christ.

As I thought about this tendency to hide things, it reminded me of the classic game of hide and seek. One person hides and another seeks. The Bible says Satan is a roaring lion “seeking” whom he may devour.

The problem with hiding is that we seclude ourselves. That seclusion is exactly what the enemy desires. When we are secluded with our shame and guilt, it puts us in a perfectly vulnerable place for attack. That place is the opposite of where God wants us. He wants us in the light. Forgiven. Filled with grace and covered with love. Instead, we hide and the enemy finds us. He does not whisper words of encouragement and redemption. He whispers words that are divisive, words that ultimately cause bitterness and more hurt.

Let the Lord give you the strength to quit hiding today. When you truly surrender and fall into His arms, He will speak words of forgiveness. Let Him shower you with grace and love. Let Him lead you into the light and begin to feel the forgiveness and love that only He can offer.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7, NLT

Most of us have things we have been asking God to do for many years and have still not had the answer we would like. It could be a loved one who is not serving the Lord. Often it seems the more we pray, the less desire they seem to have to make a change in their life . According to this verse, the Lord has heard our cry from the beginning and if we will just keep faithful in asking, eventually the door will be opened.

Years ago I remember listening to a minister at a Camp Meeting preaching about the woman who came to the judge asking for something. I can still remember him repeating, “She came every day.” Eventually he heard her cry and gave her an answer.

Sometimes the Lord answers a prayer right away, but many times we must wait. It may be to test our faith and see if we really believe that He will do it. Maybe that the thing we are praying about is not what He really wants for our lives. But I believe that when we are asking in His will, that He will answer when the time is right. So, we should never give up, just keep on asking and believing until we receive what we want from Him.

Prayer: Lord you know what we need before we ask, and we trust you to give us the right answers to the prayers and requests we bring to you.

Devotion by Anne Johnston