Where are you is a very simple question; even a child can respond to it. This question implies that someone is looking for you. Little children often find it necessary to pose this question when they don’t readily see you. Usually, the response is, “Over here” or “downstairs in the kitchen.” So where are you?
God asked that same question of Adam after he and his wife had eaten the forbidden fruit. The first couple-Adam and his wife, Eve- had disobeyed God, and out of shame and fear had gone into hiding. Before the Fall, I believe there was excitement when God visited with them, but after they sinned, they hid. The very thing that brought them joy now brought fear and shame.
God knew exactly where they were, but He called out to the man anyway, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9 NIV) Adam responded, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10 NIV). Obviously, God posed the question not because He didn’t know where they were or what had happened, but was giving them the opportunity to come clean. As we see, God did get an answer to His question. So the question – where are you -- more often than not gets the desired response: an individual’s location is revealed.
Although God knew what had happened, He didn’t ask Adam, “What have you done? “Instead, He asked, “Where are you?” The consequences of their sin was more far-reaching than they had thought or imagined. They had believed the devil’s lies only to discover they’d lost fellowship with God, and not gotten what the devil promised them. Unfortunately, it was too late; they’d already disobeyed.
Sin has a way of bringing separation between us and God, and if we refuse to repent, we go into hiding, and continue down the wrong path we have chosen. Consequently, non-penitent Christians drop out of fellowship with God and other believers; they’d rather enjoy their sinful pleasures. They make all kinds of excuses for their sinful lifestyle, and accuse the church of being too critical and judgmental. What they really want is for other Christians to condone their evil lifestyle.
If you are a child of God, and you’ve been out of fellowship with God your Father, remember that He still loves you and wants you to come back home. For the record, He has started the dialogue; He is asking you, “Where are you?” Where are you in your Christian walk?
Are you intentionally living in sin? Are you now unable to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice? I encourage you to respond and come clean like Adam did; in other words, tell God what He already knows about your situation, and seek forgiveness. No matter how far away you’ve roamed, He will forgive and restore you to sweet fellowship; He’ll forgive the past and give you a fresh start. Although the Israelites sinned against God repeatedly, He promised forgiveness and restoration if they’d repent. God has not changed; He is still making all things new! See Isaiah 43:25-44:1-5)
The Psalmist knows this truth from experience. He said in Psalm 130, “With you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:4 NIV). He encouraged Israel based on this truth. He said in that same chapter, “O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins” (Psalm 130:7-8 NIV).
Are you ready to come home? The door is opened wide, and the Father is waiting to hear your expression of repentance. However, if you continue to live in sin, you are declaring you’ve never been born again. “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him….No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:6, 9 NIV). If you don’t think you’ve been born again (it’s not unusual to have doubts), here is your chance; you can have this experience this very minute. Confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness through his Son, Jesus Christ, and He will forgive you. “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:45).
Do you know where you are? Are you hiding from God and other believers? Come home to a Father and family who love you, and be restored to a loving fellowship!