‘Your face oh Lord I will seek’

girl-20878_640Psalm 27:8: When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” (NASB)

There are many things you can seek, but the best is to seek the face of God. The bible says that the one who isolates himself seeks his own desire (Proverbs 18:1), he seeks his own ways, but when you allow God to influence you (exposing yourself to him) as you seek his face, then you are okay. We are made to seek God, by all means, in all things, and at all times (Psalm 27:8).

The bible says that those who wait (do the work of a waiter) upon the Lord will renewed their strength (Isaiah 40:31), they shall mount up with wings like eagle, they shall walk and not be faint, they shall run and not go weary. Waiting for the waiter, is all about the facial expression of the one ‘being waited upon’, all about watching out for his facial signals (verbal or emotive) and taking action to please, fulfil his desires, make her comfortable, help sort out any issues of concern.

To seek the face of God is to give him the best attention, not just to run around trying to do things for him, but to learn his ways (Psalm 86:11).

Jesus said that Mary (Martha’s sister) chose the right path, sitting at his feet (Luke 10:38-42), looking into his face, getting fed on his wisdom. God does not just give us direction; he becomes that direction in us (our inner compass). He is the one who works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). He does not ditch out instruction to us, he dwells in us as the word, creating his reality in us. That is what it means for the word to become flesh (John 1:14) in our lives.

The word is beyond what is merely understood, for the mind. Peter said to Jesus when some of the people departed from Jesus, because he said some things they did not understand, that he can’t go anywhere because Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68).

He did not say: I will not go because I understand what you are saying, unlike the others; he said: there is an eternal quality about your words, so I’ll rather keep on seeking to see your face than anything else, because your words connect me with my eternal destiny. Peter would rather be with Jesus than be anywhere else, even if did not understand all his words.

David said I’ll rather by a gatekeeper in the house of God than anything else (Psalm 84:1-2, 10). He embraced the spiritual benefit of being with God, and rejects the natural benefit of evil works.

Before the fall, man delighted in the presence of God, he revelled in it, that was his natural habitat, but when sin came in, man ran away from God, he could not stand his presence, he felt condemned in the blazing holiness of his presence (Genesis 3).

But Jesus came to solve the problem of sin, and at the end of it, the bible says that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), so that with open faces we might behold the face of Jesus and are transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:18). We can now freely draw near to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in times of need (Hebrews 4:16). We can ask whatever we want and it will be given to us (John 16:23). This change was made possible by the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 2:13).

Seeking God is about deep calling to deep (Psalm 42:6-7). It is the response of our spirit to the stirring of the Spirit of God. It is a result of the working of God in our heart.  In the book of Song of Solomon, the two lovers were in pursuit of one another, they overcome various oppositions to be found in each other’s hands.

For God, to reach out to us, he had to overcome the hindrance of our sinfulness, in view of his holiness, while man had to overcome her innate pride. We need to leave our own ways, recognise that leads to destruction, and follow the way of God.

The limit to which you seek the face of God is the reflection of our realisation that you cannot do anything apart from God. Jesus said: apart from me you can nothing (John 15:1-5). He said that the enemy offered only death and destruction, and losses, but he offers life in abundance, to contact that we need to seek his face, be with him, and follow him (John 10:10).

However, not only do we have to overcome pride within to seek God, we need to overcome outside pressure. And we saw those two play out in the fall of man.

The devil stirred up pride within Eve, offering her a false door to independence, self-sufficiency, self sustaining, to be apart from God, to not need to seek the face of God, since she would be god whose face will be sought. It was trap not a door. Since that time, the wall of pride came up in man in opposition to seeking God.

Then there is outside pressure. Adam fell to outside pressure when he reached out to the forbidden fruit offered by Eve his wife (applying subtle pressure). Contrary to his best judgement, but in a bid to please his wife, Adam sinned against God.

For the man who sought the face of God, described in the first chapter of the book of psalm, he had to resist the pull of the scornful, the sinners, and the mockers. He had to ignore their example and put his nose in the word, for him to flourish.

Jesus said that many people love for God will wax cold (Matthew 24:12), because of the prevalence of sin, because of the flagrant way in which people will do the wrong thing, ignoring him and his word all around us, that cold-heartedness towards God will infect a lot of people, and seeking the face of God will not be such priority for them.

But, the highest passion that the heart is capable of is the passion for God, though there are lesser passions, which want to distract us, and don’t truly fulfil our deepest the heart desire. Jesus told the woman of Samaritan, the water you come out here to draw from, only satisfies in a limited sense, but the water (of life) that, when you seek me for it, will give you, will perpetually satisfy you (John 4:13-14).

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