Seek God’s purpose, strength and presence

binoculars-100590_640Psalm 105:4: Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Seeking the lord is a culture you can imbibe or not. It is clear that David had that culture, from what we can glean from his life and from his psalms (this did not bear his name). He expressed heartfelt devotion to God.

Shortly after he was made king (1Samuel 13:14), God decided to dump Saul as his preferred leader of Israel, and revealed that he has a replacement, in a man after his heart.  King Saul did not seem really cooperative with Him, to exalt his name, his word. It was David that was so described as being a man after his own heart. You need to understand that the heart is the seat of purpose. In the book of Acts, David was said to have served the purpose of God in his generation (Acts 13:36). Therefore it is clear that the heart of God means the purpose of God. Therefore what it means for David to be after the heart of God is that he is addicted to the purpose of God.

When God took him from following sheep, his life was in a flurry of activities from then on. But he was able to maintain a focus on the God, but Solomon his son got distracted; by many women.

When he began to worship other gods (1King 11:1-14), prompted by his many women, he was distracted from following the God of Israel. He got distracted from the purpose of God when he began to give room in his heart for other gods, as he gave the space for the temple and altars of foreign gods in the land of Israel, laying a wrong foundation for the future, a foundation his father did not lay.

But the bible says that we should give no space for the devil, no foothold (Ephesian 4:27). But Solomon gave title deeds of lands and spaces for demonic worship in Solomon. He was distracted from the purpose of God, the bible says his heart was turned after those gods; he began to serve their purpose and not the purpose of God. He began to be fascinated by them and lost his fascination with God and his ways, fully embracing his purpose.

A prophet was sent to king Jeroboam (1Kings 13); he was to deliver the word of God, but somewhere along the way he was distracted from the purpose of God from what he wanted him to do when he got there. God told him to not eat any food nor go back from the way he came from.

At first he was committed to the commandment of God, but an old prophet was able to catch up with him and lied to him that he had a counter instruction from an angel of God; he bought into a different purpose to what is in the heart of God (the counsel of God).  He did not follow the purpose of God (not after God’s heart) that day and he died.

We’ve been talking about seeking the purpose of God, but the focus verse tells us to seek two other things about God: His strength and his presence.

Seek his strength

It is the strength of Christ that needs to manifest in us. Jesus said to Paul: my strength is made perfect in weakness (2Corinthians 12:9) in your life. We are empowered by the Spirit within us and upon us. We don’t have strength in and of ourselves. When we come to God we seek his strength, we seek to be infused with something beyond ourselves.

Remember that before the infusing of the breath of God into, man was just inanimate sand (Genesis 2:7). The breath of God animated him; that was the causative divine energy.

To seek his strength means we need what he has; maybe his power, his clarity of thought, his understanding of a situation, greater operation of the Spirit through our lives, his wisdom. There are seven Spirits of God (Isaiah 11:1-2); there are nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 12:1-12). All these speak of divine possibility that can be ours as God’s strength manifesting in us. Paul said that we should desire spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are strengths, spiritual tools that we can apply to get things done for God on the earth.

Seek his presence

That is a one-on-one-with-God thing. Jesus said prayer should primarily be a private thing (Matthew 6:5-6). Jesus said that when we pray, we should go to our closet close the door and when we pray, the God who sees us in secret will give us an open reward. Though no one was present when we do private praying, God is there. It is the way we seek the presence of God for his open reward.

Seeking his presence is also what we do when we fast. That many Christians all over the world do not fast is a fact. They have neglected a major biblical way for the attracting of the presence of God; many have obtained a Christianity that is all about feeling good, eating well and drinking well, looking good, living well. The sacrificial model of Christianity where fasting is key is neglected.

Fasting is about doubling down on the wrong flow of the soul, as it is called afflicting the soul (Isaiah 58:5), it is a means to enhance the life of the Spirit and hold back the flow of the life of the flesh. Apart from that, it is also a means to draw the presence of Jesus.

Jesus said that his disciples do not need to fast because he was with them (Mark 2:18-20). He said that when he is taken from them, they will fast, fasting for his presence, which is what they miss when he is not around.

Paul reveals that he fasts often (2Corinthians 11:27). Some say they live a fasted life; they claim to eat minimally throughout the day. There is no model for that in the bible. They merely deceive themselves. They create a form of observance for themselves, not sanctioned by the word of God.

Since we operate in seven-day-a-week cycles, it seems sensible that at least one day of the week should be used for some form of fast or the other. A day dedicated to departing from food; and drawing near to God. In fasting we seek the presence of Jesus. Fasting is mourning, we are saying: come Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20).

 

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