"SEEKING GOD'S FACE"
"When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee,Thy face,Lord, will I seek"-Psalms 27-8
If your heart has been stirred to seek after God you are in good company. Josiah, while he was yet young began to seek after God; Job said, "Oh that I knew where I might find Him"; Solomon wrote, "I will seek him whom my soul loveth"; Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord; and Jehoshaphat set himself to seek the Lord. Great blessings were found in their lives and powerful testimonies exhibited in their behavior. The Bible is full of God-seekers. Today, let us join their blessed company and seek God's face while He may be found.
WHY WE SEEK
If you will carefully notice David's language, it was God that made the first move. David was invited into the awesome presence of God's face. Paul was struck down on the Damascus road as he was ushered into the divine presence of Jesus; Peter was approached by Christ as he washed his nets; Nathanael would ask Jesus, "Whence knowest thou me? And Jesus would reply, "Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee". The Lord always comes first in our relationship with Him. God seeks us and translates us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Man, left to himself, will not seek after God. To the carnal mind, the Creator God does not exist: "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts"-Psalm 10:4. If you are seeking God it is a blessed thought to know that He is seeking you.
In this Psalm, as David cried with his voice and pleaded for mercy, he was instructed to seek God's face. Not His arm; not His hand; not His eye; but His face. A turning of the face is and indication of favor. Is it not so? Even my dog looks the other way when I call him and he does not want to come. Do not our faces turn away from those that we are angry with? Much may be read and learned from the countenance of the face. Sadly, when my patience wanes, my children learn much from my own face. When we are upset and angry we hide our feelings and our faces. God is saying, "David, I am not angry with you. Seek my face." In the face is found character; beauty; and expression. The mouth is found on the face and it would be from God's mouth that David would receive Holy instruction that he so desperately needed.
Many times, I have sought after God only to find myself disappointed. I could not find Him. It was not God's fault. It was my own. I had not sought His face, I had sought his hand. I was more interested in his presents than His matchless presence. Many followed Jesus like-minded, therefore He said: "Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled"-John 6:26. The day before, Jesus had fed 5000 with five loaves and two fishes. Miracles were around them but all they saw was the bread because that was their primary interest. Their belly was above their heart. They wanted the bread, not the One with the miracles. Today, people have many material things, yet they starve for spiritual things. His hand has been graciously opened to us and we have forgotten His face. As the parent wants the child to seek them because they love them, not for what they can give them, so we should seek God's face. Perhaps, even David was seeking God's power and not His person. Surely, we have all found ourselves in this position from time to time. Let us not remain there. Let us seek His face, not His hand. His rewards are in His hand and it tenderly opens to those who genuinely seek His face.
How may we know that we are seeking God's face and not His hand? Notice David's response to God's encouragement, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek". He abandoned his belly for his heart. A sincere searching of the heart is here indicated. Are the things that we are seeking God honoring or for the promotion of self. Are we seeking what He can do for us or are we asking what we can do for Him? Are His presents more important to us than His presence? Are my wants His wants? Are we interested in His hand and not His face? Let us remember, If we find His face we will have His hand.
–to be continued next week-
Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00.
By His mercy and grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor