"SEEKING GOD'S FACE"(Continued)
"When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee,Thy face,Lord, will I seek"-Psalms 27-8
Here we find David in a most profitable venture: he is seeking God's face. Seeking is a active pursuit. It requires patience; diligence; integrity; sincerity; and desire. It seems that we seek Him most when we have the greatest needs. Yet, it is a comfort to know that He encourages us to do so. But how is such a thing done? How may we seek the Creator of all things, the Holy One that dwelleth between the cherubims? I must place my hand over my mouth for lack of knowledge. Let us learn from those with skill and wisdom in such matters.
HOW WE ARE INSTRUCTED TO SEEK
Daniel was a man of skill and wisdom when it came to spiritual things. Let every seeker learn his methods: "I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession….."-Daniel 9:3,4. Prayer, fasting, and confession are here prescribed for sincere seekers. Though the flesh will avoid such methods, the heart is driven to them for there His face is found.
Prayer and Supplication
Daniel was a great man of prayer. Many trials and tribulations had caused him to become a daily seeker of God's face. From the interpretation of dreams to the den of lions, Daniel was experienced in seeking God's face for answers to life as well as deliverance from divers calamities. Was that not the reason he was thrown to the lions? While the decree was yet wet with the ink from King Darius's pen, forbidding the worship of Jehovah, Daniel was found "praying and making supplication before his God." To Daniel, seeking God's face had priority. It came before presidents, decrees, positions of authority and even lions.
Daniel was found in supplication as well. Supplication is the expansion of prayer. It is the fervent, effectual prayer, the explosion of soul as it exceeds the gravity of pride; composure; and whatever other earthly thing hinders its yearnings. It is when the heart goes from asking to begging. From this posture, great humility is fostered. Supplication does not spring from the lip. Its root is found in the heart. Here our efforts find Holy assistance as the Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered(Rom 8:26). The Father's face is turned.
Daniel was given to fasting as he sought after God. Surely this is a new testament principle. In His first recorded sermon Jesus said, "When ye fast", not "If ye fast". The Master taught the principle of fasting right along side of prayer and almsgiving. Should we not practice all three? The church at Antioch fasted. They diligently sought God's face in their endeavors to choose the right men to send forth in their evangelistic efforts(Acts 13:2). Let us not hunt and pick our own methods of seeking. Our diligence in seeking is in proportion to our desire. That is where fasting comes in. Is our desire desperate enough to deny the flesh and go without those things that comfort the flesh. Which is better? A morsel for the belly or Bread for the soul? Many times, the flesh must be starved to learn the lesson. Earthy strength must be wasted away before we finally lean upon the arm of the Beloved. How sincere are we in our searching? Fasting will tell the tale.
Confession & Repentance
Daniel was also found confessing. Not only for himself, but for the sins of his people. Confession is the expulsion of a repentant heart. Why are we so loath to tell God what He already knows? Is it not because we are ashamed of our actions? Have you noticed: we can not even be honest with our own selves. Confession is when we honestly talk to God about what we have done. It is there that he reprimands us for our behavior. That is why we neglect this method of seeking. Like children who know what the parent will say when they speak of forbidden things, we keep Him at arm's length, too far to have His face. Let us be honest. His face is promised to sincere seekers!
–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