SEEKING GOD'S FACE

 

   "Seeking God's face" is a subject like entering "God's rest" in that there are entire books written on it, yet very few people are familiar with these concepts.

What does it mean to seek God's face? What is in a face? If you pay close attention to someone's face you can see a lot of things. In their eyes you can see if they are at peace. In their countenance you can see if they are happy, sad, mad, scared, or indifferent. You can tell what they think about you. When you are seeking God's face you are seeking His heart and His mind. What is more important than that? David was anointed King because "the Lord sought out a man after His own heart..." (1 Samuel 13:14). God promises you: "You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer 29:13). The problem is most people that are "seeking God" are seeking His hands, not His heart. They are seeking what God can do for them. Their prayers to Him [conversation with Him] consist(s) of please heal, please give, please fix... This is not "seeking God" and this is definitely not "seeking His face." In fact, in order to seek God's face we need to step way out of our daily routine and comfort zone. We have to be ready to set aside any ideas and thoughts we already have about God. We have to be ready to accept anything that God reveals to us. We need to let go of everything. As long as we are holding on to earthly things we will never ascend to the level of stepping into heavenly things.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

We can't come face to face with God unless we 1.) humble ourselves, 2.) pray and 3.) turn from our wicked ways. Not only do we need to be repentant, we need to be aware of our wickedness. We need to find out from Him what things in our lives are displeasing to Him. We find what is "wicked" to God through prayer and reading His Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal those things to us we need to get rid of. When we do, we see that we fail every day in word, thought and deed, whether we mean to or not, and "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" to Him (Isaiah 64:6). We are nothing without Him. The next step is changing what He shows you in humility and complete dependence on Him, for humility precedes holiness and without holiness, no one can see God. What good is seeking if you cannot see what you are seeking? We can't hang on to things that He hates and expect to meet Him eye to eye. So humility precedes holiness and holiness precedes seeking His face. Holiness also precedes power and God promises to empower that which He first makes holy, but it is a process.

Francis Frangipane describes it this way:

“There are certain times when the Lord calls us out of the routine of our daily lives. These are special seasons where His only command is, “Seek My Face.” He has something precious and vitally important to give us that the familiar pattern of our daily devotions cannot accommodate. During such times people are often delivered of sins that have plagued them for years; others discover a depth in their walk with God that leads to greater effectiveness in ministry and prayer; still others experience breakthroughs in their families and are used by God to see loved ones brought into the Kingdom.”

But we must understand that we are not seeking His hands, we are not looking for results or an experience. We are seeking Him for Himself, to abide with Christ, where we are continually aware of His fullness within us, where His presence dwells in us in glory. "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him" (Romans 6:8).

How do we get ot his place? The Bible says "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (Exodus 33:11). How did he meet with the Lord? We read that "Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And it came about, that everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. Did you notice where "everyone" who sought the Lord went? It tells us three times that it was outside the camp. In fact, it even specifies it was "a good distance from the camp." Where we need to go is the same place they needed to go. Jesus was the same way and encouraged His disciples to do it as well (Matt. 19:27, Luke 14:33). Lastly, those who truly "seek His face" find the time and cancel hobbies, forsake TV, put away the newspaper and magazines... It doesn't mean we neglect those things God clearly calls us to, but we forsake everything else.

   A few months ago, God called me to simply "seek His face." I had a recent breakup from a relationship that was bringing me down, yet I was heart-broken and confused. I was shocked but didn't get upset (out of the blue she dumped me) and I wrote her a loving letter and dropped it off with her things. She refused to give me a second chance and eventually demanded I never speak to her again. To this day she refuses to speak to me, but it is clear this was a blessing, and God turned everything around in my life. It was a miracle how the blessing of God was poured out on me from that day! The very same day of the breakup I made $4,300 (profit) on one sale (which was a miracle!) and soon everything that was "brought down" in my life was blessed... my walk, my soul, my love, my strength, my relationships and friendships (especially with the Lord), my work and finances... EVERYTHING! Before the breakup, I was drained and stressed, I was working on that big sale, and my ex refused to talk to me the entire week, and finally met with me to tell me it was over...  The only way I can describe what happened next is that my loving heavenly Father lifted me up and drew me into His arms... Everyone encouraged me and I got Godly counsel on my own (because she refused). The Lord used my pastor to show me that I needed self-examination and to stop pointing the finger at my ex. God called me to take a break from ministry and He began to show me a lot of things, first of all being the sin in my heart. When I finally saw my sin and asked Him to change my heart, He did. Soon after God began to move.  I sensed a need for drastic change and hungered for it. I knew what God was doing, something He has done a number of times before... He was calling me into a special season referred to as "seeking His face." This is always a humbling time. It's strange but I always become like a crying baby! I began to get more emotional and got choked up, and cried often as the Holy Spirit moved on my heart. I cried often during worship and would get lost in it, often for long periods of time. I remember even getting choked up listening to "The Cartoon Song" by Chris Rice! My prayer and devotional life began to take on new meaning and significance... Everything else was put on hold and I focused completely on the Lord, seeking intimacy with Him, and to know His heart (and my heart in His light). It was also during this time I met Yvethe.

I don't understand the timing except that my friendship with her only strengthened what the Lord was doing. The Lord began to use her and speak through her, speaking some of the same things to both of us independently. Some warfare immediately began (gossip and slander) but this only brought us closer to the Lord and each other. Soon after, I sensed a need for a complete 1-week fast for three things: 1)Greater intimacy with the Lord and a fresh indwelling of the Holy Spirit while crucifying the flesh (Ro. 8:5-14), 2) more clarity in hearing God's voice (John 10:4-16,27) and direction in my calling/peace/unity/preparation/growth (2 Pet. 1:10-11, *Eph. 4:1-16), especially in light of some recent developments, and 3) discernment for what to do about Yvethe! :) Closure came during a long period of prayer on the last day of the fast and the fast seemed to conclude the season of seeking His face as well, leading into His rest.

I only write this to be an example and encouragement to you as you continue your walk with your Creator and Friend. He loves you and longs to have intimacy with you...

"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden hid face from you, so that he will not hear." (Is. 59:1-2).

"My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek" (Psalm 27:8).

"Look to the Lord and his strength; Seek his face always" (1 Ch. 16:11, Psalm 105:4).

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