Kia ora Cambridge Baptist and friends,
We are nearly at the 3-week mark of our lock down and things are looking promising for a move to level three. We have all found the lock down a challenge because it curbs our innate desire to seek after the new – whether it be new sights and sounds through travel, or new tastes by trying a new restaurant or cafe or meeting new people or finding the perfect garment through shopping. As people we are always seeking after the next new thing.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God makes it precondition to Israel before he heals their land that instead of seeking after other things, new things, “they would seek his face”. And as we shall see seeking God’s face doesn’t require us to go anywhere, but to change what we desire most. Let’s read the passage to remind ourselves what it says:
2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Many times, in Scripture, God’s people are encouraged to seek the face of God, but an obvious question arises if we can’t see God, how do we seek his face?
The Hebrew word for “face” in the Old Testament can be translated as “presence.” So, when we seek the face of God, we are really seeking His presence. So why do the Old Testament writers refer to it as God’s face. A person’s face reveals much about his or her character and personality. We see the inward emotions of a person expressed outwardly on the face. So for the writers of the Bible, the face began to represent the character and being in the presence of a person.
So when we approach God in prayer, we are seeking His face. Pursuing God’s face is equivalent to developing an intimate relationship with Him. Psalm 63: 1-3 says, “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole-body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!”
Seeking God’s face means desiring to know His character and who he is intimately. Wanting Him and his presence more than any other thing He can give us. And the great thing about getting to know the character of an infinite God is that he infinitely complex and infinitely interesting, but also infinitely knowable. Let’s use this lock down as an opportunity to seek his face.
Heavenly Father, thank you that during this lock down we have the opportunity to seek your face, to spend time in your presence. Lord make that our greatest desire. Reveal more of your character to us and turn your face towards us and smile on your people.