We’re just a week past Christmas and most of the Christmas decorations are already put away. Out of sight out of mind. Many people do not realize that Christmas is not just a day, but a season. Today is the eighth day of Christmas. But even more than a day or a season, Christmas is God’s presence gifted to all people. Have you opened that gift? And if so, what have you done with it? is it a gift you treasure and use everyday or does it just sit on the shelf our your getting dusty.
Seek the LORD and His strength, Seek His face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11 NASB
What does it mean to seek God’s face? Seeking God’s face is seeking His presence in our lives. He wants to walk with us through our lives as He walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Too often we seek God for His hand of provision, healing, blessing, mercy…forgetting to seek His presence and ultimately the fullness of His power in our lives. His presence fills us up and makes His power available in the things we do. We should be aware of His presence in everything. We should not be so busy with life that we miss Emmanuel, “God with us.” This is why Jesus tells us in John 15:1-8 that He is the Vine and we are the branches. We must abide/remain in Him, which means stay continually connected to Him, because without Him we can do nothing.
Do you keep God like a genie in a bottle and pull Him out when you need something from Him? God is not a genie. He is all about relationship, which is why He sent Jesus to earth as a humble babe on Christmas. He came as one of us to do what only the Son of God could do, bridge the gap that sin created between us and God. God, in Jesus, made it possible to have an intimate relationship with Him again.
Some people believe in God as Creator, but that since then He stays at a distance from us. Some believe God is mad at them and hiding from them. But God is not far off. He is not mad at us. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins as a gift freely given to us. God does not hide from us. It is us that hide from Him. Let’s start back at the beginning.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
In the Garden of Eden Adam & Eve had direct access to God. He gave them a perfect Garden to live in and everything they would need. The only thing He denied them was the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They chose to disobey God and ate the forbidden fruit. This disobedience broke the relationship between people and God. But right away God put into motion His plan to redeem us from the power of sin and bridge the gap that sin put between us and God (Genesis 3:15). Because we have been given freewill, it is each individual’s choice to accept or refuse God’s invitation, through Jesus, to be reconciled to and brought back into a relationship with Him. And those of us who have received Jesus as our Savior may hide from God instead of seeking Him when we start blaming God for troubles in our lives or stop taking time to pray and seek God in His Word. Unfortunately, all that does is send us farther away from a Father who wants nothing more than to love us, bless us, and be a part of everything in our lives. We have God’s assurance that if we seek Him, with ALL our heart and soul (mind, will, emotions), we WILL find Him we will finds Him.
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” Psalm 27:8
Our hearts, our spirits do yearn for God’s presence. But often we are so busy with our lives we don’t recognize the source of that yearning and we develop feelings of frustration, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. If we don’t seek God’s face, those feelings can lead us to try to fill that yearning, that God-shaped hole as some call it, with things, wrong relationships, money, power, etc. None of those things will ever satisfy and fill that hole within us. Only God’s presence can do that.
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; Isaiah 55:6
We all know that Jesus is coming back one day and we don’t know the day nor the hour. Jesus warns us to always be ready because we don’t know the day nor the hour (Matthew 24:42-44, 25:13). We never know when we will take our last breath. When we die or when Jesus returns it will be too late if we have not received Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Seek the Lord while He may be found.
God doesn’t hide from us, but He also does not intrude where He is not invited. Even as believers the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts when we disobey, but He does not force us to repent. God is never far away from us. He may use difficult circumstances, often the consequences of our choices or the choices of others around us, to try to get our attention, but it is always our choice to turn and seek Him, avoid Him or even blame Him for our troubles. Avoiding or blaming God only leads us to worry, fear, and resentment. There is no good to be found in that. We must be cautious, because if we don’t turn to God to repent of the things we’ve done, the things that have caused our hearts to wander from Him, they can harden our hearts toward God.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
In the eight verses preceding Matthew 6:33 Jesus tells us not to worry about anything. Then here He tells us to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. First before worry, fear, and resentment take hold of us. First, before we discuss our issues to death with friends. First, before anything. God wants to be our:
- First thought.
- First contact.
- First love.
He knows our physical and material needs, but our greatest need is for Him! Seeking God’s face and putting Him first in everything helps us to keep the right attitude throughout our day and keep our relationship with God healthy. And Jesus promised that when we seek Him first He will give us all those other things we need as well.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. Luke 18:1 NLT
When we pray, God does not always answer right away. It helps us develop patience, as well as to learn trust in God’s plan and His timing. Jesus teaches us to pray and never give up. Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking until we get our answer.
Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God may be brought into a house built for the name of the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 12:19
This verse speaks loudly to me. “Building the sanctuary of the Lord God” can mean two things to us:
- building ourselves up in the Lord and in His Word, as we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
- building up the kingdom of God by reaping a harvest of new believers, discipling them, and teaching them the Word of God.
The Ark of the Covenant housed, among other things, the tablets of the 10 Commandments. The Mercy Seat, was on the top of the Ark, which is where the blood of the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament was sprinkled. In the tabernacle and in the temple the Ark was kept in the Holy of Holies, which is where God’s presence resided among His people.
When we build the temple of the Holy Spirit we bring the ark/God’s Word and His presence into the sanctuary of our temple as we read, meditate upon, memorize, and live out God’s Word. When we teach the Word we equip others to bring the “ark” into the sanctuary of their temple.
I will end today’s post with this Psalm that is a beautiful picture of a relationship with God. I pray that as you read it you will see the beauty of intimate, abiding relationship with the Lord. I pray your thirst for God will help you to continually seek Him, so He can refresh you with His Living Water. May you seek His face in your everyday life. May His presence satisfies your soul. May your heart overflow with His praise. May you be filled with His unshakeable joy, and find shelter under His wings, in Jesus’ name, amen.
1O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. 5My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. 8My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8
Blessings to you as you seek the Lord’s face continually,
All Scriptures are ESV unless otherwise stated.