What does the Bible say about seeking the face of God?
Mar 20th, 2011 / Salt and Light
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8—NKJV)
The face is an insight into the soul of a man. We have many expressions which bear testament. We say that someone is “long in the face” to express sadness, or we say “fall flat on your face” to illustrate an embarrassing situation. We say when a girl smiles her “whole face lights up,” meaning that her bright personality bursts out from within. We say “withstood him to the face” to picture a confrontation which is personal and “face to face,” or we might say that something is a “face-saving” measure to describe an action taken in order to avoid a bad reputation. We also love a “familiar face” but despise the “poker face.”
It is no wonder that so many human emotions are easily described by the natural relationship between the face and the person. We live in a day where face transplants are yesterday’s news. Face recognition technology is a growing science, though grandmoms have been experts in this for years (they see a baby and say, “he looks just like his father” or “she favors her mother”). Our face, while very personal, is our public persona, subject to scrutinizing judgment, for it communicates the hidden world of our heart.
Since the face is a window into the soul, it is important to teach youngsters the art of elevating their face and making eye contact while looking into the face of another, especially an adult. Embarrassment, uncertainty, fear, youth, guilt, lack of confidence, defeat, and failure are all betrayed when a person refuses to look another in the face. Americans place a high value on the quality communicated when two men can confidently look each other in the face, displaying equal worth and equal status as men. It is for this reason that Americans do not bow to foreign potentates. From the beginning of our country, we have not elevated any man to a more worthy position of status, as if between ourselves and the One who is King, our heavenly Father. It is God before whom we bow, and none other.
While the act of worshipful submission in the Bible is best illustrated by bowing down—with your face to the ground—before the majesty of your Creator, devotional allegiance and thirst for God’s approving presence is illustrated by seeking His face. Just as a child looks up to the face of his parent when he is seeking reassurance, so the child of God longs to be the “apple of the eye” of his heavenly Father. The High Priest’s blessing of Numbers 6:24 states, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you (look upon you with favor), and give you peace.”
Though living in sin denies you the pleasure of His “shining countenance” (“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you.” Isaiah 59:2), and causes you to avert your eyes from seeking after God (just as Peter could not bear to lock eyes with our Lord after Peter had denied Him three times), you are readily challenged to confess your sins and to pursue open fellowship with your Lord. The Scriptures parade the virtues of seeking the face of the Master. “You will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:28) Cry out with the psalmist: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1) “Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your mercies’ sake.” (Psalm 31:16) “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” (Psalm 105:4) When God’s people openly confess their sin and unworthiness in awe of the holiness of God and in awe of His forgiveness wrought through the blood of Jesus Christ, then they freshly, freely, and daily pursue fellowship with Him found only in His presence and under the loving gaze of His face (Psalm 80:3, 7, 19)
Do you anticipate the experience of being “face to face” with Christ your Savior like the hymn writer says? Why not live and treasure that relationship every day until you see Him face to face in eternity? Trust and obey.