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“What does it mean to ‘seek God’s face?”
Good question. Wrong time.
My husband, Larry, and I have been praying for our country to return to God. We are using 2 Chronicles 7:14 as our basis:
“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.”
Back in July, Dr. Charles Stanley in Atlanta asked all his listeners to join with him and his church in this prayer. He explained that we should do four things: humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. Then God will do three things: hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land.
Well, I understood these verbs. Humility is…well, not to be proud. Easy to understand but not to practice. At least for me. Usually God gets around to humbling me in a very humbling way. Praying is easy. I do this all the time, but usually superficially. I’m not sure I know how to pray deeply. Seek God’s face. Say what? Turn from my wicked ways. I can understand that one. I get the difference between good and evil.
Now from God’s point of view, hearing from heaven. Well, that’s his home. Forgiving our sins. He does this through Jesus’ blood. Healing our land. Boy, does it need healing.
But the seeking of God’s face had me stumped.
One night just before Larry dropped off to sleep, I was laying awake contemplating how to seek God’s face. I couldn’t get it. Seek. Seek. Seek. It started sounding strange to me. So, I poked Larry in the ribs and asked him, “What does it mean to ‘seek God’s face’?”
He mumbled something about asking God to look at you. Bless his heart.
I thought about it all week and still couldn’t figure it out. When Sunday worship came around, I was still wondering about it. This Sunday was our “dinner on the carpet” lunch/business meeting. A perfect time to casually ask the folks what they thought seeking God’s face was all about.
Most thought like me. They said to search, attempt to find, look for. Those were good words, but not quite the click I was looking for.
Finally, one lady said, “Deborah, let me talk to you girl-to-girl. When you and Larry were dating, didn’t you long to be with him? Didn’t you want to talk to him? Didn’t you want to spend all your time together? Remember the agony of not being together?”
She let this sink in.
She continued, “Didn’t you find every opportunity to see him? How hard did you try to do that? Just a little? Kind of? Whatever? Or did you fix your schedule to fit his? Didn’t you change your calendar to go out with him? “
More sinking in.
Then, “You were seeking his face. That’s how God wants us to seek Him. Not just a few minutes here and there, but all the time. It’s not just the searching and looking, but how you search and look. There’s an effort to it. Not just hit or miss, but steadily.”
It reminded me of Pepe Le Pew, the skunk of cartoon fame. He chased that little cat all over the place. Not in a panic or haphazardly, but steadily, methodically, surely, without stopping, through all kinds of barriers, around the whole town, everywhere.