Seeking Gods Face 5

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.

Exodus 33:18 Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory”

Deuteronomy 4:29 “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

2 Chr 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 12:14 He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.

One of the great dangers in seeking the face of God is that if God does come to a church, things may not be so orderly and controlled. Even more dangerous, in the thinking of certain leaders, is that God will take over. When God takes over a church, people may want to really pray rather than pray according to what is acceptable and a certain timetable. When God comes people may groan in agony when they pray and they may actually raise their voice. When God comes people may seek Him with intensity rather than with an orderly monotone of voice.

The problem with modern church of way of “doing church” is that we want people to be comfortable and for God to be in our control, follow our prescribed plans, and do what we think He should do. But this is not what happened in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and in the history of God’s working in history. When God comes down and visits His people, things change. People are no longer comfortable but instead they are in awe and perhaps sheer terror. In the modern Church everything is orderly (including God), which is not the same thing as disorderly. But it appears that with the use of the bulletin and the sacraments God is under our control and does what we want and when we want it. Does God really have room to come in and order things as He pleases? Of course God can make room as He pleases, but the point is that we don’t plan for anything to happen but what we want to happen. We don’t expect God to come to our churches because we don’t really want Him to come. We are fine with how things are and can go on with our busy lives as we please thinking we are in His service.

Our bulletins tell us what to do and when to do it. We have a prescribed limit of time to get things done and so we set out to fulfill the dictates of the bulletin rather than seek God, though of course there are many excuses for that type of thing. Do we at least set apart some time in order to seek the face/presence of the living God? We can say that we are seeking God in all we do, but is that the truth of the matter? Do we really want God to come to our “services” and to change our hearts to do His will and to love what He loves rather than for us to go on doing what we think He should want? What if God changed our beloved traditions? What if the presence of God brought real life to our meetings and our hunger and thirst for Him spilled out into all of life and we could not longer find time to do all the things our busy and very important social schedules dictate to us? What if our hunger for God became so great and we desired His holy presence so much that television and sports began to look silly to us and a (gasp) waste of time? What if our so-called heroes became godly men in history rather than athletes and actors?

When seeking the face of God all of our external niceness (or most) may fade away and will be seen as utter silliness in the light of true love and holiness. When seeking the face of God our stringent timetables of wanting to limit the time at church so we can get to things we like more will be seen as idolatry. When seeking the face of God the things of the world that we so value and say we do them in order to have a bridge to the world will be seen as becoming like the world. When seeking the face of God our traditions may seem to be less valuable than little trinkets for children. When seeking the face of God we may discover how silly it is to sing songs we like and our affections to be moved by the songs rather than by God Himself. When seeking the face of God our present activities at “church” may be seen as so trivial as to be mockery toward God. Why is it that we will not seek God? It is because we don’t really want the real God. We want to retain control and “worship” a nice, comfortable god. The real problem with that is that the real God does not fit that description. So we want something other than God.

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