Archive for the ‘Seeking God’s Face’ Category

Seeking God’s Face 3

October 23, 2014

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.

If attending a local church would result in hearts that ached for the glory and beauty of God and then the beauty and glory of God appeared in His immediate and felt presence, there may be fewer people attending church and yet there would be more anticipation for those who did gather. If only God would raise up more ministers who ached and longed for the glory of God in their closets as they sought His face, because surely that would be connected with the times that the church gathered God would be sought in the singing, prayer, and preaching. We should long for the time when the meetings of God’s people sounded like Moses as he cried out and prayed for God to show him His glory. Do we really, really want God to come into our meetings? Would we prefer to go by the bulletin and slog through the order or do we want God to come down and for people to earnestly seek Him?

While the above paragraph may sound charismatic to some, I would argue that it is plain and simple what the Bible teaches. We see throughout the Old Testament that the men of God and the true people of God longed and ached in their hearts for the presence of God. We see this in the New Testament as well, though after one gets into the epistles it is different. If the Church is the very body of Christ and Christ is the Head of the Church, then we can see how the Gospel of the glory of God which is the Gospel of Christ is a way of seeking the glory and presence of God in the Church (and churches). The Gospel is the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Christ, so surely we should be able to see how the Gospel is a proclamation of the reign and rule of God through Christ and we are to seek Him and His glory.

The resurrection of Christ declares that He is Lord and He Himself said (before He ascended) in the Great Commission that He would be with His people. The Gospel is a declaration of the risen Lord and as risen why are we not seeking Him and His glory rather than seeking to build buildings and use watered down and distorted messages to get people to pray a prayer to save them rather than proclaim this risen Lord who alone saves? Why are the churches (professing) so man-centered and humanistic rather than centered upon the God of all glory in the risen Savior? We have had an emphasis, and still do in practice, a focus on seeker-sensitive services. Why are we not focused on God-sensitive services? Why don’t we seek the living God to come down and manifest Himself in His presence and glory as the church meets? What else would a true church want if it loves God above all else and loves all things for His sake?

When a local church (professing, or even a true one) does not seek the presence and glory of God in it, then that is a body that is not connected with the head. The Head of the Church will only give the body desires after what is truly good and truly holy and truly best, so the Head of the Church will only give the body desires to see Himself and the glory of the Father as found in Him (Christ). It does not matter whether a professing church says that all of its activity is for the glory of God or not, if it is not truly seeking the immediate and felt presence of God it is an idolatrous group. I say it is an idolatrous group because we are to do all we do out of love for God and if we love God we will seek Him first and in all we do. When a professing church does not seek the presence and glory of God in reality, in all seriousness, that shows that the desires of those people are not coming from Christ the Head of the true Church. The people of God will receive desires for God from God. When a group of people are not truly seeking the glory of God, that shows that they may not be the people of God or He has turned them over to a severe judgment. The true people of God, with Christ as their Head, will seek God as their first love.

Seeking God’s Face 2

October 22, 2014

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.

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.

Scripture uses the phrase “God’s face” and “face of the Lord” and so on to refer to the presence of God. While it is true that God is everywhere and so in some sense is presence in all places at all times, it is also true that He can remove the favor of His immediate and felt presence as judgment on a people as well as give His presence (only by grace) to those He has worked in to seek His face. In the Old Testament when God is said to turn His face from His people He was turning them over to their enemies and He removed His protection from them. On the other hand, however, when God’s face was turned to His people He blessed them and protected them. It is vital to note that the presence of God comes as grace, yet He can and will turn from people when they refuse to seek Him.

It should also be stated very clearly that the only people who seek God seek Him because He gives them grace to seek Him. It is not that people are rewarded for being good or for being religious, but a true seeking of God only happens when a broken and contrite heart is given to a sinner and that sinner seeks God for grace in order to truly seek Him and to have God turn His face toward that sinner and come to the sinner in an immediate and felt sense of His presence. There is an utter terror in the presence of God at times, yet there is also the joy and delight of being in the presence of One so glorious and so beautiful.

The living God cannot be sought on the basis of religious, morality, or works. When people are so blinded as to think that the presence of God will come to them on the basis of something other than grace, those people are not seeking the presence of the true God. This should be seen with a great deal of clarity when we see that the face of God is seen and/or revealed in Christ. Note this from II Corinthians 4:6 where it says “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” The glory of God is seen in the face of Christ. We behold the glory of God in and through Christ. There is no having Christ or beholding the glory of God in Christ other than by grace and grace alone. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, which should be all the evidence we need. The presence of God is by grace and He will not give His presence to the proud, but only to the humble. The proud will work in the strength of self, but the humble work in the strength of grace to and for His glory.

Many people seem to want God for some other reason than just to love Him and live for His glory. It seems as if in the modern day people want God to give them health, wealth, and eternal security and they want those things with a life of ease. But David, to the contrary, longed to know God in order to be in His presence and simply to behold His beauty. When was the last time you or anyone you knew took time to go and seek God just in order to behold Him in His beauty? When was the last time you were in a conversation or overheard a conversation about how beautiful and desirable God is? There was a song many years ago (a bad one) that spoke of looking for love in all the wrong places. Could it be that people are looking for God in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways?

When was the last time you went to a church service and your desire in going was simply to be in the presence of God and to behold Him in His glory? Could it be that our so-called services are hated by God when people sing for themselves and praise God only for what He has given them? Could it be that the vast number of people in the modern day attend a professing church in order to obtain a worldly object rather than to seek the living and true God? Could it be that we are far more like the Pharisees than true worshippers of the living God? Maybe, just maybe we must learn to seek the face of God in order to see His beauty in order to worship at all.

Seeking God’s Face 1

October 21, 2014

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.

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.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

The state of Christianity in the modern world is hardly recognizable when one looks at it in light of Scripture and in the times when the Church was godly. Modern professing Christianity is run like a business, looks like a business, and appears to be little more than a business. Pastors are thought of as CEO’s and their so-called sermons are little more than encouragements to success in the world by means of God’s blessing or perhaps they make people feel good in their seeking after morality. In many ways the liberals and the modern evangelicals (so-called) can join hands in seeking after morality in forms of humanism. The “churches” prepare to get people in the door and then beat on the people to be more moral and give more money for building projects and missions projects. It is do and do and then do some more.

Are there any men of God left in our day? Are there pastors who can cry out as David did (in Psa 27:4) that their one desire is to dwell in the house of the Lord in order to behold the beauty of the Lord? Is this seen in the study? Is this seen in the teaching? Is this seen in the preaching? Where are those who long for their people to behold the beauty, glory, and delightfulness of God? Mere expositional preaching cannot do this, though one can do expositional preaching and strive to be a means of shining forth the beauty and glory of God. Mere doctrinal preaching cannot do this either, though doctrinal preaching can be a means to setting forth the beauty of God.

The teaching and preaching of the Bible, even though it may be orthodox, apart from seeking the face of God is nothing more than what the Pharisees did. When men stand up in the pulpit and preach the words of Scripture, yet they have not sought God in their studies and are not seeking God in preaching, they are doing evil. If a person is not seeking God while preaching, then that person is seeking something or someone else. When men stand in the pulpit and do not desire the people who hear them to seek the face of God and be in His presence, they are doing evil then as well.

When people are not seeking the face of God, that is, if we listen to the Scriptures above, then they are not seeking the Lord at all and will not find Him. When people are not seeking the face (presence) of God, they are not praying as they are told to pray. When people are not seeking the face of God and His presence, they do evil. When people are not seeking the face of God and His presence, they do not trust in the Lord. While it appears so many are concerned with evangelism, they seem to have forgotten what it means to love God and to seek His face. If that is true, and I would argue that it is, then evangelism is an idol that is put before seeking the Lord of glory. When people build buildings and do not seek the Lord with their whole hearts, then those buildings are an idol as well. Seeking the Lord is not doing things for Him, as if we could do anything for Him, but instead it is bowing to Him in emptiness and poverty of spirit asking for grace that we may behold Him in His glory. Where is that being done?