Summary: What does it mean to seek the face of God? Listen to King David in Psalm 27.
David writes in Psalm 27:8 "Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, LORD, do I seek. We modern day folks find this to be strange I think at best. Seeking God's face? What does that mean, God is spirit, you can't see his face. Yet we read today in Matthew 4, that Jesus came and called His disciples from their fishing boats, and they followed Him. Jesus the one we call Emmanuel, God with us, they saw Him face to face day after day. They messed up, they were his followers, and yet they were not all that sure that he was other than a rabbi, a teacher and perhaps a prophet.
So, what does it mean to Seek the Face of God? Well let us hear David as he talks to God in this beautiful prayer. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” The very first verse tells us the David thought of God as a light and a savior, the Lord he says is the stronghold why should I fear, and who should I be afraid of? I look at the life of David, and I know that he is a man after God's own heart. Then I also realize all the stuff he did in his life, and yet, he still loved God and wanted to live in His presence always. Going back to verse 4 “One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.”
He says that he just wants to spend all his days in the presence of God to see His beauty and to learn from Him. I wonder how the disciples felt as time went on and they learned from the Master, especially after the resurrection, when he taught them and they knew who they were learning from. They saw God face to face, and knew that it was so. Note though that even then, they were also still learning.
Maybe it is in the time spent in the word, learning from God's word as we study and grow in the knowledge that this word can bring us. David, made a life time decision when he decided that he would rather spend his time in the presence of God, learning from Him. Today it seems that those who have decided to give their lives to God, have not really decided to be in His presence always. I had a friend once who told me that he took the seminary route because it was the easiest Masters degree he could work towards. He ended up as a preacher, and he became a really good one. It was not seminary that did that, it was the time he began to spend in the presence of God.
Back in 2002 there was an article in Discipleship Journal, the article had to do with what were called “Starter Marriages”. These were marriages that were becoming kind of popular in the late 1990's. You were young, you don't have kids, and no real intention of staying in the relationship for the rest of your life. Somewhat akin to starter homes, it was all you could afford, but you don't intend to live there for all your life. Well just as that starter home was not your dream so too were these marriages not the dream either. Intimacy, did not enter into this arrangement, see marriage needs to have a feeling of safety, of security. Without these it is just a relationship, with no real deep feeling for the other person. There is no security in that, you stay together until you don't want to anymore.
In David's case, we see a man who is not in it for the fling, this is a life time commitment, he says clearly, he wants to spend all the days of his life in the presence of God.
In John 14:23 we read: Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” You might even say that the Lord is actually saying we will be “at home” with him.
Have you ever visited at someone's home and felt out of place? You didn't want to disturb anything, make too much noise, just felt like you couldn't be yourself. I remember a friend who invited me to his house after work one day, and when we got there, I wasn't sure that I could sit down, all the furniture was covered in plastic. It was to keep it clean so all that had to be done was a quick dusting. It was however a very disturbing place to me, I always felt like a home was to be lived in, a place to be comfortable. My friend of course was okay with the plastic coverings and all. I have to admit I didn't stay too long.