June 13, 2021

Musings on the Face of God

I have had the incredible blessing of living with two of my closest friends and brothers in Christ for the last couple of years. This time is sadly coming to an end as one selfishly moves to Los Angeles to be a steward of his gifts and study music, while the other has selfishly decided to marry an amazing woman and leave me all alone… and I selfishly want them to stay.

One of the greatest gifts of our time together has been spending a morning a week in a psalm. We began in Psalm 27 and last week we dove into Psalm 74. This remarkable journey has been shaped by the words “seek my face.”

What does it mean to seek the face of God?  These words of God in Psalm 27:8 struck me as I first noticed them years back, and I realized that I could not honestly say David’s response, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

What I noticed throughout the Psalms as I read them with my housemates and as we have studied them this summer at Solano Community Church is that this theme of seeking God is prevalent. As the Psalms so often serve as a window into our own lives, I recognized that I often am not seeking God’s face, rather, I am seeking the things which God does.

In other words, my relationship with God is so often about the benefits of God and the blessings of following him, overlooking that primarily it is about the relationship;  it is about glorifying him.

His face.

Seek it!

Psalm 17:15 reinforces this as the psalmist says, “When I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” It does not say that I am satisfied with “all that You give me” or “because You have blessed me.”

Now, I understand that there is a significant place for gratitude. God first loved us and we do respond to what he has done. But Psalm 17 and 27 show us that to sit before God is enough. This is why the heaven will be a truly good place – because God is there. We can see his face directly.

What seems strange to me about these psalms (and others) is that the Scriptures tell us that we cannot endure the face of God (Exodus 33:20), yet we are to seek after it. Reading these psalms in light of Jesus Christ sheds light on this. John 14:9 clearly says that whoever has seen Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, has seen God the Father. The fullness of God is in this man who walked on the earth centuries ago (John 1, Colossians 2:9).

“Seek my face” takes on new meaning for those follow Jesus. We must seek God’s face, and recognize that this face is the same face of Jesus Christ. Let us not follow him for his benefits alone, or his philosophy alone, or his compassion alone, or his love alone. Let us be satisfied with the face of Jesus.

Relationship with God is only possible because God entered into our story and gave his life for us. Surprisingly, the face of God did not come as a powerful warrior but as a humble servant who was obedient to even death on a cross and who is now glorified at the right hand of God.

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What does seeking God’s face look like in your life?  How does this paradigm shift make a difference in your daily living?

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