My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:7-8 (NIV)
The popularity of Facebook reminds me of our great desire to connect with a face that represents the life of a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance from years before. Facebook had more than 2.2 billion active monthly users in January 2018.
What I dislike is when connecting with a Facebook member is when I find some generic image of obscure picture on their profile page. For me I like to see people’s face as it leads to an informed and authentic connection.
The original Facebook is the Bible. We see many different pictures in many places of people desiring intimate connection with God’s face. The idea of God’s face is one of the most powerful life-changing themes in the Bible.
There is such a vast array of these connections with God. In spite of the many failings of the Israelites in the Old Testament, God’s face was the lifeline to His children and followers. Without intimacy and blessing they were doomed. For His face set against someone or withdrawn from their midst is misery of the worst kind as mentioned in Psalm 34:16 “But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth.” Imagine for a moment that God actually turns His face against His people. Their sin had caused God such great distress that He had to hide His face.
God’s face really speaks of His intimate and manifest presence – His omnipresence (God is everywhere), His indwelling presence (the Holy Spirit in our lives daily), His intimate presence (the secret place where God is waiting for us every day) and when our earthly days are over we have our ultimate face-to-face encounter with God – His holy presence.
I love it that we as believers can enjoy His indwelling presence because of the power of the finished work of Christ in redeeming us. Yet God’s indwelling presence is not passive. It is a lifelong pursuit. God had called each of us to an intimate encounter as we pursue Him with all our heart.
In my own understanding today to seek His face means to set my heart to seek Him in body, mind and soul every moment of every day. I’ll admit that for me this is the most difficult things I struggle with each day. Submitting completely to the control of the Holy Spirit daily is hard work. Yet I push on because I have an intense longing to know Him and seek Him more. It is totally about seeking Him because of who He is, with a passion for a deeper intimacy and experience His presence.
For the apostle Paul the word “passion” was never related to his ministry to people. Paul uses “passion” only to describe his desire to know Christ.
And it is with that same focus that you find my life verse. My life verse is not just the desire to “be a Christian” but [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognising and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly. Philippians 3:10 (AMPC)
My relationship with God in the secret place (I call this place “INTIMACY FIRST”) is paramount before any outpouring can happen. His presence must penetrate every area of my life, to the depth of my heart and soul so that every area permeates the fragrance of Christ and draw upon His presence that is available.
To influence people for Christ, we have to first reflect Christ. But to reflect Christ, we must first have a passion for Him that is singular, focused that puts Him first (as the Father does). Then our passion for Christ reflects Christ, which leads to influence and spiritual authority in ministry.
The Scripture is also clear that God desires His people know and enjoy Him. God wants us to know the blessing of seeking His face along with the intimacy and favour that comes with that. We need His face to shine upon, bless and envelop us – because all that we are and all that we do in obedience to His commands and commission is an overflow of intimacy.
There are countless stories in the Bible and in history of people who were blessed and changed by a face-to-face encounter with God.
This same invitation is available for us today. He provides the divine invitation found in Psalm 27:8 TPT ‘Lord, when you said to me, “Seek my face,” my inner being responded, “I’m seeking your face with all my heart.”’ This is original Facebook – our face-to-face encounter with God. Have you connected today?