Seeking (and Discovering) God's Face PDF Print E-mail

The Fancy Newsletter

September 2016

 

 

 

 

It’s a pretty familiar Scripture verse.  In some ways, perhaps even famous.  In recent years it’s been the clarion-call scripture for spiritual (and cultural) revival in America.


If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways -- then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

(2 Chronicles, 7:14)


I was in a small gathering this summer with some amazing people of prayer.  We were praying for the city, its people, our elected officials, the schools, the neighborhoods, the churches.

As we did, the 7:14 passage came into our prayer … and inspired beautiful phrasing around the facets of the verse: humility, prayer, worship, obedience, fellowship, repentance, confession, forgiveness, healing.  There was joyful yearning for how the coming Revival will bless; as well as candid frustration that it hasn’t occurred yet.

We were praying in some detail about the words “seek my face.”  What does it mean to seek God’s face? In prayer, of course.  In song, worship and adoration.  By reading God’s word.

By walking in His spirit. These are true—but figurative—ways to describe the abstract act of seeking an unseen face.

 

Suddenly, the words ‘Matthew 25’ popped into my awareness.

Seek God’s face … Matthew 25 – Ah!


For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.  Then the righteous will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You; or thirsty, and give You drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’                               (Matthew 25:31-40)


According to Jesus, God’s face—literally, not figuratively—is the face of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.   If Revival is not yet here, is it because we have failed to seek all the aspects of God’s face with equal diligence?  Have we pursued prayer, worship and fellowship with passion and purpose … but servanthood not so much?   Have we undervalued servanthood or, worse, denigrated it as “social gospel” or “works?”


If we are to seek—and find—God’s face, Jesus says it will be found in the face of our neighbor.  Not as an object of evangelical persuasion, but as a friend with whom we can forge deep relationship.  A friend with whom we can share love.  And receive love. It sounds like Revival is indelibly linked with the Greatest Commandment:  Love God, Love Neighbor.

Lord, I need your help with both.

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