Posted by: dhkrause | February 12, 2017

Seeking God’s Face

seek-my-face

Photo credit:
https://twitter.com/chr1stlike/status/656785185006972928

Psalm 27 powerfully portrays David’s relationship with God, providing a strong and inspirational example for all who desire to have a deeper walk with Him.  He begins by declaring the Lord to be the source of his confidence, the one who provides light, salvation, strength and courage:

Psalm 27 (NKJV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

Verse 4 reveals how God is the supreme focus of David’s life, the one object of his desire and of his ambition:

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I 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 inquire in His temple
.

This supreme focus is found throughout the scriptures, as Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in his book, “Seeking the Face of God”:

The apostle Paul, at the height of his great experience, says that this is his desire, the one thing that he wants: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings” (Phil. 3:10), “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind … I press toward the mark” (Phil. 3:13-14).  It is the realization that nothing really matters ultimately in life except my relationship to God: “That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6) …

In effect, the psalmist is saying, “What I want above everything else in this world is always to be in an intimate relationship with God, so that whatever happens, I am with Him and He is with me.”  … His supreme ambition is to gaze upon the glory of the being of God.

The psalmist starts with worship and adoration, and we also see this in the New Testament. “We all, with open face,” says Paul, “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord…” (2 Cor. 3:18).  That is it; you “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).
(“Seeking the Face of God”, Crossway Books, 1991, p. 168-170)

Psalm 27 continues with declarations of confident faith, praise and adoration:

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments:

This is the way to pray.  The apostle Paul has said it all, as we have seen, in Philippians 4;6: “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything” – or in all circumstances – “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  There it is: You start with adoration, wonder, and amazement.  You gaze upon Him and all His glorious attributes – what He has been, what He has done for us, and all the wonders of His work. You trace them out, you praise Him, and then, knowing Him, you bring your petitions to Him, whatever they may be.  (ibid, p. 171)

Psalm 27 concludes:

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments on these concluding verses:

Then the psalmist says, having done all that, wait for the answer.  Everything does not finish the moment you have uttered your petition.  “Wait on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14, emphasis added), He has heard you; He will do what you have asked, and He will do it in His own way.

Then, finally, this man comes to his inevitable conclusion:  “You know, if I hadn’t ‘believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living, ‘ If I didn’t know that God is ready and waiting to bless His people in this world as well as in that which is to come, ‘I [would have] fainted.’”

So he says to himself, “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say on the LORD.”  Start like that, and keep on like that.  Make it the central thing of your life to gaze upon God, to arrive at a knowledge of Him that will be intimate and personal, a communion with Him that will ravish your heart and cause your soul to rise up to Him.  Seek His face (v. 8), and go on seeking it.  Wait upon Him.  Let us praise Him and put ourselves entirely and completely in His hands.

And if you do this, you will find that He will be your light, your salvation, your strength and power, your never-failing refuge.  (ibid, p. 171-172)

Jesus prayed in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  In John 8:12 he said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 4: 6, For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/  2/12/2017


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