Sunday, February 17, 2013

Seeking His Face

Seeking God's face is the ultimate quest anyone can pursue in this life. This quest comes with an incredible desperation, divine favor and lying in wait for where He is and following closely to what He is up to. Recently I learnt the word "waiting" in the Bible essentially means "setting up an ambush". It's almost militant in nature rather than the conventional sense of the meaning we understand of "waiting. This word is mentioned 53 times in the Bible and 49 times it is mentioned as with the definition of "writhing in pain as in child labor" or "whirling in the air in dance" fascinating! Both of these require intense focus and passion. So the meaning when the Psalmist writes "My soul waits patiently for the Lord" - it is an intense focus of seeking His face, seeking His presence. It's a tenacity of people who are desperate enough to almost ready to where I believe (through the examples in the Bible) that God is quickly attracted to.

Look at the example of the woman with the blood issue, Jacob in his wrestling match not letting go of the Lord till he is blessed, King Jeoshapat and Hezekiah or Hannah looking on for His face for their personal and corporate deliverances. Shall we then lie in wait - "set up an ambush" for God?. And in response I know God is looking for people who anticipate His every move and grab every chance to reach out to Him. 

Psalm 37:9 "But those who wait on the Lord will inherit the land."; yet another verse says "Those who look upon His face shall never go ashamed". 

Recently I learnt something new from the story of Elijah and Elisha. I always thought Elijah was taken away in the chariot of fire from heaven but closely reading 2 Kings 2:11  reveals that he was taken up in the whirlwind. Elisha was Elijah's protégée and successor as the prophet of the land.  However Elisha would only take his master's mantle if he got double the portion of his spirit. Elijah puts up  this test for young Elisha. If he was able to see him when he was take away from earth he would have his request. Elisha' sees an extraordinary event - an invasion of the supernatural act from heaven and yet he was not distracted from it because a mantle of authority was at stake. We are called hence to look upon His face with such focus, adoration and zeal (passion) that even the greatest gifts from heaven should not distract our gaze on His loving face. Seeking the Giver and His face is indeed the ultimate quest!

We wee God's heart for us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says "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 will forgive their sin and heal their land." The promise of seeking His face with honest hearts of repentance and worship comes with a blessing of our land being healed of its barrenness. Seeking His face brings prosperity and healing. Seeking His face aligns us back into our read identity in Him and His life overflows in us. 

Abba Father you are so merciful let me see your face as Moses did. As he sought your face he desired to know your ways to know you intimately and be known by you. Israel was aware of the acts of God but Moses knew about His ways because he sought His face daily. Israel thought seeing his face would mean death for Moses seeing His face meant "worth dying" so he could live eternally.  I like the hebrew expression more than how it renders in the english Bible in Exodus when God talks to Moses face to face like a man talks to his friend.  The hebrew version literally says God put His lips on Moses lips and that's how they communed or talked. The level and depth of intimacy Moses has is so deep because He lived before His face. The patriarch  Jacob names the place "Peniel" where he survives a wrestling match with God which means - "I have seen the face of God and lived". His name changes , life altered and eternal identity engraved in God plans and purposes. Shall we then not be in thus desperation of seeking His face?

Oh to seek His beautiful face and to be lost in adoration and wonder of Jesus is our call. Oh how I long to see His face. John in the book of revelation sees His face and is like a dead man yet we know His lovingkindness and His mercy enables us to stand before that Glorious face of God. As John says in that day "looking at His face we shall not be ashamed." is our great promise. 

God's desire when He tells Moses this is how you shall proclaim the Blessing to Israel...Numbers 6:22-27 records

"The Lord Bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance of favor upon you, and give you His Shalom. So they shall put My name on the children of Israel and I will bless them."

Beloved, God's desire as we seek His face is to give you His shalom, to be gracious to us and bear His name for His Glory. 

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

1 comment:

Nevil Dadrewalla said...

Good Work Sam