God has been showing me and teaching me about His countenance—His Presence. Through David, the Psalmists, God instructs us to “seek His face.” We find this specifically in Psalm 27:8 “You have said, “Seek my face.” (David responds…) My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek” (ESV, emphasis mine). We find it again in Psalm 105:3-4, “Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” In these latter verses we see “seek, seek, seek.” Seek Him. Seek His strength. Seek His presence continually. It isn’t a one and done deal, it is ongoing. What an exciting, yet in this wild and crazy busy world—a challenging command. A challenging demand.₁
David uses two Hebrew words to stress we are to “seek” God. Although the words differ, the sense is the same and could be paraphrased, “Carefully search for the LORD and His strength; continually and eagerly seek Him.
Now that we have the method (seeking). WHAT are we after? We are to seek—His face. Face means (as some Bible translations refer to it) as presence. Paniym (in Hebrew) interestingly represents not just the “face” but the whole person. When we seek God’s face and stand before Him, face to face, (metaphorically, spiritually) we get His “wholeness.” We have access to His countenance. ALL His qualities and features.
I felt God showed me it’s like those board cut outs we see at the fair, life size with a humorous picture on the front. As you stand behind it, you lean forward and put your face in the cut-out hole, all that is genuinely seen of you is your face, the rest is a sketched illusion.
May I offer to help paint the picture, God is conveying in the above verses; He wants us to step around the board cut-out (possibly our sketched perspective) and receive ALL of Him. This isn’t an irreverent move, or rash intrusion, but an invitation. Being in His presence, full-on front, with no barrier, the whole God package—we have His love, mercy, grace, wisdom and yes, His justice.
James wrote, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (4:8a). The context is replacing our desire to sin with our desire to experience God’s presence and His availability and power to purify us. It is in His presence (slipping behind the board cut-out beyond just the face image) we have access to His wholeness. It is likened to when I stand face to face with a friend, I have access to their eyes, ears, mouth and even their hands. I have and see all their features. Yet, with this in mind, many of us take on the sketched illusion that God is mad at us and when in His presence, we only have His back—He is faced away. God is not mad at you; He is madly in love with you. We must look behind the perceived illusion and truly see Him.
It is amazing how (and expect it) the enemy knows we’re heading to “seek Him” – he’ll do anything to keep us from God’s Presence. We need to be Presence seekers, abiders and “fight for it” kingdom members!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” – Hebrews 10:24).
*I recently spoke on “Emotional Freedom” at our women’s conference, this is an excerpt from that teaching. (Click this link for part one: https://inspiredfountain.com/2022/03/13/before-you-pray-them-away/ and part two: https://inspiredfountain.com/2022/03/18/storm/ ).
1A command is an order and comes with authority. Demand is a firm request that does not come from a position of power. God gave the command; we demand of ourselves; it in our response and behavior—we seek HIM! So yes, in this wild and crazy busy world—a challenging command. A challenging demand.
Promotional Picture above from Oriental Trading