I’ve been thinking about what made people like Daniel so different in their day. What made him stand out in a nation filled with idolatry and witchcraft? What made Elijah different? What made David a man after God’s own heart? What made Noah the chosen man to build the ark and save his family from the flood? What made these men different?
I came to realise that all these men were men who sought the face of God. They sought to know God, they sought His will, though they were men like us, they stood out and great things happened when they prayed. James 5:17 says ‘Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years’.
Seeking the Lord means seeking His presence. ‘Presence’ is a common translation of the Hebrew word for face. Literally, we are to seek God’s face. This is the Hebraic way of having access to God. To be before His face is to be in His presence.
His face, which is the brightness of His personal character, is hidden behind the curtain of our carnal desires. This condition is always ready to overtake us. That’s why we’re told to seek His presence continually. God calls us to enjoy continual consciousness of His supreme greatness, beauty and worth.
This happens through seeking, continual seeking. But what does that mean practically? Both the Old and New Testaments say it is a ‘setting of the mind and heart’ on God. It’s the conscious fixing or focusing of our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on God. ‘Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God’ ‘If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth’ (Colossians 3:1-2).
Seeking involves calling and pleading. O Lord, open my eyes. O Lord, pull back the curtain of my own blindness. Lord, have mercy and reveal Yourself. I long to see Your face. And as we direct our minds and hearts God-ward in all our experiences, we cry out to Him. This too is what seeking Him means. ‘Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near’ (Isaiah 55:6). ‘If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy...’ (Job 8:5).
The great promise to those who seek the Lord is that He will be found. ‘If you seek him, he will be found by you’ (Jeremiah 29:13). And when He’s found there’s great reward. ‘Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him’ (Hebrews 11:6). God Himself is our greatest reward. And when we have Him, we have everything. Therefore seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!
Prayer: Lord give me the strength to seek You continually in all I do. Open my eyes to see who You are so that I may know You more. Make me one after Your own heart. Amen.
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