Thursday, June 25, 2009

seek His face

"Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always."
1 Chronicles 16:10,11

I was listening to another teaching message that encouraged me to seek the Lord's face instead of looking to His hand.

I was reminded of Psalm 37:4: "Delight yourselves in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

It's in seeking a relationship with God that we find ourselves blessed. When our hearts are in line with His, we want those things that He wants for us.

The speaker then suggested that when needs arise in our lives, rather than ask for what we think we need, instead tell Jesus, "I need You."

In Him we find all that we need and more than we can imagine. It's a simple, but incredibly powerful prayer.

As I contemplated this new idea, the Lord revealed yet another piece of the puzzle. He challenged me to do the same thing with the people in my life.

Instead of looking to the hands of others (in essence, what they can give me), I should look to their face. Seek to have a deeper relationship with them. It's yet another place I can choose life and die to my flesh.

So often in life, our relationships are built upon our needs. What can this person give me? Love? Appreciation? Power? Security? Companionship? Or perhaps, material things?

Granted relationships, healthy relationships, are based upon mutual respect, love, giving and receiving. It's when they are built upon taking that they are no longer healthy.

And yet, doesn't our flesh always seem to have a bent towards our needs, our wants and taking them from whoever will meet our needs? It's a struggle, isn't it? Our flesh rears its ugly head even in places we don't realize it.

There's a phrase that many of us parents say to our children without even thinking about it. "Give me a hug." Even if we add a "please" on the end, did you know it's still taking? I was challenged by a counselor years ago to change the phrase to, "Can I give you a hug, please?" I admit, my spirit felt an 'ouch' when she shared this idea with me.

It may sound ridiculous, and I know that most of us have the best of intentions when we say the former phrase. But, when we take time to think about what we are saying and change up the words, a shift happens in our hearts. At least it did for me.

I still catch myself at times asking for a hug and it's then when I need to check my motives. Am I feeling low on love? Is that a need that I should go to others to fill, or should I go to the Lord first? Easy answer, huh? :-) Not quite so easy to do.

However, when we seek our child's face, our spouse's face, our friend's face, our pastor's face, an orphan's face, it is there that we find true and pure love. We are spurred on to give of ourselves first, rather than seek to fulfill our own needs or agendas.

It's a mindset change. It doesn't happen all at once but the results can be life changing. New, incredible things will begin to happen. (I promise!)

When we seek another's face and really see and honor them, our flesh dies. We experience that glorious connection. We find ourselves desiring to bless them. In turn, the blessings of God are showered down upon us. It's a beautiful thing.

(Of course we don't give in order to get. Whenever that's been my motive, I've lost out on God's goodness. Never fun!!!)

Consider the words that Jesus spoke in the Beatitudes. When we give to others mercy, we are shown mercy. Whatever we sow, we will reap. Amazing, isn't it? The incredible thing is that God's promises never fail.

As crazy as they may seem, they prove true every single time. In a world that so often lets us down, isn't it great to know that we can find stability, truth and faithfulness in the Lord?

If we ask God to begin to work in our hearts and change our thinking, He will. His Spirit will begin to nudge us in new ways and teach us. Even when we choose death (our flesh) over life (our spirit.)

The other day, I found myself looking to another person to make me feel better. I felt the Lord immediately stop me. He nudged me to seek their face and look into their eyes.

In less than a second, I felt His gentle conviction and my true motives were revealed. He was teaching me in the moment and calling me to take another path. A new path.

All change takes time. Again, God is oh-so-patient with us. He desires to bless and grow us. When it is His Spirit speaking to us, it is gentle and kind. We feel motivated to change because of His love and goodness.

When we feel shame and condemnation, that is not from the Lord.

Seek His face and you will find that He is love. He is grace. Please don't forget that, my Friend! He loves YOU!!!

When I seek God's face, I am overwhelmed by His beauty and goodness. It is in His presence that I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Choosing today to seek His face,

1 comment:

Becky Ryder said...

You've reminded me of a verse the Spirit spoke to me about the other day, Col 3:2. Thanks for the SPIRITual food:)