Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
1 Chronicles 16:11 & Psalm 105:4
I first came across this verse a year or two ago while reading through the psalms. At the time, I had determined to extract a verse or group of verses that spoke to me that morning from the psalm. The verse or verses would be written on a sticky note and posted somewhere that I needed to be reminded of that truth. This verse was stuck to the dashboard of my car until the sun finally bleached the writing off the sticky note. Seeing this verse this morning gave me a smile and I determined to pause and consider this verse and what I am being commanded to do.
The verse tells me to seek three things. One, the LORD. Two, His strength. Three, His face. And it occurs to me that this works on so many levels.
First, this is the message of the gospel and salvation rolled into a miniature package. We begin by seeking the LORD. The Bible says that He will be found if we seek Him. Moreover, The Bible says that no one is looking for God, so only those who are being drawn by the Father unto salvation are actually looking for God. Those who find God and enter into the covenant of grace with Him then rely on His strength to make it through each and every day. Lamentations says that it is because of God’s great love for us that we are not consumed, for His mercies are new every morning. Jesus says that apart from Him we can do nothing. We need the strength of God to get through this Christian walk. Our ultimate goal? To see God’s face; to enter into Heaven and see God. The gospel and Christian walk in miniature: Seek Him. Rely on Him. See Him.
Second, this is how the believer is to begin and continue each and every day. We begin the day by seeking the LORD. Coming in prayer and having a time of devotion to get our minds prepared for going into a world hostile to how God thinks. We begin by seeking Him. Throughout the day, we rely on His strength. The psalmist wrote that the LORD is the strength of my life. And it is oh so true. Paul wrote that it is God Who works in me both to will and to do of His (God’s) good pleasure. I need the strength of God to continue to walk with Him throughout the day. And we seek His face. We look for Him to make appearances throughout our day. He might show Himself in the minutiae or He might be the quiet comfort that causes us to keep our heads when all about us are losing theirs and blaming it on us (probably because we’re the only ones not panicking).
Third and finally (for this morning), this works in a very personal way. To seek the LORD is to seek intimacy with Him; to love Him deeply and in truth. As a husband, I seek my wife regularly — I seek to know her thoughts on things and to understand how she ticks and to do things to bless her heart. In short, I seek to cement the bond between us. I am not always great at it (my wife can bear witness to my shortcomings), but I try. Do I do the same for the LORD? I need to seek Him in a similar fashion; to seek to cement the bond between us; to know His heart and mind and learn to understand what drives Him (hint: it’s Love). Not only do I seek my wife to cement our bond, but I also seek her strength. There are places where she is a rock and I am gelatin. She is steady and reliable and I’m wibbly-wobbly and ready to squish into a squishy squish under just about any pressure. I seek her strength in those areas, because those are the places where I need to be buttressed. Where God and I are concerned, every area in my life is an area in need of reinforcement. I need God’s strength to get through just about every day (the exceptions are the days I sleep through). And I seek my wife’s face. I enjoy seeing her; enjoy spending time with her. Being in her presence is not cumbersome to me (unless one or the other of us is being a total grump), but is something I actively look forward to. While working, I focus on work. But I am excited to get home and see my wife and daughter at the end of the day. Am I looking for God’s face to peek into my day with that same excitement and enthusiasm? I should be. God has a tendency to show up in the least likely places. Just look at all the places Jesus hung out in the gospels and you see God going everywhere the religious folks did not expect Him to be.
There is way more that could be said about this, but that last is my application. Am I seeking the LORD and His strength and His face? If not, I’d better get on it.