Seek My Face
Heal Our LandPastor Jerry Gillis - October 2, 2016
We seek God because we were made for God.
Community Group Study Notes
- What does it mean for you to seek God’s face? What does this look like in everyday life?
- When it comes to setting your heart and mind on God, what steps are you taking to do that alone and to do that with other believers? What steps do you need to take next in response to this message?
- What are some distractions that get in the way of you seeking God’s face? What can you do to remove these distractions?
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:8)
You guys may have heard that this past week there was a presidential debate. I'm pretty sure you heard about that. If you watched it, I thought it was interesting. Obviously, I thought it was interesting on a number of different levels, but one was on a visual level. Because what we had is we had a debate that was the entire time split screened, and the two faces of the candidates. And we're seeing them at all times, the whole time, which is really interesting.
I mean, if the old saying is true that the eyes are kind of like little windows to the soul, then I'm guessing the whole face is like the front door. Right? Where you can actually begin to see a little bit, every time someone said something and what the reaction of the other candidate was, and then that candidate said something that was a reaction by the other one. And so we know that faces can tell us a lot about kind of the nature of who someone is.
But we realize that their there's more to them than just a face. That there there's a whole complex behind kind of what we see. Obviously sometimes, it's better for us to be able to talk face-to-face, because we can't express sometimes tone very well over email or over a text message or whatever, and so we need to kind of see one another.
Now, it's also true by the way that sometimes we can manipulate that, right? Actors get paid lots of money to be able to make you feel certain ways about the way that they're acting even if they don't feel that way. So sometimes they can show you things with their face that aren't really what's going on. And so we know we can it be manipulated that way as well, so we have to kind of be careful.
I was always interested in what the network's choice was to show us the split-screen of the two candidates the entire time. And maybe it was the network's way of reminding us that barring something unprecedented in presidential history, that one of the two of those faces is going to be the predominant face that we see on television over the course of the next number of years. For us, whatever it is you feel about that, for us it can be a reminder that every time we see that face that we have an opportunity to be able to pray for them, and the responsibilities that God's entrusted to them as we have been doing through this entire week.
Now the text that we're dealing with in 2nd Chronicles chapter 7 that we've been studying over the last few weeks, actually mentions a face in the text. God Himself mentions a face in the text. And in fact, what it says in 2nd Chronicles 7 verse number 14 is this. It says, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray - and here it is - seek my face.
Now let's pause there for just a second, because we've been studying this passage kind of piece by piece over the last number of weeks, and we remember that this is God speaking to Solomon in an answer to a prayer that Solomon prayed in chapter 6. We have God responding to that prayer kind of point-by-point. God is actually addressing Israel through Solomon, Solomon as their king. He's addressing the whole of his people, saying not only do I want Solomon to pray this way, but I want all of Israel to do that. And I want Israel to humble themselves and to pray and to seek my face.
Now that word seek in the Hebrew language actually means to desire or to require. And in other words, it means what you think it means. When you see that word, it means what you think it means, the idea of to seek. And this isn't a new concept, by the way, to Solomon. When God says to Solomon that I want my people to seek my face, this is not language that Solomon's unfamiliar with. Because Solomon's dad, David, used this language plenty. He used it when he was talking to people at large, when he was talking to himself, when he was talking to worship leaders, when he was talking to the leaders that were going to build the temple, and when he was talking to his own son Solomon. He used this kind of language, so it's not unfamiliar language.
In fact, I'll show you a couple examples of that in 1st Chronicles, when we look backwards into into chapter 16. David appointed Asaph and his associates to be worship leaders, to give praise to the Lord. And he said, do it in this manner. Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all of wonderful acts. 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. So Solomon actually told this to the worship leaders of Israel that this is what they were to do. Or David said this.
David also kind of preached this to himself. Listen to what he said in Psalm chapter 27 verses 4 and 8. He said, "One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." And then listen to verse 8. "My heart says of you,
'Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek." This is David kind of preaching to himself about what he should do.
And then when David was talking to kind of the leaders of Israel about the building of the temple, listen to what he said in 1st Chronicles chapter 22. He said, "Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God." And then he tells them to begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord. So he's telling them to seek the Lord. This is part of what he said.
Now, here's the thing. If we're talking about in this passage, that kind of the command for us is to seek, then we got to ask the question, well how do we do that, right? I mean, that's kind of the first thing that comes to our mind. If really what we're looking at kind of now in the church age is to look back on this and principally say, okay. God told Israel to seek his face. How do we seek? Well, I'm going to help us with that in second, real practically.
But here's what I want you to understand. I want to blow up the idea that you've got to do nothing to do that. Because sometimes we have this idea in our Christian faith that we just kind of sit back, kick back, do nothing, and it's just going to be. It's just gonna happen, right?
And now we get that idea because we preach so often here that salvation is by the grace of God. It is a gift. It is not of us, it is of him. Right? We all understand that. Comes straight from the Scripture that salvation is a gift of God. When we put our faith - by the way a faith that God gave to us - when we put our faith back into his Son and what he has done on our behalf, for the forgiveness of sin and for the reconciliation of humanity to God. When we do that, we are saved not by our own works, but because of God's grace in our lives. We've done nothing to earn that. It's all about what he's done that is so true about salvation, and we couldn't say it often enough. But when it comes to sanctification, this is a big word that just means what it looks like for us to grow in the grace that has been shown to us, this great salvation and how that plays out in our lives and making us more like Jesus. We don't just sit around and do nothing. We don't just kick back and go, oh mean, it's just grace right. We'll just kick man, it's just gonna happen. That's not what we do. That's not how we operate. And I'm saying that to you for a number of reasons, because unfortunately I've seen that kind of idea in people's minds.
But when we listen, listen to this, when we listen to what David said to Solomon, I want you to hear very specifically how he used the language he used in 1st Chronicles chapter number twenty-eight. David said, and you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with what? wholehearted devotion and with a willing what? mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.
Now here's why I want to pause here for just a second, because what David said to Solomon required actual doing. It required action. It wasn't just sit back. Here's what he said. He said, I want you to take your whole heart, and I want you to seek God. I want you to take all of your thoughts in your mind and I want you to seek God. This isn't just oh, it's going to happen. This is actually setting your heart and setting your mind on God.
Now, the reason I bring that up is because that pattern that we see when David is talking to Solomon is the same pattern that Paul teaches us in Colossians. Listen to what Paul says. Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ, is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. You see, the same pattern is here. Set your heart on God. Set your mind on God. That's what David is saying to Solomon. And then Paul says to us, set your hearts on Jesus. Set your minds on Jesus. This is important. It is action.
You do know that there's a big difference between just what we intend to do and what we actually do? You realize that's a huge, huge, yawning gap. You see, I've said this actually to my oldest son before. I said man, when he was graduating high school, I said, listen here's the thing. You're gonna have a lot of friends that are going to talk about what they're doing or what they're going to do. But sometimes, they're just blowing smoke, and here's why. Because they're not making choices in the direction that they say they're wanting to go.
For instance, let's just say that a number of folks were getting into a sailboat in Wilson, New York. And when you ask them where are you going, they said we're going to Toronto. Barring the fact that would be an international incident, just for the sake of illustration, let's just say that they were going to do that. And then they get in a boat, and you ask them, where you guys headed? We're headed to Toronto. But they never set the sail to catch the northerly wind that would take them north across to Toronto. Instead, they let the wind blow wherever it wanted, and take them where they wanted. Or, they didn't even bother to roll up the sail. They just let the current take them wherever the current was going. But if you ask them while they're out in the middle of Lake Ontario, where are you guys going? They'd say, Toronto! That was their intention. But intention won't get you where you're going; direction will. There's a huge difference between these two things, ladies and gentlemen.
Intention is what we talk about; direction is what we do. When we make actual choices in the direction, action in the direction of, we can get where we're going. But when we just talk about what our intent is, that doesn't get us where we're trying to head. The reason I say this is because when we are going to be people who obey the command to seek God, it requires action. It's not just something we just sit around and hope happens to us. It requires doing.
So what do you do? How do you seek? Let me give you three quick things. They're going to be quick. They're just practical, alright? Here's the first thing. You need to get alone and set your mind and your heart on God. Get alone. Get by yourself. Get alone and set your heart and mind on God. This is one action you can take.
Now, I've already lost some of you when I said that. Here's why. Because you can't take being alone for any length of time, whatsoever. It's like the worst thing in the whole world.
And here's the thing. So when I was taking a couple of weeks off back in the summer. I read a book. I just you know sometimes, I'm sorry to admit this, sometimes I read nerd books. It's just how it goes, alright? So just like it. Nerds. Right? Solidarity. So I read this book by a professor of social sciences and technology from MIT. I told you. And the book was about kind of the interface between technology and society. So it kind of has sociological implications and other things. She has been studying this for 30 years, and has written extensively early on about how technology can be used in a number of a wonderful ways.
But this book that she just wrote. This book is kind of a warning. She's actually kind of learning now, saying hey I'm afraid that our use of technology to babysit us is costing us a lot of things. She's not necessarily writing from a faith perspective, but she's writing from a common-sense perspective. Here's her determination. It's costing us the ability to silently reflect and meditate on rich, deep things. Here's why. Because according to her, people are growing increasingly fearful of loneliness to the point that they think that they have a solution, and solution is technology.
So in other words, I can just surf and kill time, and I don't feel so lonely. Or, I'm feeling lonely, and I don't like that feeling at all. I'm scared of it. So I just ping a few of my friends when I text them. I text like 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 of them. Or take my whole, you know, my whole contact list, and just hey what's going on? And then I watch. And sure enough, my phone starts lighting up. And I don't feel lonely anymore because people are reaching back out to me. Or I put something on Facebook, you know, my status. And I make it real kind of cryptic and vague. Uh-oh. Something's going on. So that I'll get like a thousand comments. What's happening? Please tell me. What's going on? We can't stand loneliness. And we think now that we fix that because we have technology. We can turn on you know we've got on demand anything. We can watch whatever we want. And we can binge-watch. And we can do everything that we want to do. And we can be so distracted that we don't feel as lonely anymore.
This professor that wrote this book by the way told about this one research project - it was extraordinary - where they actually asked human beings to sit in isolation and silence for 15 minutes. Not in a dungeon. Not like scary things or clowns. I'm not talking about any of that, alright. It's not that. They were just by themselves sitting in a room, all by themselves. No talking. No phone. No nothing. The only thing they gave them was a button that if they pushed it would give them an electric shock. For 15 minutes they were supposed to sit in there. And on average, after six minutes, people were starting to shock themselves. You know why? Because they couldn't sit that long without outside stimulation. Or they were just too lonely and couldn't get start to think about deeper things and think about things that are transcendent, and think about things that are rich to meditate on. Couldn't do it. So they just started buzzing themselves occasionally just to stimulate.
I know it sounds hilarious and sounds crazy. What it is is sad. It's sad. Because we lost the ability to get alone. You see, if we're going to make choices in the direction of seeking God, we have got to learn what it means to get alone and to set our hearts and our minds on God. We've got to get alone. We gotta get with the word. We gotta get on our knees. And we've got to get to listening to what God wants to say to us and transform us. We have to do that if we want to seek.
So you get alone, but you also have to get together and set your heart and your mind on God. That means that we're not so casual about attending worship. Because what happens when we actually gather together is we hear and we see the stories of people's lives that were transformed. I'm getting fired up watching people's baptism stories when they're talking about how Jesus changed their life. How God got a hold of this gentleman and put his marriage back together and started repairing things in his life. Those are the kinds of things, ladies and gentlemen, that caused me to want to seek God more, because I'm seeing God's activity in the lives of other people.
But we can count on people attending worship in the United States about once every four weeks. And that's for the real faithful ones. Once a month. That's about what you get in the United States. Once a month they're going to gather together. Why? Because they're distracted! They got a million other things going on.
That's why we don't want to be in a small group. We don't want to be a small group. Because man, if we got together with people that would mean kind of our lives would be sharpening one another. And if you don't want any part of accountability or authenticity or really growing in your faith, then you want to stay out of that mess. You don't want any part of that. You just want to lay low, right? But this is what we are to be about. This is about us helping one another, inspiring one another, moving one another in the direction of what it means to be shaped in the image of Jesus. We can't be so cavalier about that, because we are made for one another in the body of Christ to be able to help one another grow in faith. This isn't a lone ranger kind of scenario. We have to be people who are willing to get alone with God. But it's in that aloneness with God that we bring something to the community. And it's in the community where we have things that we bring back to our solitude that help us to seek God more.
So we gotta get alone. We gotta get together. And we also got to get going. And we get going, we set our hearts and our minds on God. That means that we purposefully, wherever we are, at our work, we purposefully say, God what are you doing? Give me eyes to see your activity among what's going on in my work, or what's going on at my school, or what's going on in the places where I play or hang out or shop or whatever. This is our opportunity to be absolutely intentional. I mean, God give me eyes to see when you open a door with one of my co-workers to be able to minister to them. God, give me eyes to see when you have a need that you want me to meet of a neighbor that may open a door for me to show and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what we have to be about if we want to be able to seek.
So that's.. when we talk about how we seek, that's what I'm talking about. Those are just some simple things, right? But if we talk about how we seek, it's fair enough to ask the question of the text, what do we seek? Well, the text is really clear, right? If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek what.. my face. You see, what we're told to seek is his face.
Now, before you get carried away, let me explain this for a second. When we talk about seeing his face, that is some scholars would call this and sociologists call it this. It's anthropomorphic language. You can just rewind this at some point on your DVR. Anthropomorphic language. Here's what that means. It means that we ascribe human characteristics to God for descriptive purposes. That's what it means. So an anthropomorphism is ascribing human characteristics to God for descriptive purposes. If the Bible tells us that God is spirit, and tells us to seek God's face, how do you seek the face of spirit? Well, it's human language to describe what we're doing. You see that word in the Hebrew language panim, the word for face. It means presence or person. You see, when we're told to seek God's face, what we're told is we're told to seek God's presence, or to seek, we could say, seek God's person.
Now you say, well, why would we seek his presence when his presence is always with us? Well, let me pause for just a second. It is true that because God is omnipresent, his presence is everywhere at the same time, all the time, in that sense. It is also true of those of us who are children of God by faith in Jesus that the Spirit of God has been deposited in our hearts as a guarantee of what's to come. And because the Spirit lives in us, God is always with us. That is absolutely true. We affirm it a million percent. And we thank God for it.
But when we're talking about his presence, is it fair to say that there are times in our lives when we don't experience the reality of his presence as we should? That fair to say? You know, I can tell you how that happens. It happens through pride which leads to prayerlessness. And that's where we don't begin to experience the presence of God in our lives as we ought. It's as if the veil of our flesh closes in, and gives way to all of the distractions that are trying to move us elsewhere, and we do not set our minds, and we do not set our hearts on God. And as a result, we don't experience his presence as we should. It makes sense then that God said to Israel, you need to humble yourselves and pray and seek my face. These go together. You see, because without humility we're never going to be able to seek God's face as we ought.
I heard a story from a pastor years ago who was talking about playing hide-and-seek with his daughter. I don't remember, she was maybe three or something. And he said, the problem was he was really good at hiding, and she was really bad at it. So you know how that game goes, right? It's just not really that good. So she would sometimes, you know, get frustrated. But, he would sometimes, you know, just like stand in a closet and pretend he's a coat or something, you know. And she would be like, ahhh! And she loved seeing his face whenever she found him. She would just love that.
So there was one particular occasion, he said, that he was hiding behind the door, which he did very often. Like to know, just an open door. He would just be hiding behind the open door, and she didn't think that he would be back there. She would just walk into a room and not think about looking behind the door. And she was getting really frustrated. And she was kind of, you could see her just marching around going, "Dad! Your hiding place is too hard! I can't find you!" So he started thinking to himself, he's like, well what am I going to do here? He said, so you know what I started doing? He said, I would hide behind the door, but I would stick my foot out, so that when she walked into the room, she would just see a foot sticking out. Here's what he said. He said, because I knew if she could find my feet, she could find my face.
That couldn't be more true of us. If we can find in humility the feet of God, that's where we'll find his face. You see, we can't approach him in pride and in prayerlessness. But instead, we humble ourselves and pray and seek his face. How do we do that? We find his feet! And when we find his feet, we can find his face. You see, I promise you this is important to every single one of us, because when you walk through the darkest seasons of your life, you are going to know that you can seek the face of God and find him. Because that's what you need to know, that in those darkest seasons of your world, you need to know that the face of God is looking at you. That's your greatest need.
When Edie was away one time, and I had the boys, And I remember they were really young, and I don't remember where she was. And it's bad, because I'm always panicked when she leaves. Like it should be illegal. It's not allowed. I'm not so good by myself. And the boys were young I don't.. Tanner was probably I don't know three. Trace may have been six. Whatever it was, they were young. And she was leaving. She's like, I'm going this women's retreat. I'm like, well how long is it? She said 36 hours. Thirty-six hours. I can make it without eating for 36 hours. I can. I can do that, I think. You know, so I'm panicky, right? She's gone. I don't know where she is, wherever it was. I think it was a ladies retreat.
And so, I'm sleeping in my bed. The boys are in their room. And I guess it was maybe a storm or lightning or whatever. Tanner comes walking into my room, wakes me up. Dad, I'm scared. I'm like, that's cool man. Go be scared in your own room. Because we, our kids didn't sleep in our bed. That bed - that's for Jerry and Edie, right there. That bed right there. That's mom and dad's bed. You sleep in your bed. So you got a bed. You go sleep in it. But I'm scared! Ok, cool. You can be scared here, or you can be scared there. Don't you be scared there. You can tell I'm a boy dad. Some of you are going, I'm glad you're not my dad. That's cool. I've seen some of you. And I would like to maybe do something about that.
And so, I think he may have tried, and then it was still like lightning or whatever. And he comes back in. And I'm just like, okay, look. Mom's gone. I'll let you get in. Now, that was rare, because particularly for Tanner, because that dude is like a donkey when he sleeps. He's like.. doing this all the time. I was like, I don't know how people sleep. He's flying around, standing on his head, cracking me. You know, I'm like, dude. So I had to push him away over to the other side. And be like, hey, build a wall, you know. So he's in our bed, you know, and he's like, I just don't know. It's like, let me go to sleep. Keep the light on. Ok, whatever, you know. So I think he's asleep. I turn the light off. I'm not asleep yet! Alright, alright. Anybody ever been through this? I'm sure I'm the only one that's ever experienced this.
So finally, I'm feeling like life's pretty good. And I said, look, here's the deal. I'm just turning the light off. We're just going to sleep. It's just going to be how it is. I'm here. You're here. We're going to sleep. Everything's cool. Turn the light off. Fifteen, twenty minutes of nice silence. Everything seems to be going extraordinarily good. And I'm thinking, I'm getting the dad award of the century. I've got a story to tell Edie. Like I actually did this. So we're laying there. I'm thinking he's asleep. I feel like he's heavy breathing. And then, I feel this hand groping my face. And I was like, hey bud, why are you grabbing my face? His response was, only as a little kid could be, was I'm still scared, it's a little dark, and I just wanted to make sure your face was looking at me.
Now, I didn't tell it for the awwws, even though it's a really cute story. I tell it to you because that is a great picture of how we are when we're in the midst of serious dark troubled times in our lives. What we want to know more than anything in the world is that this groping hand can find the face of God. And just to know that he is looking at us, even in the midst of our darkness changes everything for us. That's when we can rest in him, right?
Now, here's the good news. The good news of the gospel is that because of what Jesus has done on our behalf, we can know when we have put our faith in Jesus, that the face of God is ever turned toward us in Jesus. Even in the midst of our darkest seasons. Listen to how Paul said it in 2nd Corinthians chapter 4. He said, "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ." You see, ladies and gentlemen, this is what we need beyond measure. We need to seek the face of God, because in every season, and particularly in our darkest seasons, this is what sustains us.
But do you know why else we should seek the face of God? Here's why. Because, plain and simple, God rewards it. He rewards us when we do that. Listen to what the Scripture says. The writer of Hebrews chapter 11 says this: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
Well, what is that reward Jerry? What is that reward for seeking God? Well, I'll tell you another story. When my guys were really little, I was traveling plenty. I've been in lots and lots and lots of countries in the world. And in most of those countries have had the opportunity to preach the gospel, and train ministers of the gospel, and just a privilege. What I would do when I would come back from those trips is I would typically, particularly when they were younger, I would bring them something. I would bring something for Edie most of the time, you know, and find something cool. I'd bring something for Trace that was specific to him. I would bring something for Tanner. And so, it got to be that I was on a plenty of these trips, and when they were younger, I would get home, and they would expect for me to give them something. In fact, I distinctly think that I remember, I won't say which son, but I'm pretty sure one of them, at one point when I came in. I've been gone for a week and a half or two weeks in another country. Hadn't talked to them, hadn't seen them. I get my hugs, you know. I'm home. And before my bags hit the ground, "Dad what did you bring us?" You know, it's interesting because that happened when they were younger. But you know as they got older, they stopped asking. Do you know why? Because what became apparent to them, they never said this, but what became obvious at this point was that my presence with them became gift enough. It wasn't what was coming from my hand. It was their opportunity and my opportunity for us to see each other's face.
You see, ladies and gentlemen, what the writer of Hebrews is trying to get at right here in chapter 11, is that when we seek God, here's what he rewards us with. Himself. His presence. His very person. Do you know how life would change if the church of Jesus Christ would be content as their great reward God's presence and God's person above anything else that he gives us? That when we have actually grown to that place where that is our heart and that is our desire, it changes everything for us.
But see, I know what it feels like for some of us. You struggle with this idea of seeking what you can't see. I'm told to seek the face of God, but I can't see him. Well, we know in Jesus that we've seen the face of God, right? He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, Colossians says. That in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, as it says in John chapter 1. We know that in seeing Jesus, we see God. He says, I and the Father are one. If you've seen me, you've seen the Father, Jesus said. So yes, we've seen God in the face of Jesus.
But some of your saying I agree a hundred percent, but I wasn't around 2,000 years ago, and I didn't get to see his face. And so there's some kind of longing that's birthed inside of us that even as we seek the face of God in the now, and can experience his presence in the now, that there's still this longing inside of us. But do you know the New Testament realizes that that's the truth for us, and gives us these drops of honey through the course of the New Testament as almost promises as a foretaste of what is to come. Listen to how Paul says it in first Corinthians 13. He says, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we only see the reflection as in a mirror; but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
Does anybody besides me long for that? There's like almost a dull ache inside of me that I can't put my finger on that longs for that kind of knowing and being known. In fact, a couple of chapters later when Paul is talking about the resurrected body and the resurrection of Jesus, he's actually talking about how what Jesus is going to do upon his return. People of God will be transformed and changed into resurrected bodies like his. And then he says, then the Scripture says, that Jesus will take the keys of the kingdom, the keys of everything, and will present them to the Father. And then notice what Paul's words are in chapter 15 verse 28. He says, "When Jesus has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be" - listen to this - "all in all." Kind of an unfettered unbridled intimacy that you have never before even imagined are contemplated is headed your way to satisfy every longing you've ever had in your world.
Now, we know John tells us we're going to see the face of Jesus. He tells us that in a couple of places. But in 1st John, he says it very clearly. Listen to what he says in chapter number three. "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we will see him as he is." I'm not looking to get up a plane full of people right now and make that trip just yet. But man I'm ready for that, to see his face.
You see, we're going to be seeing a face of a president over and over and over and over and over again over the next number of years. And we've got a choice. We've got a choice to be reminded to pray for them as we appeal to the one whose face we seek in the now, and whose face we long to see in the future.
And do you know when John who wrote the Revelation, when he gets to chapter 21 in chapter 22, what we see there is we see a new heaven and a new earth. That after all is said and done, there's almost an eternal reset, where everything is going to be going back to the design and the heart and the desire of God. Humanity will be living, those of us who put our faith in Jesus, will be living in resurrected bodies just like Jesus's. And we will know even as we are fully known. And then in that passage in chapter 22, it talks about God the Father, and it talks about the Lamb of God, Jesus, who we will see face to face. We will see the scars in his hands and in his feet that still remain, according to the book of the Revelation. Of what he has done on our behalf to secure our salvation and our reconciliation with the Father. But to read Revelation 21 and 22 about the new heavens and earth really ultimately requires us to be in that state to really understand what's going on there. And we're not there yet. All we have is words. All we have is the inside of the Spirit. But we still realize we can't fully get there. We can't fully comprehend it.
Because it's there, not talking about the Son, but talking about the Father, we hear these words from John in the new heavens and new earth. "They will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads." This is the unequivocal stamp of God on his people. That they are mine, and he is ours. I don't fully understand what that means because I'm not there yet. But what I do know is this: is that John gives us a picture of standing in the place we were made for in the presence of the One we were made for. And so when anybody ever asks the question, why should I seek God? The answer is simple. We seek God because we were made for Him. That's why. We seek Him because we were made for Him.
So I say this to you. Do you want to get about the business of living your life in such a way that you get in on what you were made for, and who you were made for? If so, seek His face. The question is this: what's distracting you from that? What's got your attention more than that? More than what you're made for, and who you're made for? What's got your attention more than that? Because if we are living lives that do not seek his face, and if in fact we are made for him, then that means anything that we do that is inconsistent with his heart is a corruption of his design of our lives. So what's distracting you? What's hindering you? What's calling you somewhere else? And then some even more practical questions. What actions are you going to take? What are you going to do? Not what your intention is, but what are the actions and choices in the direction of seeking his face that you're going to take? What are they? And then, to be a little more specific, and get in your grill slightly even further, when are you going to do that? When?
This is what we are confronted with. Humble ourselves and pray and seek my face. Why? Because God knew when he was talking to Solomon and talking to Israel that his people were made for him. That's why he called them to this. And do you know what we know just as clearly in the New Testament. The same thing. We're made for him. So seek His face.
Let's bow our heads together. Before we walk out the door, and we are walking out in just a moment. If you're here and you've never before entrusted your life to Jesus. He has gone to a cross and died on your behalf, to set you free from the guilt of sin, from the chains of sin, to give you new life, to make your brand-new. This is His gift to you. If you need to know what that looks like in your own life, what it looks like to be born from above, to be a new kind of human being remade in the image that God has desired for you to live in, then when we dismiss in just a moment, I'd ask wherever you are in this room or the East Worship Center, if you'd come by the Fireside Room. It's just out in the atrium, clearly marked. You can see it. It says Fireside Room. Just come in there. There's pastors, prayer partners, love to talk to you about that relationship with God through His Son Jesus. We'll only stay a few moments. But come by. No more important decision you'll ever make.
And I'm wondering if for some of us maybe we realize that God was speaking to us today, and we're willing to surrender to what His desire for our heart is. What actions do you have to take? When are you going to take them?
So Father, I trust that your Spirit will work in our hearts to call us to a place of seeking Your face, because when we do we begin to understand why we were made and who we were made for. And it allows us to be useful and fruitful in our lives in serving you and understanding your presence in every facet of our going. That wherever we are, if we seek your face, we can know and experience the reality of Your presence in every situation. Because what the world needs is to see people whose lives are saturated with the presence of God, so that they might see and know and taste that He's real, that He loves them, that He wants to save them. So help us to be a people who seek Your face. Above all things we ask in Jesus name, amen.
God bless you guys. Have a great week.