1 Chronicles 5:11
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
The word says to seek the Lord’s face continually and there should be a determination in our hearts to seek the face of the One who has loved us so completely. And the truth is, that seeking is intensified in times of trial and in the midst of circumstances that are out of our control. And sadly for some, it’s only in those moments that His face is sought. And the face that we seek is the face that we know and most recognize. That familiar gaze that meets our needs. But have we limited God in this? Have we stopped to ask Him, what do you really look like in this situation? That’s a challenge…I know…but what He really looks like may just surprise us!
Would it come as a surprise to us, if when we were seeking God’s face that He didn’t look the way we thought? Many times, we can mentally ascend to the idea of who we think God is and especially what we have known Him to be and there is nothing wrong with that. But would we accept it if after we have sought Him, formulating “His face” in our minds eye and expectation for a certain outcome, that when His will is revealed, it wasn’t how we imagined it?
I have an analogy to this that maybe you can identify with. It’s not all that often that you get to see your relatives. You are a great distance away and the last time you saw them, it was nearly three years ago. While you were together, you took pictures and exchanged photographs to put in your albums and wallets. Oh, you’ve spoken time and again…sharing many heart to hearts. But today, you were astounded. Your family has paid you a surprise visit! Your grandmother has died her hair red to cover the gray and looks younger than ever! Your cousin , after having little Lucy, has put on a little weight but wait a minute. Is that really Lucy? She’s walking now and that coal black newborn hair has turned platinum blonde! What a gorgeous child! You had no idea! This is not at all how you have pictured them! Somehow, you’ve been stuck in the past communion with them.
What do we do when His face isn’t like the snapshot we carry around in our wallet?
Yes, God is the same yesterday, today and forever! He never changes. He is always the same!
And He is “all” ways the same.
Deuteronomy 10:12 says, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul….”
Have we discovered “all” His ways? Or have we found the ones which we are comfortable?
God may never change but the world around us and our circumstances change moment by moment. Just like my left side appearance differs from the right, so does God’s and with our circumstances, we may find that we are looking at His left one moment and in an instant, it’s His right, the front of His face and even from behind sometimes as He leads us.
And here’s another thought, we may find ourselves ahead of Him and so often we hear the cliché “don’t get ahead of God” but it seems to me that if there is an account in the word, as there is in Isaiah 30:21, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”, then there will certainly times when we will be ahead of Him, when we can’t see Him at all.
I would say those are most precious times that spur on our desire to see Him all the more!
My husband carries a picture of me in his wallet and you know, I know it’s because he loves me and remembers the time he first fell in love with me that he still carries it. It’s an act of endearment when he opens it and shows it to his co-workers and friends. I know that. But I also know that John can’t expect to come home and see me as I was picture day in 1994 because even though I carry the same heart for him, I have a very different look now and my face today is what he needs to see and love. And if he constantly shows that picture without sharing the day to day life we share and how he saw me this morning, the perception might be that I’m going to be looking, doing, or acting in a way that I’m not right now. Can I ever look like that again? Possibly…but not today. (Let’s face it, I’m human and it would definitely be a supernatural feat. It’s a miracle! Yay!)
Can God ever look like that again? You bet and there are times He will but there are also times when we have to quit pulling out the wallet and get the camera instead to take a new snapshot!