By Ben Doggett
Psalm 27 is one of my absolute favourite chapters in the Bible. There are many verses in it that leap off the page as they display who our God is and how we can know Him more.
In amongst many verses that show the power and faithfulness of God, in verse 8 the Psalmist expresses his desire to seek God:
As a church, in the coming months, we are going to be exploring a theme of ‘Seek My Face’ and responding to the incredible invitation of a God who wants to dwell with His people. We’re setting off on a journey to discover love, joy and peace in new depths that can come only from a life that is orientated towards relationship with the Father.
There are two things that it is important to notice in Psalm 27:8…
1) IT'S TIME TO SEEK!
I was recently at the lovely Glebe Pond in Lenham with my children. We had had some tasty treats from our local bakery and fed the ducks when the children decided that the next thing they wanted to do was a game of hide and seek! It was wonderful to see the delight they took in taking turns to run around and search for one another behind trees and in the bushes!
It made me wonder why it is that at some point in our lives we lose the childlike joy of seeking?! As an adult, seeking things often feels like an inconvenience and something we no longer have the patience for! In a world in which more and more things are available quickly and easily, we seem to spend less time patiently seeking the most worthwhile things.
Seeking the Father is the greatest pursuit of our lives. There is an opportunity to slow down, to not see seeking Him as a task to complete or something for our to do lists but instead for it to become an adventure of great joy. What wonders await as we seek for God’s face!
2) IT IS HIS FACE THAT WE ARE SEEKING
Throughout the Bible, including many times in Jesus’ own words, we’re encouraged to ask God for the things that we need. But as Jesus himself demonstrates when he teaches his disciples to pray, we begin with “Our Father..”
We are first called to remember who it is that we are seeking. We are seeking a perfect Father and are called to seek His face. All else flows from that place of intimacy of being face to face with the God of love!
GOD'S HEART FOR RELATIONSHIP
On Sunday mornings, we are going to explore God’s heart for relationship. We are seeking a God who passionately desires us and has consistently demonstrated his heart for his people to be in relationship with him.
So we will look at this truth from various angles to see what the scriptures show us about a God who paid the ultimate price so that we prodigals could come home.
Why is it so important to know what the Bible tells us about God’s heart for relationship? One simple reason is that the way we approach someone changes drastically based on how we perceive they feel about us.
If we believe they are a bit disappointed in us and find us quite underwhelming, we are likely to be hesitant, reserved and to have low expectations. However, if we know that their heart will always be for us and that they passionately desire to be with us, then it's a totally different picture!
That's why we have to understand what the Bible is telling us about His heart for relationship - because it will transform the seeking!
USING THE PSALMS TO EXPLORE SEEKING GOD IN PRAYER
In our midweek groups, we want to experience different ways of seeking God’s face and connecting with Him through prayer. We are going to ground that exploration in the Psalms.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests". The Psalms demonstrate how dynamic prayer is and the incredible range of ways and reasons through which we approach God and spend time with him.
In our groups we are going to do that really creatively and practically, making sure we go beyond simply talking about these things to truly meeting with our God together!
LET'S SEEK HIS FACE
This idea of ‘Seek My Face’ can't be about just learning more information. It also can't stop at a genuine appreciation for how much God desires to be with us.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth with grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace."
We get to enter in. We get to enjoy seeking the greatest thing that can ever be sought. We get to seek his face. The face of our creator. The face of our saviour. The face of love.
You can watch Ben's original talk on YouTube: