August 22, 2004
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.”
I Chronicles 16:11
To seek is to look for something. Someone starting a new business seeks employees. Someone preparing a special meal seeks the precise ingredients necessary to create the exact taste they are looking for. Someone moving to a new area seeks a place to live. Above all these goals, God invites us to seek Himself and his strength.
Isn’t this wonderful? It is God’s will that we seek Him and that we seek His strength. What I love about this is that God wants us to find Him! He wants to be found by us! And He wants us to look for His strength for our needs. We have the most wonderful resource, ever, the living God of the Universe!
We get additional encouragement to seek Him in Matthew 7:7 & 8: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find…For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds….” Here we have God’s promise: if we ask or seek Him, we will find. We won’t be wasting our time. It won’t be a fruitless search. We won’t come up empty-handed! It will be worthwhile. We’ll be richly rewarded.
Further reinforcement is in Hebrews 11:6: “…he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” And this ties in with continually seeking His face. We must seek God purposefully, like someone seeking a job looks every day, make appointments, etc. and does not stop looking until the appropriate job is lined up.
What if we needed a job, but only looked in the paper once a month? What are our chances of landing that perfect job or even any job?
Likewise, we can’t go to church Christmas and Easter and consider that seeking God. That would be like getting married and visiting our wife twice a year. If that were the full extent of the marriage, it’s doubtful, for practical purposes, that we would consider it a marriage!
As I see it, in this verse God asks us to do three things, in ascending order (each one is more important than the one before it): First, seek Him. Second, seek His strength. And third, seek His face. As I meditate on these things, each one also seems more intimate.
It starts with looking for God, which some people do and some don’t! This is the first step. Face it: you can’t seek God’s strength if you leave Him out of the picture! One place in Scripture says: The joy of the Lord is my strength. Without any regard for God, there surely will be little, if any, joy in Who God is!
In Isaiah 30:15, we read: “…In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Is this just “sucking it up” and being stoic?
No. Rather, this is referring to the quietness of a soul at peace with God; and the confidence that comes from having a relationship with Him. This is unshakable strength that comes from knowing your sins are forgiven and will never be thrown in your face!
The first part of Isaiah 30:15 reads: “For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved;’…’’ Strength comes in turning from sin and turning to God.
But God asks for more. Secondly, He tells us to seek His strength. We have a choice. We can obey or go it on our own. We need Him. We need His Spirit and help every moment. Without God’s strength, we will ultimately fail!
Finally, we are asked to seek His face—continually! Wow!!! What an invitation!
When you speak with someone, face to face, it’s intimate. We’re not taking telephone call, fax, email, publication or yelling across the room! Face to face is personal and GOD tells us to seek this continually! I’m blown away: God wants me (and YOU) in His face!