Psalms 27:8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
This Psalm is loaded with familiar, dearly loved passages, many of which have been set to music. However, I think this verse is what has impacted me most personally. The Japanese puts a slightly different twist on it: “My heart says in your place, ‘seek my face.’” In other words, David recognized that the voice, the desire in his heart, was a Word from the Lord. God speaks to all of us far more often that we generally recognize, but we have to choose to obey what He says to us, as David does here. “Lord, You are telling me to seek Your face. I choose to seek Your face.” The specific term for “seek” that the Japanese uses actually means, “earnestly desire and ask for.” It’s the same “earnestly desire” that is used in Psalms 42:1. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” When we recognize that God is telling us to seek Him, we need to choose to obey. It’s like Jesus so famously told us in terms of seeking our physical needs: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) We have all sorts of impulses, some from God and some not, and it is our choice which we will pursue. The path of blessing is always to follow God!
Many years ago I wrote, “Yes, Lord,” beside this verse in the Bible I was using at the time. I wish I could say I have been totally consistent in following through with that in the years since! I can say that the longer I walk with the Lord the easier and more natural it is to seek Him above and before anything else. I just wish I didn’t act so “unnaturally” at times! I am reminded of a man who has recently expressed a commitment to follow the Lord in baptism. However, when I talked with him about the timing, he wanted to put it off for a year! He actually said, “I want to play around for a year.” He quickly realized what he had said and backpedaled, but I think he was expressing his true feelings. He has already put off such a commitment for several years because of a “pet sin,” recognizing that Jesus will allow no other gods beside Him, and he is still being deceived to value that sin above eternal salvation. God is speaking to his heart as surely as He did to David, but he hasn’t yet responded fully to say, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” It’s easy for me to see what’s going on in him, but I am too often blind to my own deviations from the path the Lord has laid out for me. The “toys” the devil dangles in front of me can be pretty distracting at times!
Father, thank You for this clear reminder. Thank You for indeed speaking to me, and frequently at that. Help me recognize and obey everything You say to me, seeking the intimacy with You for which I was created, so that all the lies of the devil may be defeated and I be fully useful to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!
In the past 13 years since returning to active ministry, I have gained a deeper understanding of the biblical and sacramental reality of how baptism grafts us onto Christ, makes us temples of the Holy Spirit, plunges us into the tomb with Jesus, and infuses us with the new life of His Resurrection (among other things). I’ve spent a lot of time reading, meditating and preaching about it.
I’ll pray for the man who is hesitating.
Thank you for that. He was in the service again yesterday, which represents real effort for him, since he moved to Nagasaki City a few years ago.