You have said, “Seekmy face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Psalm 27:8 ESV
God clearly wants to be known in a personal on-going relationship, and that is what we, his creatures, desperately need. So God invites us to “seek his face.” That is how his divine presence is expressed in the Old Testament. There is no Hebrew word for “presence;” it is always “face.” So, the so-called Aaronic benediction (Num 6:26) asks that his face may shine upon us. But what are the prerequisites for that to happen? How can we continually see his smiling face in our lives?
The first thing we must decide is whether we actually want God’s presence, or if what we really want is what he can do for us, in short, his presents. All too many Christians have settled for that bargain. All too many have said, “If I can just get the presents, if I can just get what God offers, if I can just get the deal, that will be enough. If I can’t have His presence, well that’s too bad.”
That’s what the story of Abraham and Isaac is all about. Abraham had the present—his son, Isaac. God asked him to choose which one he had to have. And Abraham chose God. Presents come and go but God’s presence is the one thing we cannot afford to lose. The same was true for Moses. God told him he could have the promised land, but he could not have God there. Moses responded that if he could only have God’s presence by staying in the desert, he would stay in the desert.
The tragedy is that for many of us the presents are what we think we cannot live without. The first prerequisite for the presence of God is to decide what you really want, what you are really willing to sell your soul for. Is it the presents? If it is, then in the end you will have gotten dust and ashes. Sell your soul for the presence of God, his face, and you will have found eternal life. Life forever!