Seeking God's Face

Dr. Stanley asks us to reconsider our ways of thinking and daily routines to ensure our top priority is to seek God’s face, especially considering the current COVID-19 situation.

Is it possible to predict the future? I know most of us would like to. Especially considering our current situation, many people have questions about when everything will return to normal—or if it ever will. We probably realize certain aspects of our lives need to change in light of what we now know. For example, I am convinced we will all be washing our hands a great deal more from now on.

However, the truth of the matter is that this situation is not only going to alter our society, but it will change us personally in ways we may not even be thinking about. For most of us, the old pattern of life has been broken, and a new one has arisen in its place.

This began out of necessity, but as the weeks have worn on, new habits have formed. We’ve become aware of needs in our homes. We’ve recognized there are some unanswered questions, broken places, and intense areas of frustration in us. We’ve seen that some aspects of how we operate do not actually work very well and that there are some dependencies that need to be purged.

In other words, we have realized that we are not living the abundant lives that God intended us to experience as believers in Christ.

After all, that is what Jesus gives us. He says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). This is a life that is not limited to mere human understanding, but a life that is supernaturally guided and empowered by the wisdom of almighty God.

But if we are honest, in those moments when despair, loss, and confusion set in, we may confess we have wondered if this Christian life even works at all. Certainly, this season in lockdown has given us plenty of time to ponder what is effective and what isn’t.

But while we may not be able to predict the future, we are taught in Scripture a way to ensure that we are on the best course possible. Galatians 6:7 instructs, “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

Now, don’t walk away thinking you’ve heard this all before. And don’t dismiss this message because you feel like you’re not planting or harvesting anything during this time of lockdown. Understanding that you reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow is especially crucial during times when we feel like we are not accomplishing very much.

Because at this moment in history, you are sowing more than you realize into your spirit. You are allowing more to affect who you are and what you will become than usual. New patterns and habits are being set, so this is a time to be active in choosing what influences you.  

Galatians 6:8 tells us, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Ask any farmer, and he or she will confirm this principle. You cannot plant carrots and expect to harvest Brussels sprouts. If you put tomato seeds into the ground, you are not going to grow a pear tree.

And right now, we are more influenced by fleshly understanding than ever before. We are listening to scientists, doctors, lawmakers, economists, and the media for updates and insight. This is not necessarily a bad thing—we need to comprehend what is occurring.

However, they are not the final voice in anything that happens to us—not by a long shot. They cannot predict the future. 

But the One who holds our futures in His hand declares “the end from the beginning” for us (Isa. 46:10). He desires to lead us, to fill our needs, to answer our questions, to right our wrongs, to lift our lives from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and to lead us to an awesome future (Jer. 29:11-14). And He is waiting for us to respond to His call.

We have been given a gift of time so we can carefully and purposefully give every aspect of our lives over to God for Him to shape and influence—to purge what is destroying us and build His kingdom in us and through us. To reset our lives to honor Him and set the path to a better future than we could possibly imagine.

And my heart is burdened because most of us are failing to take hold of this fantastic opportunity. So many are sowing to the flesh—complaining, giving into helplessness, and fighting inconsequential battles rather than sowing to the Spirit and experiencing the fullness of life God has for us.

Don’t let that be you.

Today I challenge you to seek God. Seek His face. Plant His Word in your heart. But do not allow this to be “business as usual.” This is not just about solving your temporary problems (although those are also important) but about transforming you in a way that matters in eternity.

So as you go before God, let Him lead (Eccl. 5:1-2).

We tend to pray, “Lord, help me with this and show me what to do with that.” But instead, seek Him. Make Him your priority:

  • Lord Jesus, teach me who You are.
  • I lay my heart open before You. I cry out to You concerning . . .
    (Be completely honest and transparent with the Lord. Do not be ashamed of your true feelings: He wants to deal with them.)
  • Father, heal me and uncover the things that are hidden that You wish to bring into the light.
  • Lord, reveal anything that displeases You so I can confess it, repent, and purge it from my life permanently.
  • God, show me what You desire—what Your will is.
  • Lord, help me to be aware of Your hand in every situation—what You are accomplishing.   
  • Jesus, help me to see all my circumstances from Your perspective.
  • Holy Spirit, pray through me for others.
  • Father, what are You teaching me? How can I respond to You in obedience? Help me to learn the lesson and to always respond in active agreement with You.

Listen to what the Lord is saying to you. In fact, write it down and meditate on whatever He communicates throughout the day.

Because the truth of the matter is that the future is indeed before us. What we do today ultimately shapes tomorrow. We don’t need to predict it. Instead, we need to obey the One who has seen it, holds it in His hands, and leads us in the best way forward.

Don’t miss this opportunity. Seek Him with all your heart. Because you will find Him, and He will show you what to do.

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10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, `My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, `plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

14 I will be found by you,' declares the LORD, `and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the LORD, `and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.'

1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.

2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

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