Seeking God's Hand or Face?


"If you seek God's hand, you will miss His face.  If you seek His face, you will get His hand also."

I hate it when I cannot remember where I read or heard something. I was thinking of this turn of a phrase yesterday. Today I did a google search to find the author, thinking it was an Early Church Father. It does sound like something they would say!  All that came up is a recent book by Daniel Henderson on prayer. I confess I never read the book or even heard of Daniel Henderson, but I wish to give credit where it is due, so assume I got it from him.

I have been a pastor for over 20 years. I have attended many prayer meetings. I have to say that this quotation hits the nail on the head as to why so many folks are not effective in their prayer life.

They seek God's blessing on their work and life without seeking God's searching, purifying, and transforming grace. 

I know I have lived this way all too often. I have prayed me directed prayers for too much of my life. Instead of abandoning myself to God and His will, I abandon God's presence and will for my wishes and desires.

Yet, when you gaze into the beauty of God's holiness and grace mixed in Christ, He meets our desires. Why? Because our greatest desire/need is God's immediate presence, love, and care. Such loving protection and mercy is what we were created to enjoy.

How do we seek His face?

Come to Him on His terms. Humble repentance from all the broken cisterns we dig (Jeremiah 2:13), and humble faith in Christ as our only hope. Such prayers seek the face of God on God's terms.

May the Lord lead us to Himself, on His terms this weekend!

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Good thoughts. "Thy will be done" is a powerful little statement!

I've been thinking a lot about that quote, seeking God's face and not his hand.  In the last week or so I daily have prayed the first three petitions of what we usually call "the Lord's prayer."  Jesus says this is what we "need" (Matt 6:7-10): his Name acknowledged as holy; his kingdom coming on earth as in heaven; his will done on earth as in heaven.  

When I pray regarding his Name, I think of his desire to show the holiness of his name: "I will show myself holy" (Lev 10:3).  When we seek his Face, that is, His Deep and Heavy Presence; and when we "find" him as we seek him (according to his promise, Deut 4:29, etc), we can expect to share in his holiness (Heb 12:10).  The more we seek him, the more we'll become aware of the sin that still clings and entangles (Heb 12:1).  It is a great comfort that when Simon Peter catches a glimpse of who Jesus really is, and he reacts by telling Jesus to "go away" because he is sinful, Jesus does not (Luke 5:8-11).