Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4 (ESV)
When my son was a child he would often crawl into my lap, get into my face and say, “Daddy.” I would look him in the eyes and he would repeat, “Daddy”. And he would keep repeating “Daddy” until I acknowledged him. I’d say, “Son, I’m looking right at you. What do you want?” I suppose he wanted to be certain that he had my full attention. He either had something he thought was important to tell me or he had something important to ask me. He wanted me to hear him and he wanted to hear from me.
The psalmist wrote, “Seek his (the LORD) presence continually.” This has more of the feel of a command than a suggestion. But, isn’t God’s presence always with us? Is it something we have to seek? King David asked these rhetorical questions, Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7 ESV) The answer is obvious; nowhere.
The Hebrew word used for seek in “seek his presence” means to search out by any method, specifically in worship or prayer. It also means to strive after, ask, beg, and desire. So, although we cannot flee from God’s presence, we are to actively seek it out. Why? Maybe David has the answer. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4 ESV) David’s desire was to be in God’s presence that he might gaze upon his divine excellencies and to speak with God and have God speak with him.
The word presence in this verse actually means “the face.” Maybe it could be said that when we go to God in worship or prayer we are asking to “be in his face”; to have an audience with him. We are asking for his attention. We desire to be in his presence and we desire for him to be in ours. Now, we don’t go demanding his attention and certainly not on our own merit. We never approach God like we have earned the right to his presence. It is only on the merit of the blood of Jesus that we go to God. However, when we go to him, he is always welcoming.
How often do we seek his presence? The psalmist said continually. That word means constantly, indefinitely, regularly, daily, and perpetually. In other words never stop seeking the face (presence) of God. Do it every day and throughout the day.
God desires that we seek him continually. Again we turn to David. You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” (Psalm 27:8 ESV) God offers us present and eternal rewards when we obey his call to seek his face. David wrote, You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11 ESV) The joy we find now in God’s presence is but a foretaste of what he has promised for our future.
John Owen, in his book Spiritual-Mindedness, wrote, “It is stupid to suppose that we will forever find our highest happiness in Christ’s presence if we do not spend as much time as possible with him now.”
How much time do you spend seeking the face of God?
Scriptures for meditation: