June 14, 2006

Encouragement for Today

(Principle 1)

"The Face of God"

Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

Key Verse:

Psalm 105:4, "Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always."   (NIV)

 

Devotion:

Lately God has been teaching me what it means to seek His face.  Since I try to share in these devotionals what He is teaching me in my own personal walk with Him, I wanted to share what I have learned about God's face with you.

 

As a disclaimer, I will say that I am no theologian   I am just an ordinary woman trying to become more like Christ and draw closer to God by studying His Word.  God tells us in His Word that He created us in His image (Genesis 1:27), so I am making the assumption that God has a face.  I don't know whether God has the physical facial features we humans have.  No one knows this— even Moses was not allowed to see God's face (Exodus 33:20). Therefore, I have taken a certain amount of creative license in this devotional to make my point.   I hope you will enjoy reading today some things the Bible has to say about the face of God.

 

God's mouth : I have been learning to listen for God's words to me.  I have learned to listen for His voice, which is not a roar but a whisper.   I have to train my ears to hear it, and live my life aware of God's voice in the midst of all the other noises that compete for my attention.  One Bible story I love where this is described is I Kings 19:11-13.  Elijah the prophet wanted to hear from God in a time of trouble, and He waited to hear God's voice.   There was first a wind, and then an earthquake, and then a fire.  God was not in any of these.  His voice came in the gentlest whisper that followed all these things.   While sometimes I wish God would shout at me just to make things clear, I have found that this is not the case.  Isaiah 30:21 says, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it.'"

 

God's ears: God hears my prayers.  He listens to my cries for help.  Not only does He hear, He responds.  The scriptures are full of references to God hearing us when we cry out to Him.  He is that ever-present help in times of trouble.   Here are some verses to encourage you that God does hear you when you call on Him:   Psalm 5:2, "Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray."   Exodus 22:27, "When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate." II Chronicles 7:12, "I have heard your prayer."

 

God's eyes: We serve a God who sees.  He cheers us on when He sees us succeed, and He picks us up when He sees us fall.   He loves us enough to watch over us with all-seeing eyes.  We are never out of His sight, which comforts me immensely.   The Bible tells us that, "The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him" (II Chronicles 16:9).  God also sees us when we feel like everyone has forgotten us.   The story of Leah in the Bible comforts me when I read: "The Lord saw that Leah was not loved" (Genesis 29:31).  God does not forget us no matter what our circumstances are.   He does not stop watching over us with His loving eyes.

 

God's nose: OK, so it seems funny to talk about God's nose, but I do know for a fact that God responds to scents. The Bible tells us that our praise is a sweet aroma to God. The Israelites offered sacrifices, and God responded to the smell of the burning as an offering to Heaven.   Under the new covenant, we no longer bring burnt offerings before Him; instead, we bring sacrifices of praise and worship.  I love knowing that God considers my praise a sweet smell before His throne.   II Corinthians 2:15 says, "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."  (NIV)

 

Learning more about the face of God has been a fun walk through the Bible for me.  I love knowing more about the face of my Abba Father.   I love knowing that He turns His face towards me.  No matter what the circumstances in my life are, He does not turn away from me.   I love knowing that I have the ability to make the God of the universe smile.  The thought that He sees my tears and wipes them away sobers me.   We know that Jesus experienced tears, too, while He was here on earth (John 11:35). My biggest challenge each day is to keep my face turned towards His as I endeavor to feel His pleasure.

 

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to seek your face each day.   I want to be aware of your voice and know that you do see me and hear me.  Thank You, Father, for this reassurance that You care for me intimately.   I praise You for being my Heavenly Daddy who loves me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:  

  1. Find the one feature of God's face that you most need to focus on today.   Maybe you need to know He hears your prayers.  Maybe you need to know He sees you.  Meditate on this particular feature today.  
  2. Consider choosing a different feature to focus on each day this week.
  3. Search the Psalms for other references to God's face and write some of these down in a journal or on index cards.

Reflection Points:    

Do you know that God sees you?

 

Do you trust that He hears you? 

 

Do you spend your days listening for His voice?

 

How can you grow in your awareness of God's eyes, mouth and ears each day?  What offering can you give that will be a pleasing aroma to Him?   How can you seek His face more diligently? 

Power Verses:

Psalm 34:15-16, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth."   (NIV)

 

I Chronicles 16:11, "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."   (NIV)

 

Revelations 22:3-4, "No longer will there be any curse.   The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads."   (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Becoming a Woman Who Listens To God. by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_becomingAWoman.htm

 

Intimate Moments With God, by select authors

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_intimateMoments.htm

 

Hearing God, ETC Corner October 2004

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/etcOct04.htm