2 Chronicles 7:14
Eye color. Forehead expanse. Cheekbone placement. Nose size. Eyebrow thickness. Lip curvature. Face shape. These are the qualities that comprise a person’s face.
But more important than a person’s facial features, much more, is his or her countenance.
When I was a little girl, my mother would jokingly say, “Jamie, you could never play poker!” In essence, she was contrasting my inability to hide my facial expressions to the flat effect of a poker player hiding the hand he was dealt.
My mom was right. Absolutely everything shows up on my face. My facial expressions reveal when I’m pleased or frustrated, experiencing joy or sorrow, at peace or anxious, and content or seething with anger. Not only does the demeanor of my face display what I’m feeling, but it also divulges the strength and intensity of each of those emotions.
In addition to my inability to conceal my facial expressions, I have “a look.” Actually, I have a bunch. There’s my “mom look.” It’s that glance that communicates to my son everything from, “Say ‘thank you’ for that gift,” to “You’re in big trouble when we get home!”
I also have what’s been coined “the Jim face.” I inherited it from Jim, my dad. One of my granddaughters has it, too. “The Jim face” happens when I’m intensely focused on a task. I’m a person of many looks that convey a variety of messages.
God also has a face—a beautiful, magnificent face. His face is so alive that all other faces pale in comparison. And He has glances and looks. He radiates all He carries and who He is on His face. No, I’m not referring to the physical features of His face. I’m talking about what flows from His countenance: His glory, presence, and power.
One of the greatest passages on the study of revival is 2 Chronicles 7:14: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” This Scripture outlines the basis and formula for true revival to occur. While many believers can quote this verse from memory, the phrase that many have difficulty understanding is:
“. . . seek my face . . .”.
Every believer should prioritize a place in his or her Christian walk of seeking the face of God. As a matter of fact, Christianity is the constant pursuit of His glorious face. While some of God’s people have physically seen the face of God while on earth (just ask Jacob, Paul, and everyone in the four Gospels), we have the honor of seeking God’s face by pursuing:
- God’s presence. God’s face and His presence are inextricably linked. Interesting to note, another name for the “Bread of the Presence” in the tabernacle was the “Bread of the Face.” This freshly baked bread emitted an aroma that filled the tabernacle and beyond. It represented the presence of God to the people. Jesus, the Bread of Heaven, wants to release His presence to us, so that we, in turn, diffuse the fragrance of His presence to all. To seek God’s face is to seek His presence.
- God’s purposes. God is the ultimate Planner and has a wonderful, perfect plan. While we should seek God regarding His purposes for our individual lives, we also need to possess concern about God’s overall plan. As a matter of fact, the latter should take preeminence in our prayer lives. To seek God’s face means we press into both His plan for our personal lives, as well as His eternal purposes.
- God’s heart. While our hearts are important to God, we make His heart our foremost concern. If God’s heart is grieved, we allow our hearts to be penetrated with His grief. If something brings God joy, our hearts need to overflow with unbridled joy. Seeking God’s face means we’re honored and willing to live with the weight of God’s heart pressing down on ours.
- God’s priorities. When God gives us even a small glimpse of the burden of His heart, we turn that into intercession. Our prayers go from, “Bless me and mine,” to “I cry out to You for the salvation of nations!” To seek God’s face means that before we rattle off our laundry list of personal prayer needs, we ask Him for His prayer priorities.
- God’s perspective. We’re very good at viewing everything from our finite, how-this-affects-me perspective. As a matter of fact, we have made it an art form. God’s perspective is the only perspective that matters—always. One look from God can change any long-held perspective we might possess. Seeking God’s face means we lay aside our perspective and allow His eternal glance to change our view of particular person or situation.
- God’s favor. Favor is more than just supernatural help to meet our felt needs. It means that I’m God’s favorite. And you’re God’s favorite. Jesus loves us as much as the Father loves Him (John 15:9). His face is always turned toward us with unconditional love, joy, and delight. Seeking God’s face means that we continually gaze at the One who has His face perpetually turned toward us. May the fire we see in Jesus’ eyes cause us to burn with passion for Him. May the look of love we see on Jesus’ countenance radiate from our inmost being to the lost. May the glimpse of grief we see on Jesus’ face, cut us—not like the hardly noticed discomfort of a paper cut—but like the deep pain of a surgeon’s knife.
Questions for Reflection:
- What about today’s reading gave you a different perspective?
- Do you make the pursuit of God’s face your lifelong pursuit?
- How can gaining God’s perspective change everything?
Prayer for Personal Revival
Lord, I want to see Your face.
As I gaze upon You, let me see Your glory, countenance, and power.
Let hardships and pain drive me to seek Your face.
Let the questions of life cause me to seek Your face.
Let weariness catapult me to seek Your face.
Let the temptations of the enemy cause me to seek Your face.
I want Your glory to permeate my entire being.
I want to impart Your fragrance to world.
Lord, I’m going to spend the rest of my days seeking Your face,
until the day I see You face-to-face.
I love You, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray.
–Taken from Thirsty: A 31-Day Journey to Personal Revival by Jamie Morgan.
Thirsty is a 31 day devotional that includes 31 different areas of our life in which we should thirst for Jesus, the Living Water. Here is a list of those areas:
Day 1: Thirsty for Personal Revival
Day 2: Thirsty for First Love
Day 3: Thirsty for Truth
Day 4: Thirsty for a Soft Heart
Day 5: Thirsty to Surrender
Day 6: Thirsty for Holiness
Day 7: Thirsty for Repentance
Day 8: Thirsty for Joy
Day 9: Thirsty to Sit at Jesus’ Feet
Day 10: Thirsty for Prayer
Day 11: Thirsty for Fasting
Day 12: Thirsty to Hear God’s Voice
Day 13: Thirsty for Worship
Day 14: Thirsty for the Awe of God
Day 15: Thirsty for Soul Winning
Day 16: Thirsty to Make Disciples
Day 17: Thirsty to Seek God’s Face
Day 18: Thirsty to Die to Self
Day 19: Thirsty to Abide
Day 20: Thirsty to Walk in Humility
Day 21: Thirsty to Follow
Day 22: Thirsty for the Blessings of Brokenness
Day 23: Thirsty for Freedom
Day 24: Thirsty for the Presence of God
Day 25: Thirsty to Persevere
Day 26: Thirsty to be God’s Friend
Day 27: Thirsty for the Cross
Day 28: Thirsty for Personal Retreat
Day 29: Thirsty for Extraordinary Faith
Day 30: Thirsty for Jesus to Return
Day 31: Thirsty for the Fire of the Holy Spirit