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4 & 5 March 2023 (Pastoral Page) SEEKING HIS FACE

By Asst Ps Patrick Chan Yin


As we journey through this Lenten season as a church, let me invite you to take a pause and read Psalm 27 for today:


Psalm 27

Of David.

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—

whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—

of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked advance against me

to devour me,

it is my enemies and my foes

who will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,

my heart will not fear;

though war break out against me,

even then I will be confident.

4 One thing I ask from the Lord,

this only do I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord

and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble

he will keep me safe in his dwelling;

he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent

and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted

above the enemies who surround me;

at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;

I will sing and make music to the Lord.

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;

be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”

Your face, Lord, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me,

do not turn your servant away in anger;

you have been my helper.

Do not reject me or forsake me,

God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,

the Lord will receive me.

11 Teach me your way, Lord;

lead me in a straight path

because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,

for false witnesses rise up against me,

spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord;

be strong and take heart

and wait for the Lord.


What a beautiful and encouraging piece of song that King David wrote. I am sure that parts of the psalm will speak to different people in different ways, and I hope and pray that something the Psalmist wrote will speak to you today as well. What part really moved you? What part jumped out at you? What is the Holy Spirit trying to tell or teach you from this song?


Let me share with you what really touched my heart from reading and meditating this psalm:


The Psalmist writes in v. 8, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Did you catch that part?


Many of us often fall into a rut of seeking only God’s provision. We seek His blessings and gifts, His help and assistance, His protection, etc. We seek what He can do for us, what He can give us, what He can hand out to us. Our eyes are often fixed on, essentially, just His hand, as we demand “give me, give me, give me.”


When God touches the heart of the Psalmist to “seek His face,” He is telling him to seek not just His blessings, but just Him; to be completely and utterly content and at peace not necessarily with what God can do for him or give to him, but with just God Himself.


But God can seem so distant sometimes, right? Like He is all the way up ‘there,’ while we are all the way down ‘here’? In a way, it is kind of hard to relate to Him like that. But that is one of the many things that makes the person of Christ so special! As Jesus instructs Philip in John’s gospel, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus is God incarnate, God in flesh. That is what God is like! Loving, forgiving, just, powerful, righteous, etc… That is what God is like.


It is in relationship with Him that we can experience what Paul calls the “peace, which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Jesus even gives us a clue to this when He prays in the gospel of John, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). This is eternal life. This is what it is all about! We were created to be in relationship with the pre-existent, eternal relationship of love with God, the Father and Jesus, the Son. Wow! What an honour and privilege! I have been to many great meals, potlucks and gatherings of community since joining The Bible Church, but this eternal ‘banquet’ will undoubtedly blow all of them away!


Let me leave you with a question John Piper poses in his book “God is the Gospel:”


“The critical question for our generation – and every generation – is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?” [1]


May you, through true repentance, prayer and seeking, be able to answer this question with a resounding “No! Not without Christ!” May you come to seek His face, and not always His hand. Blessings to you and yours this Lenten season!


[1] John Piper, God is the Gospel (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005), 15. You can also get a free pdf or epub version of the book here: https://www.desiringgod.org/books/god-is-the-gospel

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