If we are to be in Holy Alignment with Gods purposes we must do our part . . . . which can be summed up in a single verse: “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually.” (Psalm 105:4)
John Piper commenting on Psalm 105 says,
“Seeking the Lord means seeking his presence. ‘Presence’ is a common translation of the Hebrew word ‘face.’ Literally, we are to seek his ‘face.’ But this is the Hebraic way of having access to God. To be before his face is to be in his presence.”
As I think about the part of the believer in accessing the presence and power of God, I find myself meditating on the basics. As Jesus taught, the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength, love our neighbor as ourselves, and remember that if we do these two things, then we will have fulfilled the whole of the rest of the law (Luke 10:27).
In the daily practice of loving God and our neighbor, of course, there is plenty to do—there is no end to the variety of ways in which we can love God and others. There are practical acts of service, sacrificial gifts, kind words and joyous celebrating of each other. There are quiet considerations and secret interventions, and the list goes on and on and on. .
My favorite writings are full of descriptions of honor, sacrifice, servanthood. But in order to qualify as love—love the way God loves—all these deeds must spring from a deeply rooted motivation that only comes from God Himself—It is His Spirit within us that “inspires both the will and the deed” (Phil 2:13).
So let’s spend a little time thinking of what it looks like to search carefully for God’s presence. An illustration from Positive Psychology comes to mind as I think about looking diligently for anything. In order to search carefully you have to pay attention to the very moment you are in, and the very details of every nook and cranny you are searching.
The other day someone said to me that they had been practicing their mindfulness exercises. She said that in order to be fully present to any given moment, she was learning to practice describing out loud what she was seeing, feeling, and hearing. “It was the weirdest in the grocery store, when I was saying, ‘Right now I am picking up an avocado; it is green and rough texture, and it is firm, too firm to serve tonight, so I will pick up this other one and as I squeeze it, it feels softer, so I will take this green, rough, slightly soft avocado and put it in the cart next to the milk that is cold and in a plastic container.” That is one way—a very practical and effective way—to build a habit of staying in the moment.
When we are searching carefully for God, we simply add a step. As we live our lives, we are to be constantly on the lookout for Him everywhere. It is an exercise in the scriptural admonition to “take every thought captive.” If we do that, and then turn the thought to a prayer, “Lord, where are you in this; what can I learn of you in this moment, this conflict, this need, this joy, this disappointment. Show yourself, Lord, I want to see You.”
Reference: Piper, John (2009). What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord? Meditation of Psalm 105:4, August 19, 2009