In life, if we can often seek God’s face, we will build a normal relationship with God and God will lead us to understand His will and show us the way forward. So, how should we seek God’s face? The following 3 principles will be helpful to you.
If we want to have God’s face shine on us, it is indispensable for us to quiet ourselves before God to pray and seek. It is recorded in John 4:23–24, “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
God’s words say, “Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is moved by God’s Spirit. It can be said that those without prayer are dead people who are devoid of spirit, which proves that they lack the faculty to be moved by God. Without prayer, it would be impossible to lead a normal spiritual life, much less keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit. To be without prayer is to break off one’s relationship with God, and it would be impossible to win God’s praise. As a believer in God, the more one prays, that is, the more one is moved by God, the more one will be filled with resolution and the better able one will be to receive new enlightenment from God. As a result, this kind of person can very quickly be made perfect by the Holy Spirit.”
It can be seen that prayer is an important way through which we can have God’s face shine upon us and obtain His presence. Only when we come before God to commune with Him in everything, and worship God in spirit and in truth, will we have the chance to be enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit.
However, most of the time, we don’t have the heart to seek sincerely in prayer. For example, sometimes, because of our busy work or family affairs, we cannot quieten ourselves before God, but treat God perfunctorily by saying a few random words; we are simply going through the motions and going over old ground, but not trying to seek how to maintain a normal relationship with God. Sometimes, we even frequently say some dignified, pompous and empty words, words that merely sound good to deceive God; we say, “O God, I love You! I am willing to relinquish everything to follow You, and to expend my whole life for You,” but when trials befall, we complain against God, and keep asking God to do things in accordance with our desires or to take away something that is disagreeable to us, and we don’t seek how to submit to God’s arrangement whatsoever. By doing so, are we not deceiving God? God examines the innermost hearts of man, so how can prayers like that allow us to have God’s face shine upon us and obtain His enlightenment and guidance?
Therefore, when we pray, we must quiet ourselves before God. We must pray to God with an honest heart, confiding in Him about all our pains and difficulties. We must not be half-hearted or have words without a heart, nor say words that sound good to deceive God. Regardless of what we pray to God about, we must have an obedient heart and seek God’s intentions. We should seek how to satisfy God, and patiently wait for God’s time, but not make unreasonable demands of God. This is how we will have God’s face shine on us and obtain His enlightenment and guidance.
God says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). “How can God and man be joined? How can you come to know God? How does God work on man? He uses words to reveal His will, uses words to guide you to the path you should walk, uses words to try you, and He uses words to tell you of all the requirements and criteria He has for you. Understand this, and you have grasped the root of the matter. Unknowingly, you come to understand all aspects of the truth within God’s words: the principles of getting along with others and handling matters, how to treat brothers and sisters, how to approach church work and your duties, how you should experience trials, how to be loyal to God, how to give things up and how to approach the world. All these truths can be found within God’s words, and God has told them all to you.” It can be seen from this that to have God’s face shine upon us, it is crucial for us to read God’s words and seek His will in them. We all know, God is the source of the truth, and His word is the truth; God’s word expresses God’s disposition and what He has and is, and contains God’s will and what He requires of us. So, no matter what happens to us, we should quieten ourselves before God and pray-read and contemplate God’s word, for only then will we understand God’s will and know what we should do to satisfy God.
I cannot help but think of how, after gaining faith, I have enjoyed the joy and peace from God and felt His love and thus resolved to expend for God. I forsook my home and career, spread the gospel far and wide, and established churches. Although I suffered lots of sneers, slanders, and many hardships, sometimes so painful it weakened my resolve, yet once I thought of the blessings of the kingdom of heaven, my heart would be greatly comforted and encouraged. I felt that it was valuable and meaningful to suffer this. Just when I was preaching and working fervently, I was diagnosed as having cancer. At first, my faith in God didn’t weaken, and I believed God would cure this illness. But later, it was getting worse and worse, so I developed misunderstandings and blame for God, thinking, “I have been believing in and expending for God for years, so why did He not cure me? Would I really die of this cancer?” The more I thought about this, the darker my heart became, and I couldn’t feel God’s presence. In pain, I realized that I should quieten myself before God to pray and seek the truth. And so, I prayed to God, asking Him to keep me from complaining and guide me to understand His will. I then read these words of God, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:9).
“So many believe in Me only that I might heal them. So many believe in Me only that I might use My powers to drive unclean spirits out from their bodies, and so many believe in Me simply that they might receive peace and joy from Me. So many believe in Me only to demand from Me greater material wealth. So many believe in Me just to spend this life in peace and to be safe and sound in the world to come. So many believe in Me to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven. So many believe in Me only for temporary comfort, yet do not seek to gain anything in the world to come. When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he once possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, I paid him no heed and felt abhorrence toward him; man departed from Me to instead seek the way of evil medicine and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, everyone disappeared without a trace. Thus, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain.”
“Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is a relationship between a receiver and a giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is akin to the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. There is no affection in such a relationship, only transaction. There is no loving or being loved, only charity and mercy. There is no understanding, only suppressed indignation and deception. There is no intimacy, only an uncrossable chasm.”
Through pray-reading and pondering God’s words, I gained some understanding of His will: When this illness happened to me, it was God trying me, and God wanted to cleanse the impurity in my faith in Him. I had thought that my abandoning and expending, laboring and working for God was out of loving God and to repay His love, but through this illness, I found that was not the case. When God’s grace and blessings accompanied me, I praised and thanked God, and my energy to forsake and expend for God was limitless. However, when I suffered this illness, I developed misunderstandings and blame for God, and had no desire to continue working for Him. How could that be me repaying God’s love? Was it not deceiving God and making deals with God? I was so selfish and base, without a shred of conscience and reason. After realizing all this, I felt indebted to God and came before God to pray. I was willing to submit to God, resolving that no matter what would become of my illness, as long as I had another breath to take, I would do all I could to repay God’s love. I then continued to expend and work for God, and to my surprise, it was not long before my illness gradually got better.
Therefore, no matter what happens to us, if we wish to have God’s face shine upon us, understand His will, and find a path of practice, it is critical that we quieten ourselves before God and seek the truth in His word.
In daily life, we often approach things according to our experience or preference or human means. We very seldom quieten ourselves before God and seek and practice the truth. As a result of this, we grow further and further away from God. The Lord Jesus said, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words…. He that loves Me not keeps not My sayings” (John 14:23–24). “If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed” (John 8:31). God bestows His word upon us so that we can keep His sayings and live out His word in daily life. When we are able to practice God’s word, it proves that God has a place in our heart and we have reverence for Him, and then God will acknowledge us as His followers and lead us. So, no matter what befalls us, if we want to have God’s face shine on us, we should focus on practicing the truth and use the truth to resolve problems. This way, we will win God’s praise and get closer and closer to God.
Sister Wang’s experience comes to my mind. She has been in the clothing wholesale business, and once she received a large order. Over time, she found that the raw materials were not enough. The deadline for the order was near, but she couldn’t resolve the problem of insufficient raw materials. She then thought that if the products on the order couldn’t be delivered on time, she would lose a lot of money, and that if she didn’t want to lose money, she had to use defective materials. She was in a dilemma. Just when she decided to use the defective materials, she felt reproach in her heart, and the Lord Jesus’ words occurred to her, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Through God’s words, she gained some understanding of His will. God is faithful in essence, God loves the honest, and only the honest are approved by God. One who lies and deceives is without humanity; one who knowingly lies through their teeth is no different from the devil. God is holy and righteous, engagement in deception for interests is detestable to God, and only the honest are genuine people whom God and man can trust. Understanding all of this, Sister Wang made a resolution to practice the truth and satisfy God. When the deadline arrived, she told the truth. The result was that not only was she not blamed, but she was praised for being honest and the long-term partnership was developed.
Therefore, no matter what happens to us, we should focus on practicing the truth. Only in this way, will we have God’s face shine upon us, satisfy God’s will, and receive His praise.
With this fellowship, have you now found out how to seek God’s face? As long as we can practice according to the three principles above, we will have God’s face shine on us, be approved by Him, and get closer to Him.
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