Seek My Face
Sitting on the docks at the park, I read this verse over and over.
"When you said, "Seek my face," My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek." Psalm 27:8
Tears started welling up in my eyes. My hand shook as I wrote in my journal, pouring out my heart to the Lord.
"Seek my face."
This verse was in my devotional book that morning. Every morning I read from this book, striving to start my day in His presence.
I remember reading this verse quite some time ago, back when I was a sophomore in high school. Having for the first time realized what it meant to have a relationship with the Lord, I started searching through my new "adult" Bible. I came across this verse and thought to myself, "Yeah, I do that. I seek the Lord's face. Not something I have to try for very much." Boy, I thought I had it all together by myself.
A little over five years later and I see this verse in a much different light. After six mission trips, leading students in my youth group for two years, discipling college girls at my school for two years, studying Religion and Inter-Cultural Studies, and having the opportunity to be taught by some of the wisest and godliest men and women on earth, I now know that I am not seeking the Lord's face everyday or in every area of my life.
Through all of the transitions of the past several years, the ups and downs, I have seen the Lord's faithfulness more then ever. Not only is He the solid rock that I can stand on, but He is faithfully working in me. For the past few months I've wondered, how can I REALLY seek his face? And finally, I can say, I'm starting to understand what that means.
Seeking His face involves rest. At the same time it involves action. It means being with Jesus - not just doing. Doing flows out of being. If comes from fulling resting in Jesus - after we know who we are in Him and who He is.
In the past several months, God has showed me that I constantly put my value in the things that I do instead of who He says I am. I struggled with "performance identity." Raise my hands in worship, pray eloquently, always offer to pray in groups, volunteer in every area possible, etc. I didn't realize it until I sat at home over Christmas break with no one to "impress" with my spirituality. Quickly, the Lord revealed to me that I had put my identity in my "job" and ministry. A part of me crumbled. I didn't have any labeled ministry while I was at home for that whole month. I wasn't plugged in to my church to serve or disciple either.
I started to realize that perfection or striving for identity in my performance is not God's plan for me. That is not what He wants for his children. Yes, He wants us to work hard. Yes, we are to use the gifts He has given us. However, our value and identity are not found in the things that we do. Our identity is found in Jesus, who says we are loved, cherished, valued, redeemed, set apart, and His inheritance. He doesn't love us because of what we do, He simply loves us because we are His. Yes we are to serve him, but out of love, not out of fear.
I don't have an intense ministry job right now. I can rest. I can seek His face. I can simply be with Him - in the present, with whatever I'm doing. To give thanks. To trust. To pray. I'm learning to be content with not having a being surrounded with a bunch of girls pouring their hearts out to me, seeking for advice and encouragement.
There are different seasons for everything. This one is a season of seeking for me. This is a season to go back to the basics - to remember why I fell in love with Jesus in the first place. To not think of him as my employer, but as my King and Savior. To just seek Him and know that I can't do anything apart from Him. I just get to be with Him and let his love and light shine forth. For His name's sake alone. He's been showing me this through the past months. Whatever season you are in today, know that the Lord is calling you to seek Him. To rest in Him. To find your identity in Him and then go wherever He leads you, continually seeking him all the while. You don't have to prove yourself. He already loves you completely, forever.