When we first came to Europe we were in language school in Albertville, France deep in the Alps. Frankly, the cadre was splendid. The problem was that we had to study French while we were there so on the whole it was a wash.
But, often we’d be going somewhere in the mountains. My wife would be riding shotgun and she would say, “Oh, look. Isn’t that beautiful!” As I took my eyes from the narrow mountain road to look she’d say to me, “Not you! You drive.”
But you’ve got to look if you want to see.
Or think about this. The French have a saying, “Love is beautiful.” I’m sure that’s true but sometimes it’s just plain silly.
Take a couple sitting on a park bench looking deeply into each other’s eyes–and looking and looking and looking. This can go on for a long time. The only cure for this disease is marriage.
They are learning to know each other. You can tell a lot about a person by looking into his face, observing his eyes.
God tells us to seek His face, to look at Him. What does that mean?
There is a sense in which we’ll never see God’s face in the way we want to here on earth. The grand consummation of His presence awaits us that day when He makes all things new.
But there is another sense in which we can “see” Him now. I believe the ‘face of God’ has to do with His presence. You can’t see someone’s face unless you’re with Him.
“Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” (Ps. 105:4)
What intrigues me is that there are differing degrees of seeing someone’s face. If I’m up close I see perfectly. If I’m a hundred yards away I still see his face but I can’t make out his expression.
The person can’t “talk” to me with his face from a distance. Sometimes the Lord guides us with his eyes and you can’t respond to that unless you’re close. Now there’s a thought. Are there times that the Lord won’t speak to us with His voice, but He indicates what He wants us to do with His eyes?
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psa 32:7, 8) (This verse is translated in a slightly different way in other versions. That’s why I like different versions. I can choose the one that pleases me )
We have to stay close enough to Him to see His face.
When you want to communicate without someone else being in the loop you whisper—or yell–with your eyes. Mama could say a lot with her eyes if I got too rambunctious. Kids have a way of taking advantage of the presence of others to do things that they know mama doesn’t like. Eyes can say a lot. Mama was like Bill Cosby’s mom. She could say, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it,” without moving her lips.
Here’s some keys to being guided by His eyes:
1. I have to move up close. There is so much that we miss from a distance. The face and eyes speak a language that often contradicts words. I like to look constantly at a person who is speaking to me. It’s polite. It lets them know that I care about them even if I’m not that interested in what they are saying. It helps me pick up communication that goes deeper than words. When I speak to a group I look at them. I make eye contact. It bugs me when someone won’t look at me because there is so much that he learns from my eyes and that I learn from his eyes.
2. I have to look. If I didn’t want mama to ‘guide me’ with her eyes when we were in a public situation, I don’t look at her. (Unfortunately mama wasn’t too embarrassed by the presence of others to deliver her message more clearly if the eyes didn’t work)
If you let Him guide you, you’ve got to move closer and look! That’s a heart thing. That’s a will thing. That’s a desire thing.
3. It takes time. We don’t build a relationship with God or another human by just wishing. It takes speaking time, listening time, heart time.
4. We’ve got to check out our heart to make sure we’re not “two-timing” the Lord. “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1Pet. 3:12)
5. Be hungry to know about Jesus. Learn about Jesus. “…the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6, NIV)
6. Here are a few feet-on-the-ground things you can do to move up closer: reading the Bible daily and praying often promote closeness if your heart is in it. Assembling together with others to worship the Lord can too. Be careful that you do it with you heart, John Ortberg in his book, “The Me I Want To Be” said,
“How is your spiritual life going? I used to answer this question by looking at the state of my devotional activities: Did I pray and read the Bible enough today? The problem is that by this measure the Pharisees always win. People can be very disciplined, but remain proud and spiteful.”
Sometimes, I take time apart and skip a few meals to concentrate on Him. Lots of times I’ve been impacted by a book that gave me a glimpse of God’s face. Conversations with Christian friends about their heart for God have inspired me to step closer. Helping someone else brings me close to God’s heart.
When is the last time you got up close and looked into God’s eyes and let Him look into yours?
That’s it isn’t it? The last word goes to the heart. If I really want to get close I’ll find a way.
“This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face…” (Ps. 24:6)
“We need to know something today we did not know yesterday and to do that we need to be taught. To be taught we need a teacher–the Holy Spirit. Once you cease to learn you cease to be qualified as a teacher of the truth. The truth stays the same but the world does not. Therefore, we must live in a constant state of new revelation so that we can constantly teach the truth as it applies to our community and generation.” Rick Dubose