I almost saw the dictator, Colonel Gadhafi, and the actress, Sharon Stone, the same night.
But I didn’t.
Gadhafi was on an official visit to Paris and I was walking up the famous street, the Champs d’Elysée, with some friends from eastern France, gawking at the Christmas lights.
Suddenly we saw a motorcade pull onto the street from the direction of the Palace of Elysée, the official residence of the French president. “I’ll bet that’s Gadhafi,” we said, but all we saw was dark cars.
A little later I noticed a crowd gathering in front of a hotel on the famous boulevard. “Who is coming?” I asked of someone in the crowd, as everyone shivered in the cold.
“Sharon Stone (the actress),” he replied.
“I’d rather see Sharon Stone than Gadhafi,” I thought. So we waited and shivered and froze. Finally I decided I would rather live, than die frozen like a popsicle waiting for Sharon. I guess she didn’t know I was there and she was taking her time.
But, hang on, another day I did see Hillary Clinton, wife of then President of the USA, Bill. Madame Chirac, the wife of the French president, Jacques, was with her.
As they got out of their car to go into a restaurant, Hillary waved and smiled just as if she were running for president. (I suppose she was practicing).
Serious-looking secret servicemen scanned the crowd, just like on television. I was amazed that I was close enough to see her well.
“David, what are you rambling on about?”
That’s a good question. Give me long enough and I’ll figure out what I want to say.
Seeing God’s Face
No really, I just wanted to point out that if you really want to know how someone looks in person you’ve got to get up close. I didn’t see Gadhafi or Sharon and Madame Chirac didn’t turn around and smile at us.
But, I saw Hillary.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible tells us to, “”Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” (Ps. 105:1 NKJV)
Ayez recours à l’Eternel et à son appui, Cherchez continuellement sa face! Ps. 105:4 NEG1979”?
It’s because when you’re close enough to see His face, you’re close enough to learn something about Him. I once saw a pro basketball game but my seat was so far from the court it was like watching ants shooting and slam dunking.
When you’re up close you don’t have to scream. You’re right there. When you’re up close He can guide you with his eyes without even speaking. When you’re up close you hear nuances of speech and communicate with facial expression and body language.
There’s good news if you want to press in close to the Lord. No secret service agents block your way (who could assassinate God anyway?) No bouncers wait to kick you out, if you’re His child.
Jesus opened the door and you’re invited to come in.
There’s a second piece of good news, which probably isn’t good. There’s not a real crowd around Him so you can get as close as you want.
Hungry helps. If you’re mostly satisfied with where you are, you’re not going to put a lot of effort into getting closer.
Desperation motivates movement. We accept distance as long as things are going our way but when life heats up (gets difficult), we come running for help.
Here’s how we run to Him: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV).
The word in Greek for “diligently seek” is ekzēteō. According to Mr. Strong it means, “to search out, that is, (figuratively) investigate, crave, demand, (by Hebraism) worship: – en- (re-) quire, seek after (carefully, diligently).”
James tells us how we get into God’s presence in prayer. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16).
“Fervent” gets after it, takes it seriously. He knows his answer is before God and He pushes in like an impolite fan hoping for a glance of his favorite movie star.
But, “fervent” doesn’t just want answers. It wants to be with Him, in His presence.
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Ps. 16:5.
Answers aren’t enough. We want to be with the Lord himself!
So let’s get with it. There is a generation that seeks God’s face. I want to be part of it.
“This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Selah.” Ps. 24:6 NKJV
Grace contains forgiveness but it also contains power to change. Change is a basic human desire, built into us. Grace is a “get out of jail free” card but it is also a “stay out of prison” card.
Photos: flickr.com; BRQ Network LIBYA/GADDAFI; pixabay.com, Olichel
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