Psalm 27:8 says, “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’”
Over the past year or so, this verse has become one of my favorites in the Bible. It’s kind of an odd verse at first glance because there are so many components to it: a call and response from two different people, and a command and an action involving two different objects—a face and a heart. This tiny little conversation may only last for a verse, but it reveals so much to me about what God desires from my relationship with him.
In the verse, God calls David to seek His face, but it is David’s heart that responds, not David’s head.
Routine Leads to Numbness
When the truths spoken during church get repetitive, the verses of my morning devotional sound the same and I’ve memorized all the lyrics to the worship songs on the radio, I start to feel…numb. I start to feel numb to the stirrings of the Spirit, to the character of God, to the reality that He is alive and pursuing me with His love in the moment. Recently, I’ve realized that this numbness comes from me mindlessly fulfilling the daily routine that my faith has shaped itself into.
There’s nothing wrong with having a daily routine. In fact, it’s a necessary way of reminding myself to take time out of my hectic schedule to read God’s Word and talk with him. However, for me at least, this issue of numbness comes from forgetting why I’m doing what I’m doing and failing to leave room for God to respond to me.
The Purpose of Our Faith
This call to seek His face works to reintroduce the aspect of intimate knowledge to our relationship. The desire to cultivate this intimate knowledge of God is what ought to fuel the way that I seek him from day to day. Too often I am merely seeking to fulfill the tasks that will qualify me as a living, breathing Christian —tasks that cultivate my intellectual knowledge of God, but not always my intimate knowledge of God. The longer I try to present my offerings of dry and repetitive actions to God, the more I sense the fruitlessness of my efforts.
Seeking someone’s face requires focus and concentration. It also requires the use of memory. In order to seek God’s face, in order to find Him, I have to intentionally draw upon the things that I already know of God so that I can recognize Him again. The simple practice of trying to picture God’s face as I read Scripture, pray or sing worship songs challenges me to remember that He is actually real. It is so dangerously easy to forget that this “God” that I’m constantly hearing about and thinking about and learning about isn’t just an abstract moral code of conduct that I’m aligning myself with.
He is real and He is alive and He wants me to know him. I utter prayers and I raise my hands to Heaven in worship time after time, but if I never leave room in my heart for Him to respond, to reach down and fill my hands, they will remain empty.
Being Still Prevents Numbness
Trying to apply this mindset of seeking God’s face with my heart is a really powerful way of preventing myself from falling into a numb routine of daily worship, and in drawing me out if I have already fallen into it. Our society is addicted to action: more time, more effort, more energy.
When was the last time you let yourself dwell in the freedom of your relationship with God—a relationship that requires nothing except your love? If you find yourself feeling numb despite how much you try to connect with God, try taking a step back.
Close your Bible, turn off the radio, put down your hands and just be still in the presence of the One who wants you to know Him. Rather than continuing to mindlessly shovel your thoughts towards God, give Him room to breathe, to speak, to move. In the silence, let your heart feel Him—the stirrings of the Spirit inside you and in the world around you. Think about the ways that He has revealed his character to you in the past, ways that He is revealing himself to you now. Don’t force yourself to do anything or say anything, but let Him draw you out in response to his character and his active love.
See if simply being still in the presence of God is enough to bring refreshment back into your daily walk.