I had a week off from work, and I spent some time with my family. I returned home feeling at loose ends. I turned on my desktop computer and it began making a loud noise. Almost instantly, anxiety welled in my gut. I complained to God: Lord, I know that I need to plan on getting a new computer soon, but I haven’t budgeted for this yet! As the day progressed, I was more and more “out of sorts.” I sensed depression creeping in on me. Lord, I’ve been doing so well with this lately, what’s going on? I tried to think through what might be causing these symptoms of depression. My first thought was tiredness. I hadn’t gotten enough rest during my visit with my parents. Then, I thought about how I hadn’t done any writing during the week. Writing is how I process my thoughts, so I thought perhaps skipping this discipline was causing me to be introspective and melancholy. I had planned to write a blog, but had never put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I was discouraged and frustrated with myself that I had not posted a blog for the week, but that sense of defeat couldn’t account for all of the anxiety I was feeling.
But now even more the report about [Jesus] went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
That first evening at home, the truth eventually hit me. In my time away, I hadn’t read any Scripture or devoted any time to prayer. I had prayed, but only as needs came about in the course of the days. I had left home imagining that I would take some walks alone to spend time with the Lord and meditate on Scripture, but that didn’t happen. It’s the common way of things. I set off prepared, imagining it in my mind, but the plans were left behind as the days unfolded. So, I returned feeling as though I had forgotten something, because I had. In the absence of God’s Word and fellowship with Him, I started slipping backwards into a mindset that was driven by circumstances instead of the truth of God in my life.
In the day to day, so many things try to overwhelm my spirit. Lately, I have been hearing David’s words in my mind, “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek.” For me, one of the prominent lessons of single life has been, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. . .” (Matthew 6:33) This is the lesson that reminds me that husband-seeking and my desire for a family should never come before seeking God in my life. But lately, God seems to be wanting me to go a step further. It isn’t just about what I seek first; it is about seeking Him, period. Through Scripture, as well as other books I have been reading, He is reinforcing that He wants me to wholeheartedly seek His presence. He is letting me know that I must be intentional; I cannot take His presence in my life for granted.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
It is such incredible mercy and grace that, not only has God sought me, but He is jealous for me to seek Him. Me, a sinner with nothing to offer Him. And so my prayer is that I would not simply seek Him, but that my desire to be with the Lord would grow and overcome any and every obstacle that I might allow to be in my life. If my desire above all else is to know Him, worldly desires will become dull and pale. Lord, don’t let me cling to the human desires I have, but build a desire in my soul for You, that will outweigh anything this life in the body could offer. Lord be my portion that satisfies my heart.
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. . .You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Psalms 27:4, 8
Recently, I read Beth Moore’s book, Audacious, and was inspired that it should be my prayer to desire God more and know Him more. Perhaps He is using last week to show me how much I need to seek Him on a daily basis. Certainly, He has reminded me what I feel like when I neglect to spend time with Him. Scripture records that God spoke to Moses ‘face to face.’ But that wasn’t enough for Moses; he sought more. ‘Face to face’ describes the manner in which they communicated, but in truth, God could not actually allow Moses to see His face. Even so, Moses had this close relationship where he would spend time in God’s presence until his face glowed, and it only inspired him to want more. He boldly asked God, “show me now your ways,” and “show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:13, 18) Though God could not fully give what Moses asked for, He honored the request by showing and proclaiming to Moses as much of Himself as was possible for a mortal to behold. I want to be like Moses. No matter how much I know of God, I want to genuinely yearn to know Him more and see Him more clearly. I want to be able to honestly say with the Apostle Paul, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Because in death I will truly see His face.
I can relate to this problem!! I have found that on trips of any kind, just as at home, time with the Lord has to be scheduled, and sometimes, the people around me have to be notified that I have specific intentions to spend time away from them to spend focused time with the Lord. It’s difficult to not let time slip by and responsibilities distract!