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“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.”

“When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
   Psalm 27: 4 & 8 NASB

Psalm 27 is commonly attributed to David. You could say that he wrote it both as psalm of trust and a prayer for help. It starts with praise, then moves to a lament, then turns back and finishes with praise. It’s a cycle of hope and confidence in God, and a call to remember, who his hope is in when he faces difficulties. That cycle is the stuff of our existence as we navigate life. Two of the key verses in this psalm are found in verses 4 and 8. We will attempt turn over the rich soil of those verses today. If, perhaps you haven’t read Psalm 27 lately, now would be a good time to do so 😊

What does it mean to seek the face of the Lord?

David wrote, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek… “

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, seek means “to try to find or get something, especially something that is not a physical object”. Some of the synonyms for “seek” are pursue, look for, search for. It means acting in pursuit of something. In Psalm 27 verse 4, David was saying, I have asked for one thing and I will seek (pursue) this thing which I have asked for.

And just so we are clear as to what David is seeking, he spells it out for us.

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.

One thing I ask for, one thing I seek, to dwell in God’s house continually: every day of my life. I want to behold His beauty, for what I behold directs my meditation.

To seek the face of the Lord, is to spend time with him, to learn of his character, to talk with and to him, to learn to recognise his voice, to worship and to obey him.

Continually …consistency … connectedness are all words which form part of the watchwords that resonate with me for this year. An invitation to stay plugged into God’s presence. For that to be the bulwark and the driving force of this year.

What is the beauty of the Lord?

One Commentary of Psalm 27 states “the gracious presence of God, his power, his readiness to answer prayer, the witness of his spirit in the hearts of his people; these are the secrets of his tabernacle and in these the Saints find cause for that Holy Security and peace of mind in which they dwell at ease”

The beauty of the Lord is everything that the Lord is. Infinite and unfathomable but the Lord causes us to glimpse his beauty in his words and his acts.

For me to fully engage with the beauty of the Lord, I must meditate upon it. What I behold will drive my thinking (meditation really is thinking over and over about the same thing). When I was studying these verses, I was praying and I said “Father, what attribute of yours do you want me to behold today?

Immediately, I heard him answer back in my spirit. My patience.

Doesn’t it sometimes feel disconcerting when you hear God answer you back super speedily, especially when it isn’t the response you were looking for! I mean, I barely even finished making the prayer, when I heard him say my patience. That was not the answer I was expecting. But I knew what he was saying to me. Immediately, I could recall one ongoing circumstance where I needed to exercise patience.

He was inviting me to meditate on his patience, to see his patience bear fruit and reflected in that situation and in my life.

What we behold, becomes what we reflect.

If I look at myself in a mirror, I see my image reflected to me.

If we behold the beauty of the Lord, then we see his beauty reflected on us. And others around us should see it too. The beauty of the Lord encompasses his nature. He possesses everything that is desirable. As we behold, we think, (we meditate). The Bible says, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. To think right, we must behold, look upon and seek the right things.

May the Lord help us to behold his beauty and to seek his face this new year, 2023.  And that we meditate on what we behold about him. And may the knowledge and the revelation which comes with that meditation cause a transformation in our lives, such that we reflect what we behold; His beauty resting upon us and the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17 NKJV)

Happy New year (or as I’ve been hearing it in my spirit – Happiest of New Years)

Thank you for reading x