Be sure you understand what God's saying!

Sometimes we can be so used to an expression that we don't even stop to think about what it means. Those who have been Christians for some time have probably got used to hearing all sorts of biblical expressions; they might sound quite odd and incomprehensible to anyone else, but we're so used to hearing them that they just sound normal. Yet being used to something isn't the same as understanding it.

Recently at church God spoke to us prophetically and told us to seek His face. A few days later I was talking to some of the teenagers and realized that it sounded quite odd to them. What did it mean to seek God's face? After all, we don't normally talk about seeking anyone else's face!

Now, the teenagers thought about it and realised they didn't understand what it meant, but sometimes we don't think about these things, and so we don't realize that we don't understand what God is saying. I'm not just talking about prophecy here; this applies to reading the Bible too. After all, to seek God's face is a biblical expression. Sometimes we need to pause and ask ourselves what familiar expressions mean just to make sure we understand what God is saying.

So what does it mean to seek God's face? Well, it's a Hebrew way of speaking about someone's presence. That means that when we seek God's face, we're seeking His presence, which means we're seeking God Himself. The last part of Hosea 5:15 points this out: 'Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.' This is a Hebrew parallel (two lines which say the same thing in two different ways) which equates seeking God's face with earnestly seeking God Himself. So seeking the face of God isn't about trying to see a vision, nor is it primarily about discovering God's will. Rather it's all about desiring God Himself.

For those of you in the Leeds assembly, that's what we're going to be doing together as a church this Lord's Day, and I'll explain more of what the Bible teaches about seeking God's face at the Breaking of Bread service on Sunday morning.

But for now, the moral of this blog-post is make sure you understand. Don't assume that you understand biblical expressions, but study the Scriptures to make sure you understand properly. After all, you don't want to miss what God is saying.