April 20, 2018 • Life for Leaders
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Are you seeking the Lord and his strength? Are you seeking God’s face always? What would it really mean to do this?
Psalm 105 calls God’s people to give him thanks and praise in response to his “wonders” (105:5). The bulk of the psalm highlights God’s special work with the Israelites, beginning with the covenant with Abraham and focusing on the exodus from Egypt and movement to the Promised Land.
Verse 4 urges us to pay attention to God in a particular way: “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” The Hebrew verbs translated here as “look” and “seek” are similar in meaning. “Look” (darash) suggests care and intentionality in the process of looking for something, while “seek” (baqash) implies eagerness and desire. Thus Psalm 105:4 could be paraphrased, “Carefully search for the LORD and his strength; continually and eagerly seek his presence.”
How do we seek the Lord? What does this mean for those of us who are already in covenant relationship with him? In part, seeking God is a matter of paying attention. We find this nuance in the translation of Psalm 105:4 found in The Message: “Keep your eyes open for GOD, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.” If we’re seeking God, then we are watching for him and his work each day as we go about our business. We pay attention to him from the moment we wake to the moment we close our eyes at night. We don’t look for God only in so-called “sacred” spaces, but equally in so-called “secular” places. God is present and active everywhere. We are invited to discern his presence and activity wherever we are.
Seeking the Lord also involves living intentionally with reliance upon him. We are to search for “his strength” by calling out to him for help and allowing his Spirit to guide and empower us. We seek the Lord when we desire to honor him with all of our lives, not just with the obviously religious stuff. Yes, to be sure, we seek God by praying, reading Scripture, gathering with other believers for worship, and joining in the work of the church. But we are to seek the Lord “always,” according to Psalm 105:4. When we’re in a classroom or a boardroom, when we’re chatting with our friends or deliberating with our colleagues, we seek the Lord by being open to his guidance, wisdom, and strength. The very act of seeking God honors him, giving him his rightful place as Lord of our lives. It also enables us to live for his purposes, advancing the presence of his kingdom.
Something to Think About:
How do you seek the Lord in your life?
What would it mean for you to seek God throughout the day today?
What might help you to do this?
What might hinder you?
Something to Do:
Find a way to remind yourself throughout the day today to seek the Lord. You might set a recurring reminder on your computer or phone. You might put a little note on your desk. You might agree with a friend to remind each other with a text or phone call. When you pause, tell the Lord silently that you are seeking him. Ask for his guidance and an awareness of his presence. Attend to what God might be saying to you through his Spirit.
Gracious God, when I seek you, when I listen for you, when I desire to honor you with every part of my life, it feels right. It’s as if my soul knows that I am fulfilling my rightful purpose in life. How wonderful it is to seek you!
There are times, however, as you know better than I, when I seek you irregularly, or maybe not at all. I can rely on my own wisdom. I can desire my own glory. I can easily want to do things my own way. Forgive me, Lord, when I fail to seek you.
Help me, by your Spirit, to seek you carefully. May I learn to pay attention to you throughout the day, always being open to the still, small voice of your Spirit.
Help me to seek you eagerly. Stir up in me a great desire for you. No matter what I’m doing or where I am, may I seek you with my whole heart.
To you be all the glory! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Faithfulness in the Midst of Toil (Habakkuk 2:1; Zephaniah 2:1-4)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.