Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:12-15 NJKV
God is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5), and He has a problem when we ignore Him or seek Him only in an emergency, but refuse to seek Him continuously. God desires a face-to-face relationship with His people. As God says in the above text, when God’s people get tired of shut-up heavens so that there is no rain, and devouring locusts, suffering pestilence and plagues of sickness, they will seek God’s face, and then God said He would hear their prayers, forgive their sins, and heal their land.
What does it mean to seek God’s face? “Face” is an idiom for presence in Old Testament writings. It’s not seeking God’s outward appearance, but rather seeking to experience God’s presence (Ex. 33:20). Without seeking God’s face, His people can, at best, have a long distant relationship with Him. But long distant relationships are hard due to loss of passion, things lost in translation, communication breakdowns, etc. The prophet Isaiah warned against such relationships with God when he said, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isa. 55:6). A face-to-face relationship seeks out the presence of the Lord in every situation: good, bad, or ugly. Isaiah is further saying that if you have something to say, say it to God’s face.
After the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem, King David wrote a psalm of thanksgiving and delivered it to Asaph, the chief musician. The psalm included these words: “Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face continually” (1 Chron. 16:11). A face-to-face relationship with God seeks His presence continually—not just in an emergency or a time of need.
God wants His people to live, work, and worship seeking His face. It is not where you worship or seek His presence that counts, but it is how you seek His presence. “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart” (Ps 119:2). “God is spirit, and those who worship Him [seek His face] must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
It is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and rain righteousness upon you (Hos. 10:12). They that seek God, face-to-face, shall not want for any good thing (Ps. 34:10). No shut-up heavens; no devouring locusts, and no pestilence and plagues because God hears from heaven. He forgives sins and heals your land. So feel the joy of His presence (Ps.16:11). He is always there. Wherever you are, God is. So ask and it shall be given unto you; seek His face and you will find. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, face-to-face!