Many of us don't seek God at all. Some seek God's hand: enjoying his power, signs, miracles, healings, supernatural events, victory over evil, and the like. We feel good being on the 'victory side'. But that is only a start. It has been said "Don't seek God's hand: seek his face." Some seek God's face, getting to know him personally, coming to see his love for us and coming to love him in return.
But even this is not the final step, there is another: to seek God's heart. By heart, we don't mean the seat of feeling and emotion, but the very deepest springs of a person; if we seek God's heart, we seek to value what God values, love what he loves and even hate what he hates. We become 'mature sons', we become like God in some ways, so that when people look at us they see something of God. And, if we have God's heart, then we will most naturally do what God wants, without being told, because our very natures and wills will be freely aligned to God's. And so the cosmos will rejoice when it sees the appearing of these 'sons of God'.
In fact, remove the 'don't' above. It's not a matter of either or, but of all three. Seek all three - God's hand, face and heart. But don't rest until you are seeking God's heart.
The following table compares various aspects of seeking God's hand, face, heart.
|Seeking ...||God's Hand||God's Face||God's Heart|
|What we see:||God at work.||
God loving me.
God as he is.
God's heart for Others.
What he values, loves, hates, etc.
Also God's cosmic purpose - but don't become enamoured of that!
|Our response:||"Wow! God, you're great!".||"I love you, God. Because you first loved me."||
"Oh Father, please do this for your needy ones, your needy world."
"Oh people, stop doing this wrong and turn to the right."
|What we learn:||To trust God and obey him.||To enjoy God himself, not just his works.||
To see things God's way.
To love what God loves, hate what God hates.
To make the choices that God would make in any situation, even without asking him; to decide and act as he would.
To make the choices that he would, to do what God wants naturally, without being told what to do.
Awe, praise, worship.
Confidence in God to keep us.
Love for Jesus.
Devotion to Jesus (or Father).
Our hearts become like God's, we gain the "mind of Christ".
Love for others and for rightness.
We become like Christ, like God (even though not fully!).
So that people see him when they look at us.
|Relationship:||One to the Infinite. Servant to Master. Soldier to Captain.||
One to One. Intimate.
Unafraid and unashamed. Open.
Partners with God. "Workers with God".
Representatives of God.
Mature 'sons' (
'Philio'means affection. We become fond of, and directed towards, the object of this kind love. The more worthy the object, the deeper the affection, so that it becomes devotion and even more. When we seek God's face, we gain affection for him, and this affection should deepen throughout our lives, as we learn more and more of his beauty and wonder. Those for whom we have
philiofor, we want to bless and do good things for.
'Agape'means sacrificial, self-giving love. When we
agapesomeone or something, we make sacrifice way beyond the appropriate response of
Agapedoes not depend on the worthiness of the object of our love. We
agapeunworthy people and things. While
agapeis out-going. Only God can truly
agape. When we seek God's heart we begin to
agapelike God does.
This page, "http://www.abxn.org/hfh.html", is offered to God as on-going work. Comments, queries welcome.
Copyright (c) Andrew Basden at all dates below. But you may use this material subject to certain easy conditions.
Part of his www.abxn.org pages, that open up discussion and exploration from a Christian ('xn') perspective. Written on the Amiga with Protext in style of classic HTKL.
Created: 20 January 2002. Last updated: 10 September 2008 links to NV, .nav,.end. 5 January 2009 otg, .nav. 21 October 2018 powr.love link, new .end,.nav. 12 May 2019 corrected huios.