Thursday, March 17, 2011

Seeing God's face

Have you ever wondered what the face of God will look like? He made us in His image, so it might be safe to assume that His face will have characteristics like ours. We also know that when God the Son came to this earth, He chose to come as one of us. So, it does seem probable that God’s face might be similar to ours.

Or, maybe not. God is spirit. So maybe His face is not like ours. Maybe our face has been formed in such a way that reflects not His characteristics but His character. Who knows?

I don’t know what His face will look like, but I do know this—I can’t wait to see it. But not because I am interested in the characteristics of God’s face. No, I want to see His face because I want to be in His Presence. I want to know more about Him. I long to gaze into His beauty. I want to love Him.

As I write these last words, I stop and am amazed how God has put this desire to be with Him in me and in all His people. On this earth we get the privilege of being in relationship with Him. Like other relationships, the more we are with Him the more we love Him. And that love turns into a deep desire that can’t get enough.

But there are things that stop this, aren’t there? There are road blocks in our way. Just writing this makes me angry at myself. I recognize all the things I have done to hurt this relationship. I haven’t changed God’s love for me, yet there are times when I run because I am scared or because I have sinned. There are times when I believe the lies that say I am not good enough.

On top of that, we have God’s holiness. He is so holy, so perfect, so set apart, so above us, that we—with our sin-cannot be in His Presence. His holiness will not allow it, and we would not be able to handle it. God said to Moses, who was with Him on the mountain, “you cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live” (Exodus 33:19). If Moses cannot see Him, I don’t stand a chance.

Then there is prayer. I love prayer, but it’s not enough. As good as it is, I want more. It’s like that telephone call you get when you are away. It’s good, but it makes you long to be in the presence of that person and have a face-to-face conversation.

The great news is there will come a time when we will be in His Presence. Then, all of our longings and desires that God has created and stoked will be fulfilled. Paul recognized those same desires—obviously, I learned about this through him. Paul wrote about these longings and their fulfillment in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

I can’t wait for that time, can you? We will get to see Him. God will transform us so that we will have eyes that will be able to see Him. We will have a mind that will be able to know Him. We will have a heart that will not stop loving him.

Can you imagine that time? We will no longer struggle with our sin. We will understand and embrace God’s promises. We will understand God’s love and care for us. And we will be able to love Him in return. We will be able to go after Him with all that we have and not have any road blocks.

Now, we see glimpses. We look through fuzzy, sin-fogged-up lenses. Then we will see face to face.

I can’t wait.

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