Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”
Psalm 27:8 – “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’”
A HUNGER FOR GOD
Just a few months after becoming a believer, the church I was a part of held a week of prayer and fasting. While I really love food (I mean really), I sensed a strong drawing from the Lord to set myself apart to Him and his purposes. As the days went by, something powerful began to happen. God began to draw near to me in a way that was unprecedented up to that point in my walk. His presence became more tangible, His voice was amplified, and the Holy Spirit’s activity was undeniable. Much of what God did during that week I had been asking for, but somehow it wasn’t triggered until I sought the Lord in a deeper and more sacrificial way.
From that time on, I have set myself apart several times a year to fast and pray and seek the Lord in a very focused way. Nearly each time I have seen the pattern repeat itself. When my hunger for more of God and His Kingdom leads me to press beyond the realm of casually asking God for things and into the place of seeking Him, a divine moment of encounter or breakthrough is soon to follow.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASKING AND SEEKING
One of the keys to David being a man after God’s own heart was that his asking and his seeking came into ALIGNMENT. When David said “one thing I have asked for”, he didn’t stop there. He followed it by saying “also will I seek”. (Psalm 27:8) It’s one thing to ask God to do something and it’s another thing to seek him until you find Him or until what he promises manifests in your life. David had a faithful and strong spirit that understood how to align desire with corresponding action that would produce supernatural results.
Asking often comes at a service or designated prayer time or on your drive to work. Seeking is more accurately reflected as the current posture of my life. I can ask God for more of His Presence in less than 10 seconds (often with amazing results), but experience teaches us it doesn’t always work like that. But when I PURSUE HIM in a focused way over a period of time there is always breakthrough in His Presence and power.
Please don’t misunderstand, I am well aware that when we ask we also receive. But sometimes what we are after is significant enough that asking must give way to seeking.
So what keeps us from really seeking after God? While there may be more than one answer for this I have found that it is often related to the cost. Asking God to do something is easy. Seeking God often starts with denying ourselves. We demonstrate our hunger for more of God not by simply asking for more but by eliminating the distractions that are keeping us from more of Him. In my experience with American culture, food and various forms of entertainment occupy huge portions of our time.
Enter FASTING. Powerful things happen all through the Bible when people pray and fast. We are not denying ourselves for the sake of self-denial. We are doing it to SEEK HIM and to see HIS KINGDOM COME WITH POWER. Sometimes we must give up things we love in order to gain things we LOVE MORE. That’s the kind of hunger that arrests heavens attention and causes God to pour out His Spirit in power.