But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Matthew 6:33
To seek the face of God is to seek His presence. Psalms 24:6 states, “This is the generation that seeks Him, that seek your face, O God of Jacob.” There are moments when we need an intimate encounter with God. Every person reaches a place in life that makes him or her cry out to God in desperation. If you have reached that place before, you may have prayed "God, if You are with me, show me You are here at this moment." Such yearning for connection with God occurs often in the Bible.
The man who experienced the presence
Jacob had seen the Face of God at Peniel, for he was in the presence of the Lord where he wrestled with a man all night. It eventually causes a transformation in Jacob's life that he went from a trickster/Jacob to a Prince of God/Israel (Genesis 32:24-30; Psalm 4:6). After coming into the presence of God you will never be the same because His Divine Presence brings transformation and holiness.
He prays to God and finds favour with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored to his righteous state (Job 33:26).
People were delivered, and restored when the Face of God shine's on us (Psalm 31:16, Psalm 80:19).
Moses spoke to God face to face, as a friend speaks to another friend; Moses received a revelation of the Torah for the nation of Israel and was known as the most prominent prophet of Israel, second only to Jesus Christ. When Moses left the presence of the Lord, His countenance shine with the glory when he came back down the mountain to the people, He had to place a veil to cover His (Exodus 33:11; Exodus 34:34; Deuteronomy 34:10; 2 Corinthians 3:13) face.
Abed-Odom had the Ark of the Covenant (presence of God) for three months in his house, and the Lord blessed everything He owned (1 Chronicles 13:14), because of the Ark of the Covenant being present.
Passion to Seek His Face
Passion to seek God’s face is born from a point of love and honour of God and His Word, thanksgiving for what God has done for us, and in awe of God's greatness and goodness. Passion comes from a choice to seek after God in the good and bad times, when we're strong and when we're weak. It was the passion that propelled Christ to carry the cross to Calvary. Passion should lead to obedience.
Christ tied love and obedience together when He said in John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commands." A passion for God is not just a feeling; it leads to actions of obedience to God's Word. Moses' passion for God was expressed when He said, "Teach me Your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with You." His desire was to know God and learn His will. Obedience to God's word develops holiness in the life of the believer. Holiness pleases God and leads to the same response given to Moses: "I will do the very thing you have asked because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
What Can Cause God to Hide His Face?
The question should be what causes God to hide His Face/Presence from mankind ? The answer would be the Sin. Isaiah 59:2 says, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear."
Prime examples of people in the Bible that had a presence of God fleeing from His people in the Word of God are as follows
When Eli, the high Priest’s wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas went out to battle the Philistines, they were killed in battle, and all the men that went to battle with them died, their father Eli after hearing the news that his sons were killed fell back in his chair and broke his neck. After all the calamity occurred, Phinehas wife gave birth to a son and called his name Ichabod, which means the "glory of God/presence of God has departed”. The presence had indeed departed, because of evil sinful leadership; they couldn't defeat the enemy because of the sin in the camp (1 Samuel 4:19-22).
Samson’s continued immorality was a snare and his downfall, which he got for being with Delilah; when he awoke out of his sleep to fight the Philistines like other times, however, the Lord had departed (Ichabod) from him (Judges 16:19-21). The Philistines took him captive, bond him, and put his vision/sight out (without vision or prophetic revelation people perish Proverbs 29:18), Samson demise was that he rejected knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
The glory departing from the Temple in Ezekiel 10, because of the habitual sin in the nation of Judah, made the presence of God depart from the Temple, which later King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:9-10), because the glory of God had departed.
Adam and Eve, when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they died spiritually first, by becoming sinners. The first thing they did after sinning, was hide from the presence of God (Genesis 3:8). The glory had departed from Adam, what soon followed was spiritual death, ultimately physical death.
We receive life every time we enter into the presence of God. So are you facing a hard situation? If so, take time to seek His presence. He promised that when we do this in humility and turn from our sinful ways, we will see His glory manifested in our lives.