Words fascinate me to no end. Any given word can have such a variety of meanings. If we’re having a conversation and I say, “I see what you’re saying,” how can I “see” what you’re saying? Obviously, I’m telling you that I see (or understand) what you’re saying with my mind’s eye.
The Bible, too, uses the word “see” in different ways. On Mount Sinai God told Moses, “You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live” (Exodus 33:20).
Then we come to Psalm 17 and read David’s prayer: “And I – in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
God is spirit, Jesus told us (John 4:24), and He cannot be seen with the physical eye. But He can be seen with the eyes of faith. This is what David is writing about here, and it is the testimony of both Old and New Testament saints that God is visible within the heart, mind and soul of the believer.
Oh, how we long to see God! This is the desire of the ages and the reason to pursue the One who alone can quench the thirst of the parched soul and satisfy the desires of the hungry heart. Oh, that we would chase after God with the same intensity with which He tracked us down!
The apostle Paul was quite aware of our spiritual eyesight. When praying for the Ephesian church, he asked that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).
This passage provides the key that unlocks the door to new vistas of seeing God. How do we go about seeing God? What does it take to see the face of the Almighty? Here are three things you can do:
1. Ask God to reveal Himself to you.
Paul’s prayer is a wonderful way to intercede for your Christian brothers and sistersin your local assembly and in the Church universal. But have you ever prayed Paul’s prayer for yourself? This is a beautiful way to start your day;every time you seek the Lord in prayer, make this request a habit. “Oh Lord, I want to see you today. Please open the eyes of my heart so I can experience your presence in increasing measure.”
2. Spend much quality time in the Word.
To know God is to see God. Paul asked God to open our eyes so that we would know things about God. Where do we get that knowledge?The only reliable source of information about the living Word, Jesus Christ, is the written Word, the Holy Scriptures. Fill your mind with great thoughts about Father, Son and Spirit by reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on His Word and you will see God on every page of the Bible.
3. Respond to the glorious truths of God by worshipping the Trinity.
To worship God is to see God, provided we are worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. A biblically saturated mind cannot help but fall prostrate before the throne of grace — praising, thanking and adoring our sovereign Creator, the all-powerful and all-loving King of glory.
This is what it takes to see God. May David’s prayer become reality for us in both this life and the next. “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).