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September 15, 2012

A Process of Drawing Close to God 

Seeking the face of God is the process of drawing close to God, and therefore attracting His presence to your life and community. It is hard work to seek God's face, which takes time and effort like anything else worthy of pursuit in this life. Becoming a Christian is only the first step, and without diligently applying yourself, you will never draw close to the Lord or experience His presence and power in your life. 

To live what we call a Seeking God Lifestyle is to truly invest yourself in seeking digilently to discover what He loves and values, and connecting with Him in order to have those same values permeate your own heart. It's about knowing the heart of God, identifying with Him and carrying out His purposes. As you seek Him, He responds to you and comes upon your life in power so that you may fulfill your destiny and you and your community will be blessed.

You should know that it is costly to seek the Lord wholeheartedly. Not only does it take a lot of time and effort, but it means making His plans and purposes the focus of your life. It's disruptive, almost always entails some degree of suffering, and puts Him as Lord of your life instead of yourself.

Seven principles are found to characterize the lives of biblical believers, early Christians, and Christians today of many other nations. Seeking God with the energy that God expects of you will result in periodic fillings of the Holy Spirit in your life which you need for joy, revelation and victory over sin.

1. Humility

The Christian should humble himself/herself profoundly, taking advantage of the help that fasting provides. He should fast regularly (the first-century Christians fasted twice a week), and should fast for longer periods of time for special occasions (examples in the Bible include periods as long as three days, ten days, 40 days, 70 days, and 120 days).

2. Fervent and Frequent Prayer

Including Bible reading and memorization, a Christian should spend two or three set times per day in prayer, totaling 1.5 to three hours, either alone or with others. This is in addition to time spent lifting up prayers throughout the day or before meals.

3. Massive Intake of Scripture

The amount of time a Christian should take in the Bible each day is explained in #2 above. Taking in the Scriptures includes reading the Bible, memorizing it, reciting it, meditating on it, listening to it, studying it, and listening to good sermons explaining it.

4. Personal and Corporate Repentence of Sins

Christ must be LORD of everything in your life including your sex life, your recreational life (it can't be so time-consuming that it crowds out your prayer and Bible reading), and your finances.

5. Obedience to God, Day by Day, Moment by Moment

Living a consistent righteous life over time draws God's presence.

6. Perseverance in Seeking After God Day After Day, Month After Month.

There's no way you can seek God wholeheartedly for a whole year and not see significant changes, but seeking God is not something to be pursued just for a year, but as a way of life for the rest of your life.

7. Gathering with Others

For your two or three set times per day praying and reading the Bible, join with other Christians as much as you can. Of the 14-21 times per week, try to join with others for many of those sessions. Additionally, set aside time for two week-long Christian conferences per year so that you stay strong in your devotion to Christ. Lastly, encourage and plead with others to join you in seeking the LORD.

Does a Christian really need to do all of the activities mentioned above? That depends on your perspective in two ways.