Several times in the Old Testament, a peculiar request is made: “God, make your face to shine on us.” It is usually connected with the ideas of God’s grace and/or salvation. I’ve previously shared with you about how I believe that God’s face ‘shining on us’ is akin to God smiling on His creation and His children.
But this time, as I meditate on God’s smiling face, a few new ideas surfaced. First of all, when God’s shining face is mentioned in the Psalms and Torah, the one writing is usually in a state of trouble or crisis. They are needing something — something big… and so they ask for [drumroll please] God’s shining face! Why? Because His face shining IS big, really big!
God’s smile is not a response to our good actions.
It is a causative force for our good and for His glory.
God’s smile is not a response to our good actions. When I smile at my children, it’s usually a reflection of their behavior. Usually. But sometimes, I just smile at them because they are mine and they make me happy. I’ve caught myself smiling at them when they’re sleeping. God’s smile is born in His heart of grace toward His creation and children – not in our behavior. He can smile on us and be gracious to us even when we’re not deserving of it. That’s what grace is… when we were sinners, Christ dying for us. When we would never had chosen Him, He reached toward us. I think that’s why the Bible says God ‘makes’ His face to shine on us; we don’t deserve it, but God really wants to give it to us, so He wills it.
God’s smile is so powerful that it’s worth asking for. How often do you ask for God’s smile? God’s shining face? His glory? His favor? Not only is it NOT a response to our actions, but it is a powerful causative force of His favor and glory. God’s shining face has the power to change things, to move people, to impact me and my world. Think of Moses coming down from the mountain. Consider Jesus’ inner circle disciples when they were on the mountain spending time with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. They glowed because God’s face shined on them. They were different because of God’s face.
God’s shining face has the power to change things, to move people, to impact me and my world.
Last, when we focus on whether or not God’s face is shining on us, I believe that we’ll be less focused on the approval of those around us. Does the fear of man ever plague you? Do the lack of likes, hearts, thumbs up, etc. ruin your day? Do you feel pressure to perform — especially around other Christians? Honestly, I need to look to Jesus more so that I will learn to live in God’s love and share that love. It takes the pressure off to impress you and to just be myself… one of God’s favorite sons!
I want God’s face to shine on me. I need it… so I’m going to begin to faithfully pray for it and humbly expect that God will shine down on me. It might not change my circumstances, it might not affect the people around me, but I know that it will do something in me… and that makes me smile.