Have you ever searched for something that you had misplaced? Well, we have all had that experience, haven’t we? I knew a lady once who searched for her glasses for over an hour and then discovered that they were sitting, pushed up, on top of her head! Oh well. Sometimes what we are searching for is nearer than we think.
God wants us to search for Him. NOT that He is lost or misplaced, BUT we’re the ones who get confused and can’t see He’s right there. So we need to search for Him. That is what God means in 2 Chronicles 7:14 when He says, “If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” To seek the face of God is to search diligently for Him. Jeremiah the Prophet put it this way: “Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me and I will hearken unto you, and you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all of your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
The word “seek” means “to search for, to investigate.” The verb in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is in the piel stem of the Hebrew, which is the intensive stem. That means that there should be an intensity in our search. God wants us to strive diligently in our search for Him because that will demonstrate how valuable we consider Him to be.
It is like the old prospectors who searched diligently for gold. They would dedicate their entire lives to searching for that treasure in the hope of striking it rich. God tell us through the writer of Proverbs that He wants us to seek Him as silver and to search for Him as for hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:4). So as we humble ourselves and pray, God also wants us to devote our lives to seeking His face.
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Let me remind you of the glasses on top of the lady’s head – God is closer than you think!