“It makes no sense to take the name of Christian and not cling to Christ”

“Seek the Lᴏʀᴅ and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (1 Chronicles 16:11). 

As I write this blog, the omicron variant is sweeping the country and forcing us to confront some ugly questions: Will schools close again? Businesses? Offices? What about holiday travel? What about those who are fully vaccinated? What about the unvaccinated? What about our children and grandchildren? 

In times of despair, we need a source of true strength. When we face a frightening and uncertain future, we need a source of true hope. When we are isolated from family and friends, we need a source of true comfort and presence. 

All of this is offered to us in the verse we are considering today. Let’s focus on its words and their significance: 

  • Seek translates a Hebrew word meaning to “tread,” to “trample,” to “seek with intent care.”
  • The Lᴏʀᴅ translates “Yahweh,” God’s personal name for himself (Exodus 3:14).
  • Strength means “might, power, fortified rampart.”
  • Presence is literally “face.”
  • Continually means “in unceasing perpetuity.”

Taken together, they call us to seek with great urgency the Lord himself—not just a religion about him but his very presence. To seek someone’s “face” requires us to draw so close to them that we can see them in personal proximity and even intimacy. We are to do this with our Lord continually, living in his presence as a lifestyle of faith and personal devotion. 

In its context, our text called the Jewish people to seek God’s presence before the ark of the covenant David had brought into a tent in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:1–7). The good news is that you and I no longer need to journey to a specific city or place to meet with our Lord. If Jesus is your Savior, his Spirit has made you his temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). Now you are as close to the face of God as your knees. 

If you are not seeking God’s face today, why not?  

I can suggest some answers: 

  • You don’t believe you need more of God than you are already experiencing.
  • You are afraid your sins and failures have exempted you from such intimacy with our holy God.
  • You think you are too busy to make such time with your Father.
  • You have separated Sunday from Monday, the spiritual from the secular. Since you went to church on Sunday and/or read the Bible and prayed already today, you have done your “God chores” and are now free to get on with your day.

However, do you really think you don’t need the omnipotent help of your Father? 

Can your sins outweigh his compassion at the cross and his consequent promise to forgive all you confess to him (1 John 1:9)? 

Are you busier than Jesus, who began the day with his Father (Mark 1:35) and practiced his presence all through the day (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:17)? 

Are you separating the Creator of the universe into one compartment of your life and thus missing all he has for those who are fully his? 

William Wilberforce, the great Christian statesman who led the fight to abolish slavery in England, stated: “It makes no sense to take the name of Christian and not cling to Christ. Jesus is not some magic charm to wear like a piece of jewelry we think will give us good luck. He is the Lord. His name is to be written in our hearts in such a powerful way that it creates within us a profound experience of his peace and a heart that is filled with his praise.” 

Will you “cling to Christ” today? 

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