Face To Face?

By Terri Pettyjohn
Writer and Author, Contributing Writer, EXW
April 06, 2023

Read more from Terri Pettyjohn
Is Worship Truly a Face To Face Encounter?

A favorite song of mine describes entering an unknown place past the gates of praise until we're standing face to face before God in a state of worship. I love that song, but I have to wonder since no man has looked on the face of God, can that be possible? If the feeling weíre experiencing is holy, but weíre not actually allowed a physical encounter, what do we base our assumption on? After some careful analysis and soul-searching, I have come to believe that my feelings are based on the aura of a spiritual experience so deep that it actually becomes physical, and Iím only allowed access to it because He permits it.

In complete contrast, although we donít see an actual body with a face, we feel the liberating weight of convicting justice balanced perfectly with equal measures of grace canceling our death by one life-changing instant in history. We are humbled by the inescapable confrontation of complete honesty and truth that decries the hiding of our inner thoughts or any pretense of emotional deception. We begin to comprehend and crave a love that is beyond anything humanly experienced or possible thus far in our transient lives. The majesty of the created bowing before the Creator convicts any stray seed of pride that would seek to exalt or justify itself with self-serving actions or motions.

For such a short period of time we experience a realm where time stands still in the past, present, and future of eternity before the One who was before there was time. Maybe thatís why true worshippers feel so bound by time constraints in a worship service with an agenda and time frame that has to be adhered to. When you are in the presence of God, you donít want to leave or be brought back to the earthly level until you have absorbed all that you can stand in the present state of our human frailty. Perhaps thatís why believers who have never experienced true worship have no comprehension of the hunger that we have to spend extended time with a presence that they canít see or touch because theyíve never sought a relationship higher than the one of ritual and rote that they have been taught. The One with whom our spirit communes and thirsts after waits for us upon His sacred throne in our hearts as we leave behind our inhibitions, our pre-conceived notions, and our human finite reasoning. We have to wonder if we ascend or does He descend?

So, in a way, we are very much face to face. There is nothing on His part that will keep us from experiencing the totality of who He is. Any barrier is of our own making. We only understand the physical by earthly physical definition until we have experienced the spiritual with the eyes of our soul. To actually be able to put a visual face with the presence is something that we can only dream about as our spirit longs for that day. For right now, this is enough.

Terri Pettyjohn
Writer and Author, Contributing Writer, EXW
Read more from Terri Pettyjohn

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