R.C. Sproul defines Coram Deo in the following way:
” .. .coram Deo .. literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.”
This is what I’ve tried to do consciously this year. In fact, you might have seen me sign off posts, using Coram Deo. What I have discovered so far is that living this way is exhausting. It’s exhausting in the way that an adventure is exhausting. I’ve had to think on my feet, rely on Scripture that I’ve memorized, pull out fact that I’ve committed to memory, and take risks when I would much rather not. I’ve had to speak up when I would naturally have remained silent, and challenge friends when I am inwardly cringing and wanting to hide. I’ve made lots and lots of mistakes.
But, I’ve also discovered living coram Deo, is exciting. I am going on adventures with Christ. Small adventures to be sure, but that’s very like Him; He’s not going to outpace my spiritual stride, He’s going to match His pace to my ability. When I try to go further than I can go, when I miscalculate, He doesn’t berate me, He picks me up and carries me to the destination. Here’s an example of one of the mini adventures I had.
Mom and I drove down to the Post Office to mail out packages (one birthday, one you’re just fantastic) on a day when the heat index was 112 degrees and knowing that it was really only 100 degrees outside didn’t help at all. We ran into the location and slid down the dividers, taking up the fourth and fifth places in line.
“It’s hot outside today” one of the workers behind the counter said as we wiped our faces.
“It’s 112 degrees, or feels like it” I agreed “And the humidity isn’t helping.”
“Uh-huh” the other Postal worker agreed as they totaled the customer in front of us purchases. “But you know what, I bet it is hotter than this in hell.”
I drew in a breath. That was an interesting turn in the usual ‘polite weather conversations’. My pulse fluttered as my soul did a twisting flip and seized on the ‘opportunity’
“You know George Foreman died on the table after a fight” my voice was saying “I read it in his autobiography. And he went to hell. The interesting thing about what he saw of hell, was that it was dark, and ice-cold, and he could remember everything in his life while he was there, all the missed opportunities. He was alone in the dark in the searing burning cold and he knew it would go on forever without a respite. He cried out Oh Jesus no please save me and came back to his frame on the table. And he called for his pastor and he gave his heart to Christ that day. He’s a pastor now.”
Mom chimed in with several comments as the Postal workers nodded and uh-huh-ed and talked about how ice can burn as bad as fire. The two people in line before Mom and I, didn’t venture a single comment as Mom added:
“You know, God never intended for any man to go hell, we put ourselves there by refusing His way of escape, His Son Jesus.” One customer escaped, but the other still had to pay for stamps. They were working hard on not saying anything and not making eye contact either with the Postal employees or with us.
It was kinda funny.
The Postal workers nodded again and one talked about what their Pastor had shared, just that past Sunday about people thinking that God will accept everyone, but there was only one way to be right with Him, and that was Jesus. The final customer escaped, quick-walking to the exit. The four of us, the two Postal employees, and Mom and I chatted, talking about how you have to make the most of every moment and then thanked them for their service. They laughed and grinned with us and Mom and I went back out into the heat, a little stunned that we’d been part of a pincher-gospel announcement to the two other people in the Post Office. It was definitely a Coram Deo moment.
So, those are the kind of adventures I’ve been having, trying my hardest to live before the face of God in all that I say, and do. It’s not easy. I fail more than I succeed. But you know, I’ve never had this much fun with Jesus before?
What about you, scribes? How are you having adventures with Christ this Summer?