Self’s Conceit or ‘Coram Deo’?

spurgeonIt’s Monday morning.  What kind of emotions are you experiencing as you prepare for this new week?  I look at my calendar and see a full schedule, meetings, responsibilities, preparation, and decisions to be made.  Will I see those moments as opportunities presented to me to do good things or as yet another thing to cross off the list?  I want us to remember this – the way we live out this week will result largely from our choice of attitude. If we allow ourselves to be hurried and see things only as a hassle, exhaustion will quickly come. If we take each day, each person, in the flow of life – engaging fully in that moment, we will discover a new kind of effectiveness.

God promises to renew our strength, to provide grace for every moment.  I do not know who said it first, but I believe that “Where God guides, He provides.”   The Lord asked Abraham to offer up his dearest son. The request was hard, unreasonable by every estimate, and could have broken the man. But, in his hour of trial, Abraham choose to trust God totally.  As he prepared to obey, God provided a ram in the thicket to replace his son on the altar. There on that mountain, the man worshipped “Yahweh Yireh” – “the Lord, My Provider!”

We cannot know what He has provided if we are full of ourselves, if we resent others for asking much of us, or if we complain when we feel the pressures of life. When the ancient Israelites left Egypt with nothing, God fed them and led them every day. They had all that they needed. But, remember their attitude?  They were full of complaints with only contempt for what God freely gave to them. Because they were not humble before Him to receive each day’s manna, they lost their sweet fellowship with their Heavenly Father.  And, that conceit of Self eventually concealed His power from them and they did not enter into the Promised Land. Lacking the boldness of a God-centered faith, they saw only the walled cities and inhabitants that became ‘giants’ in their twisted perspective.

We are pilgrims. This world is not a resting place. It is a battleground. The battle belongs to the Lord, we learn from the Scripture. Our resources are insufficient to overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil. But, Jesus walks with us and assures us that “in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)

On this Monday morning, I bow my head and my heart before the One who leads me from strength to strength. I will pray to be fully engaged in each moment, with each person, taking each day from Him with His promise of provision. Will you?  As we walk with Him, there is joy, there is peace, and the Kingdom is made visible on this earth.

The key is “Coram Deo.”   The Latin phrase means ‘in the Presence of God.’  To live “coram Deo” is to live out our days, ‘before His face’ under the guidance of the Spirit; becoming ‘living sacrifices’ for the glory of God.

Here’s a word from the Word. May the truth inspire us to be centered on Jesus, to live ‘coram Deo’ and to defeat Self’s conceit. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NIV)  “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV)

_________________

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal. 

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

 And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

A Mighty Fortress- Martin Luther, Public Domain

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