At the bottom of each daily devotional in the TableTalk magazine is a little paragraph entitled Coram Deo. It means, “Before the face of God” and usually the short paragraph is some sort of application of the study that came before.
It’s important to remember, though, that Coram Deo isn’t just the tag at the end of a study. Coram Deo is a way of life. Everything I do is done before the face of God; whether I acknowledge his presence or not.
It’s helpful to remember this as I go throughout the day. Would I feel the need to justify my playlist on my iPod to Jesus? Would I speak to my wife and kids differently were he in the room? What would I watch on TV if Jesus came to visit for the night – would I have it on at all? Would I dress differently, behave differently? Then I stop and remember verses like Ephesians 2:22 that tells me I am “a dwelling place for God by the spirit,” and John 14:22, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
It’s a little frightening to think that as a pastor I also preach before the face of God. I’m offering back to God His own words, and asking, praying, that it will resonate with my congregation. I am accountable to God, not the church, for the content of my message. I have to ask myself every week as I prepare to preach, “Is what I’m saying true?” “Does it clearly communicate the truth of God’s Word?” “Does it edify the church, but more importantly, does it glorify God?” (One could argue that if it glorifies God it will edify the church.)
Thursdays are the days I like to finalize my sermon, so that I can spend Friday and Saturday praying over the message. My prayers usually range from, “God, I need you to sort out this mess” to “Lord, only you can move the hearts and minds of the church -speak through me.” Ultimately, my prayer is that the meditation of my heart, and the words of my lips, will be pleasing before the face of God.