He Woke Me

One O’clock am I was pulled from a deep sleep. Not by my child, or by my dog. But by God himself. I felt my eyes being pried open and wondering what am I doing awake. I know just seconds before I was in a wonderful deep sleep. there was no loud noise that roused me, no dog or puppy whining to be let out, no cat nudging at me for the same purpose, no 7 year old climbing over me to get into the middle after a bad dream. No, I was drawn awake by God Most High.

He knows me well. He knows how I fret. He knows that I run scenarios around in my head till I can’t stand my self. But somehow I still slept last night. I think for some reason He just needed to wake me up to remind me that He is God. That in all the insanity that surrounds me, His peace is all encompassing.

As I laid there this morning knowing it was Him that woke me, I went to him directly in prayer, seeking to know what it is He wanted me to know, or what I may need to do to clear the way between us. I waited.

I prayed for my family, my friends, my church, and then it came to me.

Philippians 4. That’s all.

Thankful that I had no major sin I needed to confess, I thanked Him and said I would read it in the morning when I got up. He didn’t much like that and kept me awake until 5am. Why I just don’t listen is beyond me. I could have gotten back to sleep, but no I tossed and turned and finally when my beloveds alarm went off I sat up, finally grabbed my bible and read Phil 4.

He said, No in the Message. Which meant I had to go downstairs to get it. I did.

And I read:

Phil 4: 6-9 (from the Message) 6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

I smiled; told Him I knew all that. Then I got ready for work.

After dropping my little guy off at school, I started praying and may I tell you that I have never felt the spirit in prayer like I did today. Tears ran down my eyes for no other reason then that I was in total communion with Him. The power and peace that filled me as I prayed over this day and what was to come. I prayed using Phil 4:6-9. When I came to the end of praying, I felt so filled. So loved, so confident in Him.

Thank you God for waking me, for your persistent heart in seeking mine. For all that you fed my spirit.

Coram Deo

Coram Deo literally means “before the face of God”. It carries the notion of our living in the presence of God, under the authority of God and to the honor and glory of God. It is what each person was designed for by their Creator.

The following has been adapted for this blog:

Coram Deo captures the essence of the Christian life.”

This phrase 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.

To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are acting under the gaze of God. God is omnipresent. There is no place so remote that we can escape His all seeing gaze.

To be aware of the presence of God is also to be strongly aware of His sovereignty. When we recognize that if God is God, then we will indeed know that He is sovereign. Living under divine sovereignty involves more than a reluctant submission to sheer sovereignty that is motivated out of a fear of punishment. It involves recognizing that there is no higher goal than offering honor to God. Our lives are to be living sacrifices, offered in a spirit of adoration and thankfulness.

To live all of life Coram Deo is to live a life of integrity. It is a life of wholeness that finds its unity and worth in the majesty of God. A fragmented life is a life that is constantly decaying. It is marked by inconsistency, disunity, confusion, conflict, contradiction, and chaos.

Integrity is found where men and women live their lives in consistency. Which means we are the same basic way in church and out of church. It is a life that is open before God. It is a life in which all that is done is done as to the Lord. It is a life lived by principle, and by humility before God, not defiance. It is a life lived under the teaching of conscience that is held captive by the Word of God.

Coram Deo . . . before the face of God. That’s the big idea. Next to this idea our other goals and ambitions become mere trifles.”

May I challenge you to live Coram Deo today and each day. To recognize that you are already before the face of God when you rise in the morning. A friend of mine jokingly stated: “The Holy Spirit doesn’t kick in till after my coffee” (I know she was joking).

My dear friends we are always in the presence of the Almighty God, God Most High. And if we are His, we don’t get to wait till after our morning coffee to submit our lives to the Holy Spirit. To live Coram Deo is to live “knowingly” before His face at all times.

Are you aware of Him at all times?
Do you work like He’s there?
Do you love like He’s there?
Do you resolve conflict like He’s there?
Do you give like He’s there?

Coram Deo, living face to face with God.

Sit with It

I am a fixer.

There I said it. Sitting still when I see a problem I could fix is one of the hardest things I do. My current profession requires that I be a fixer. In this arena of my life, my God given talent is well used and well appreciated. I am often commended for my “big picture” visionary skills. These skills have been useful in my ability to find problems, to diagnosis problems and to eventually fix the problems. That is all well and good in the work world. Even there sitting with the problem can frustrate me because I know I can figure it out.

In relationships or with people, fixing may not be so welcomed. This talent God has given me in the professional realm can be a curse in the relational realm. I still possess the talent. It can still be used for good, but there are times I am finding that I cannot rush in and fix things. As I learned from a dear friend this past week end there are times I just need to “sit with it”. I’m not good with “sitting” with anything. I want the problem solved, and I’m just as thrilled to work on it all night if I have to for it to be solved. I will let it whirl in my head until the wee hours of the morning. Running it through different scenarios until I find the one that fits just right and BAM I have it. I have the perfect answer for the imperfect problem.

I have been chewing on this new phrase “sit with it”. Lifting it up to God; how do I do this thing called “sit with it” you wired me God to fix things, you gave me this big picture kind of brain and gifted me to be a visionary. Show me how to sit with it.

• Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

• Zechariah 2:13
Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.

• Psalm 37:7
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

• Exodus 14:14
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

In His word He tells us to be still, to sit with whatever calamity you are in, and He will fight for me.

He will be exalted as the one who fixes things ( not me).

He has roused Himself (my favorite visual) from His dwelling so to take care of the matter, I can picture Him shifting His weight, hearing the fire blazing wheels of His chariot throne pop and spark as He stands, with His right hand outstretched ready to speak into existence the true fix, the only fix that will be perfect.

Be still and wait for Him. He is never slow to respond, He is responding I need only to wait for His move, and to see if He asks me to join Him.

And it’s ok if I end up feeling empty, that I didn’t get to fix anything. As I sit with it, I need only to lean into Him with the wait. To lie at His feet, pour out my heart; even tell Him how I see it. He may just chuckle, but He’s big enough to hear my version as to how I would fix it, and still proceed with His own.

I may be able to resolve problems at the work place, but when it comes to relational problems, sometimes He asks me to wait, sit with it, to be still and know that He is God, not me, never me.