Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
1 Corinthians 8: 2 Those who think they know something, do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.
Have you ever heard of Dr. Google? I have a physician friend who confessed to me that many of his patients now first seek Dr. Google to confirm their diagnosis and possible remedy for their ailment. The real reason they go to the doctor’s office is to get a prescription and have their doctor confirm what they and Dr. Google have already diagnosed.
It’s funny how we can so quickly affirm our assumptions by just a few clicks of our keyboard. It wasn’t long ago when “an expert” in almost any field of study was truly considered “an expert.” Well, not anymore! Most of us assume we can find out pretty much anything we need to know by only doing enough of our own research. I admit that I am as guilty as any in this regard.
While research isn’t a bad endeavor in and of itself, we can develop “confirmation biases” that allow us to see only what we expect to see. This can lead us to live by assumptions, which, if we allow it, can become corrosive to our faith. Let me explain.
The apostle Paul declares to the church in Rome that the righteous live by faith. (Romans 1:16) and faith comes by hearing the voice/Word of God speaking to our hearts of things we can not otherwise know. (Romans 10:17) Revelation and faith go hand in hand. One is seeing and the other is acting upon that which has been revealed to us.
I am not suggesting we check our curiosity or intellect at the door, but I am encouraging that we must always keep stirring our intellect and curiosity with an abundant amount of faith that comes by God’s spoken and written word.
The one who compartmentalizes life into one part faith and the other part secular has failed to grasp the main idea in being a follower of Christ. This is that all of life is to be lived by faith. To first seek internet research for answers to life’s issues such as business, family or health is to fail to heed King Solomon’s admonition to his young son to “not lean on our own understanding” but to acknowledge God in all our ways.
Theologians have or centuries used a Latin term coram Deo to describe what it means to be a follower of Christ. 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.
As a person fulfills his or her vocation as a barisita, attorney, or homemaker by “Coram Deo,” then that person is acting every bit as faithful to God as a pastor who fulfills his vocation. It means that young David was living “Coram Deo” when he obeyed God’s call to be a shepherd equally as much as when he was anointed with the special grace of kingship. It means that Jesus was every bit as faithful to God when He worked in His father’s carpenter shop as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.
As followers of Christ, we cannot afford to assume anything, but in everything live by faith in the presence of and to the glory of God. Maybe Covid-19 has passed through God’s gracious plan to return his church to live by Coram Deo…in the presence of and to the glory of God!
I pray that we may have the the eyes of our hearts opened wide to see just how much wonder there is in this world that God has lovingly created for us. May we not live by assumptions of our own, but with humble hearts present ourselves each and every day to do His will. Amen!