Archive for February 20th, 2023

Standing Before God


Written by Dallas Willard (1935-2013), an American philosopher, theologian, and author. This is an excerpt from his book “Renovation of the Heart.”

When God stands before us, we stand before him. Refusing to worship him is a way of trying to avoid his face and his eyes. Two-and-a-half-year-old Larissa was enjoying water in the back yard with “Nana.” Nana gently counseled her to water the purple flowers, but she had just discovered mud by pouring water on a small patch of dirt. Nana told her not to put water on the dirt because it makes mud and mud will “get everything dirty.” Well, mud it was anyway, and the little girl even put the mud into a small tub of water nearby, calling it then “warm chocolate.” Nana, who had been reading facing away from the action, soon discovered and cleaned up what to her was a mess, and then returned to her reading, but now seated so as to be facing Larissa. But the little girl soon resumed her “warm chocolate” routine, saying sweetly, “Don’t look at me, Nana. Okay?” Nana of course agreed and looked down at her reading. Then Larissa would make black mud and put some of it in the tub. And then some more. Three times she said, as she continued her work, “Don’t look at me Nana. Okay?” The tender soul of a little child shows us how necessary it is to us that we be unobserved in our wrong. The adult soul carries the same burden—but now so great as to be crushed by it. And when the face of God will no longer be avoidable, that soul will cry out in agony. The so called “right to privacy” of which so much is made in contemporary life is in very large measure merely a way of avoiding scrutiny in our wrongdoing.


Written by Austin D. Hill, a contemporary pastor.

Almighty God, we cannot escape your presence. Even in our darkest moments, you are there. When we celebrate, you are there. When we doubt your presence, you still are there. Please forgive us for the times we try to flee from you. Confident of your presence among us today, we come to you in silent confession. 

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