We can often compartmentalise our lives into the ‘spiritual’ and ‘natural’. Some have referred to it as the ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
To simplify, sometimes we may think we need to keep spiritual matters separate from the everyday matters of life. Or if you are anything like me, it can be difficult to see how we can mesh them together cohesively.
Having a family with young children means much of my life is made up of chores and ‘normal’ matters. I often need to remind myself that, yes, while I may be doing ‘another’ load of washing or I find myself ‘back at the kitchen sink’, I am actually doing everything before the Lord and I often need to change my mind, heart, and attitude.
Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
While it is crucial and beneficial to set aside specific ‘quiet times’ to be still and wait on God and we may hear more clearly during these times because there is simply less noise, I need to remind myself that ‘you can see God from anywhere if our minds are set to love and obey him.’ (Tozer,1948, p. 99)
The Pursuit of God
A.W. Tozer wrote in, The Pursuit of God, that one of the greatest hindrances to internal peace is the habit of dividing our lives into the sacred and secular.
When we divide our lives into these two areas ‘our inner lives tend to break up so that we live a divided instead of a unified life...
Tozer explains this stems from believers inhabiting two worlds at once, the spirit and the natural, so we then unconsciously have two sets of actions.
Often, we feel like the ones that are more ‘spiritual and holy’ are pleasing to God, while the more ordinary activities of life are not, so we can often do them reluctantly thinking they are a waste of time and strength (Tozer, 1948, p.121-123).
Tozer further explains that Jesus is our perfect example and knew no divided life, that God accepted the offering of his total life.
And he who sent me is with me. The father has not left me alone, for I always do those things that please him. (John 8:29)
Therefore, we can posture our heart to make every act of our lives contribute to the glory of God and know that he is pleased with our offering to him.
Doing all to the glory of God
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
I often struggle to really grasp this, and I wonder how can I do basic, everyday life as acts of worship and to the glory of God? Tozer says, we need to firstly believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find him there (Tozer, 1948, pg. 127)
‘…this does not mean that everything we do is of equal importance. Tozer’s example is that Paul’s sewing of tents was not equal to his writing of an epistle to the Romans, but both were accepted by God and both were true acts of worship’. (emphasis mine) (Tozer, 1948, pg. 130).
We need to follow God’s call on our individual lives, and we need to check our hearts and motives on why we are doing the things we are doing.
A living sacrifice
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
This leads me to think of our entire lives as a living sacrifice to God. We are to be an instrument of praise, to live before him, and to do what is pleasing to him.
Kris Vallotton shares in his latest book, Spiritual Intelligence, that once he realized he became a part of a ‘royal priesthood’ (see 1 Peter 2:9) he was no longer working in a ‘secular’ job, even though at the time he was working as an automotive technician (Vallotton, 2020, pg.151).
‘everything I do is for the king’s domain (the kingdom) and is subsequently sacred. When I offered my body to God as a living sacrifice, which is my spiritual service of worship, the outcome of my radical sacrifice was that it caused my body to become an instrument of worship.’ (Vallotton, 2020, pg.151).
He further says, ‘it is so important that we find our place of calling in life, and that we understand that each of us is born to be an instrument of God, filled with the spirit of God, to do the works of God’ (Vallotton, 2020, pg.151).
I am encouraged by these two men of faith and believe God places us where we are for a reason. God wants to bring heaven to earth through us, his royal priests, in Christ Jesus.
We can glorify God in every aspect of our lives, even our eating and drinking, if we set our hearts and minds on him. I am continually learning and gaining revelation on this and I find peace in that he is pleased with our offerings, no matter how significant or seemingly small they may be.
Jo Fuller lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband, son and daughter. Jo is a teacher with an education in journalism and early childhood who loves to spend time with her family and enjoys reading and writing whenever she can.