The longer I walk with Jesus, the less distinction I see between my ministry, Christian life, and “stuff I do for Jesus” and everything else in my life.
You’re probably already there (congratulations), but I’m still working on it. I’m ever reminding myself that the routine things I do—like brushing my teeth or emptying the dishwasher—are not necessarily “non-spiritual” activities. Everything I do is to be done to please Christ and honor Him.
That sounds like an odd thing to say about brushing my teeth. I’m pretty sure it pleases my wife, but I am also to do something as mundane as this with an eye on pleasing Christ.
“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…. Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people” (Col. 3:17,23).
Nicholas Herman knew how to make the most mundane tasks spiritual. As a monk, he went by the name Brother Lawrence in the 1500s. For years he worked as a cook in the monastery, and later in life, he had the task of repairing the sandals of the other monks. These were not exactly highly spiritual or gratifying jobs, but Brother Lawrence made them so. These were low positions, yet Lawrence exhibited a profound peace in carrying them out, and people were actually attracted to him for that reason.
We only know about this lowly and obscure monk because after his death, his letters and teachings were compiled in the book The Practice of the Presence of God. He disciplined himself to do the most boring tasks as an act of worship to God. He sought to continually commune with God.
“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him? Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do…. We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him…. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.” —Brother Lawrence
Frank Laubach was a missionary in the Philippines who sought the same discipline: living each moment with a conscious awareness and dependence on God. I found both his writings and many of Brother Lawrence’s writings in the book Practicing His Presence. I admire their discipline, and it reminds me of the principle from Colossians of doing everything for God.
Even brushing my teeth.
A.W. Tozer warned believers not to separate the secular from the sacred. All my life—every activity, every moment—belongs to God because I belong to God. Therefore, I will live and do all in Him and for Him.
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