Earlier in the year I wrote about discovering that we're meant to “work for the Lord” in everything. That's about removing the distinction between “spiritual” work and “secular” stuff. It's about business life, domestic life, family life and whatever other life you can think of – not just what we might brand “Church” life.
As if to underline the point, today's sermon at church, based around Joshua chapters 6 to 10, sought to remove the distinction between God working through the “miraculous” and Him working through the “ordinary”. For example:
- Chapter 6 is the story of the distinctly miraculous fall of Jericho. Most battle campaigns don't feature the breaching of defences by sheer power of music and marching (oh, and shouting).
- Chapter 8 features a much more “conventional” military victory, planned and executed successfully. To the onlooker, there wasn't anything miraculous or supernatural to be seen. Read the chapter, however, and you'll see that God was right in the middle of prompting and endorsing the strategy. (Not only that, but the first time they'd tried to take this particular place they'd been over-confident and completely scuppered by one of their number disobeying God. They got a sound thrashing on the battlefield.)
- Chapter 10 is back to the spectacular stuff, with the sun obligingly standing still for a day while the next battle was fought. Only God can do that, by the way.
So I believe in a God who can do miracles – but I also learn that most of the time He doesn't work like that and that I'm supposed to have Him in the middle of “ordinary” things; that I should bring my ideas and plans to Him; and that when I think I know what I'm doing, that I've done it all before, and that I've got it sussed, that's just the time to make sure I'm bringing it all to God, asking Him to be in it, asking Him to use it, and so on, and so on.
Not sure this is coming across clearly, but the combination of what I wrote before and what I heard today tells me again that God simply wants all my life, every day, every step, to be lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean I have no part to play; He's given me a brain, He's given me tasks, responsibilities, work and relationships. He expects obedience and holiness. But what I don't need to do is ask questions like:
- Is this spiritual or secular?
- Is this for church or not for church?
- Is this for God or is it just getting on with life?
- Is God interested in this or not?
- Do I need to ask God to be in this?
(And the chances are that if I don't want to ask God to be in it then it's something I shouldn't be doing :-))
So. When Monday comes and I'm working with computers, talking to colleagues, washing dishes or catching up with Atlantis on the TV, it'll all be spiritual, all with God – if I live as He intends. When I visit the chiropractor later in the week, when I pray for people to give their lives to Christ, when I go to a church business meeting, when I put out the recycling, when I write Christmas cards – you get the idea.
Our church leader put it like this:
He sanctifies the ordinary.
I just need to let Him.