“One of the greatest hindrances to internal peace which the Christian encounters is the common habit of dividing our lives into two areas, the sacred and the secular.”
This is how A. W. Tozer began the last chapter of The Pursuit of God. That chapter, “The Sacrament of Living,” was an attack on what he called the sacred-secular antithesis.
“This is the old sacred-secular antithesis,” he wrote, “Most Christians are caught in its trap. They cannot get a satisfactory adjustment between the claims of the two worlds.”
The antithesis is not biblical, he insisted. It exists only in our minds, yet it has a powerful influence on the way we think about our lives.
The way to avoid this false dilemma is not simply to be better instructed. It takes “the exercise of an aggressive faith.”
Before he describes this remedy, Tozer adds the necessary qualifications. He’s not talking about sin. He’s talking about how most of us spend most of our time. It’s not spent on sin, but neither is it spent on explicitly religious activity.
He also clarifies that’s he is not giving equal importance to all activity. For example, “Paul’s sewing of tents was not equal to his writing of an Epistle to the Romans, but both were accepted of God and both were true acts of worship.”
All of life is spiritual and can be considered as a kind of worship. But this mindset needs to be developed.
Here, Tozer tells us what it takes to begin living this kind of life:
“That we see this truth is not enough. If we would escape from the toils of the sacred-secular dilemma the truth must ‘run in our blood’ and condition the complexion of our thoughts. We must practice living to the glory of God, actually and determinedly. By meditation upon this truth, by talking it over with God often in our prayers, by recalling it to our minds frequently as we move about among men, a sense of its wondrous meaning will begin to take hold of us. The old painful duality will go down before a restful unity of life. The knowledge that we are all God’s, that He has received all and rejected nothing, will unify our inner lives and make everything sacred to us.”
Again, he emphasizes that it takes persistence. This habit of the mind is not developed in a day:
“We can meet this successfully only by the exercise of an aggressive faith. We must offer all our acts to God and believe that He accepts them. Then hold firmly to that position and keep insisting that every act of every hour of the day and night be included in the transaction. Keep reminding God in our times of private prayer that we mean every act for His glory; then supplement those times by a thousand thought-prayers as we go about the job of living. Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.”
This Post is Part of a Chapter-by-Chapter Look at A. W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God
- This Voice from the Past is Still Calling for the Seekers
- The Larger the Heart, the Less It Holds
- God Tore Down His Veil, We Protect Ours
- We Walk by Faith Not by Sight, Not by Imagination
- Three Tips for Cultivating Spiritual Receptivity
- Has Everybody Heard the Speaking Voice?
- Seeking a Practical Definition of Faith
- Victorious Spiritual Experience Summed Up in Three Words
- Laying Down the Burden of Self
- Learning to See All of Life as Worship