My Body


I found this in my posts that I never actually posted… think I’ll post it now 🙂

So I have been reading and reading and soaking in the words of wisdom found in The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer… and well I have finished it and I suppose I shall finally return it to the library and pray that some other soul chooses to take it home and be enlightened by these words of exhortation.

The last chapter is titled The Sacrament of Living which is based from 1 Corinthians 10:31 

Whether, then, you eat or drink
or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.
Tozer writes:

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.

As these areas are conceived to exist apart from each other and to be morally and spiritually incompatible, and as we are compelled by the necessities of living to be always crossing back and forth from the one to the other, our inner lives tend to break up so that we live a divided instead of a unified life.

He goes on to write:

This tends to divide our total life into two departments. We come unconsciously to recognize two sets of actions. The first are performed with a feeling of satisfaction and a firm assurance that they are pleasing to God. These are the sacred acts and they are usually thought to be prayer, Bible reading, hymn singing, church attendance and such other acts as spring directly from faith. They may be known by the fact that they have no direct relation to this world, and would have no meaning whatever except as faith shows us another world, “an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

Over against these sacred acts are the secular ones. They include all of the ordinary activities of life which we share with the sons and daughters of Adam: eating, sleeping, working, looking after the needs of the body and performing our dull and prosaic duties here on earth. These we often do reluctantly and with many misgivings, often apologizing to God for what we consider a waste of time and strength.

He also shares:

This is the old sacred-secular antithesis. Most Christians are caught in its trap. They cannot get a satisfactory adjustment between the claims of the two worlds. They try to walk the tight rope between two kingdoms and they find no peace in either. Their strength is reduced, their outlook confused and their joy taken from them.

I believe this state of affairs to be wholly unnecessary. We have gotten ourselves on the horns of a dilemma, true enough, but the dilemma is not real. It is a creature of misunderstanding. The sacred-secular antithesis has no foundation in the New Testament. Without doubt a more perfect understanding of Christian truth will deliver us from it.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our perfect example, and He knew no divided life.

And he goes on to write:

That monkish hatred of the body which figures so prominently in the works of certain early devotional writers is wholly without support in the Word of God. Common modesty is found in the Sacred Scriptures, it is true, but never prudery or a false sense of shame.

The New Testament accepts as a matter of course that in His incarnation our Lord took upon Him a real human body, and no effort is made to steer around the downright implications of such a fact. He lived in that body here among men and never once performed a non-sacred act.

His presence in human flesh sweeps away forever the evil notion that there is about the human body something innately offensive to the Deity. God created our bodies, and we do not offend Him by placing the responsibility where it belongs. He is not ashamed of the work of His own hands.

And then he writes:

We need no more be ashamed of our body–the fleshly servant that carries us through life–than Jesus was of the humble beast upon which He rode into Jerusalem. “The Lord hath need of him” may well apply to our mortal bodies. If Christ dwells in us we may bear about the Lord of glory as the little beast did of old and give occasion to the multitudes to cry, “Hosanna in the highest.”

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.

God is not ashamed of my body.
Not ashamed.
He is not ashamed of the work of His hands.
He formed me.
I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
God is not looking upon me in this flesh of mine with disgust.
How often I forget that.
How often I even pray for the day that I can worship Him apart from this flesh that I have come to hate.
This flesh that God loves.

I find disgust with my body.
I look with disgust upon this flesh of mine.

But quite possibly my Creator does not…

This body, this flesh, that I find myself cringing in shame over at times…
My Creator created fearfully and wonderfully…
And this He wrote after sin entered the world.
This He spoke through the pen of David…
It is God who said He was ruddy and handsome.
It was God who said Esther was beautiful of form and face.
This He said while they were in their sin sick flesh…

I think of my children, those I love, there is no deformity of body horrid enough that I would not desire to wrap my arms around them and pull them close up to my chest and hold them with all my heart and tell them that I love them… God loves me in the sickness and defomity of this wretched flesh no less.

This body He gave me to do His will.
It will serve His purpose.
It will carry me through this life and into His glorious presence.
Of this body I should not be ashamed.

God did not design this body of His to be a split personality. It was not meant to be categorized as sacred or secular… all of it was created for the sacred.

Everything that I do is to be an act of worship to my God at all times.
We are not to divide up our lives… Christ unites.
I am not to feel condemnation because the work I am called to do consumes my day and leaves me weighing the scales of secular vs sacred deeds to find me ashamed with my head hung down because my scale is heavy on what I deem the wrong side…
I have even found myself guilty over the desire that my body has to sleep. Feeling this time wasted… what could I accomplish if this body just did not grow tired, weak, and sick.
Yet God is not ashamed.
All things are His, the works of His hands.
Did I honor Him in my deeds?
Did I honor Him with my body?
Did I speak with Him during my toil?
Did I seek Him for guidance with the business of the day?
Did I do my work with honesty and integrity?
Did I represent Him well where I was at?
Then my work was sacred, done as unto the Lord.
Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.
The motive is everything.
Of course this does not mean that I throw out the Word, prayer, or the assembly… it means that all these flow into every aspect of my life and body.
Whether, then, you eat or drink
or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31