Imprisoning God

By Bill Dalgetty

“The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation…because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

The idea that faith should be separated from living out the rest of our daily lives has become conventional wisdom for much of our culture.  We hear the phrase, “separation of church and state” and apply it to other venues such as the workplace and the public square. We are told that that our faith should be private, not to be shared with others or manifested in our words or deeds, particularly in the workplace.  

This perspective is 180 degrees from God’s intention as evidenced from the words of Jesus and Scripture.   St. Paul said, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)  Paul did not intend these words to just what happens at church on Sundays, but to everything we do.  Later he says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if you are working for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23)

This is a 24/7 exhortation meant for Monday as well as Sunday, the workplace as well as our prayer closet or church.  There are no boundary lines to Christ living in us, and we in him. Once we invite him in, he is present in everything we do – working for our employer, taking our children to soccer practice, or assisting a sick friend with yard work — whatever we do in word or deed. 

God created us to work and take care of the garden of his creation, including the physical world and one another. (Genesis: 2:15) This is how we make ourselves useful to one another and thus to God. It is a divine assignment.

Ever since God became one of us in the person of Jesus it has been his intention to dwell not in temples or buildings, but in each of us individually, provided we invite him into our hearts.  

There have been times when I have separated my words and deeds from God’s presence because I have put him in a box.  The unfortunate thing when that happens is that his presence may not then be available to the people in my life who would otherwise be blessed by him through me.  

Do you imprison God, only to be released on Sunday, or do you let him be manifested in every aspect of your life?  How can you cooperate more with him 24/7, 365 days a year?

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