Mark Affleck


September 7, 2020
Spiritual Growth

My 2020 LABOR DAY saw multiple glimpses–mostly on television—of people using the holiday weekend to escape the confining pain that comes from viewing their WORK as a SANCTUARY.

It was a powerful experience watching the screenplay of so many lives unfold and then praying for the individual cast members. But it all felt like a sham. A dangerous dance with delusion. A frustrating façade of faces and masks trying to conceal the palpable pain.
Work has become a PRISON for folks like this who consider it a sanctuary ahead of fully surrendering to Christ. If we look at work as a place of refuge from life—its challenges, trials, and pain—and ignore God, we are on the way to prison for life without the possibility of parole.
It may start out ok, but over time we will become an inmate. I know, it happened to me.
The trouble comes when we step away from work and the diversion expires. And it always does. That’s when we enter the prison gates and begin sacrificing opportunities to know God and subordinating everything else that is important in life to our insatiable thirst for work and its rewards.
One of God’s immutable laws is that we can’t create our own sanctuary—through work or anything else that takes over first place in our life like a hobby or relationship or activity we’re passionate about—and live in his inner sanctuary at the same time.
I thought it would be possible to toggle between my work sanctuary and God’s sanctuary, but that bi-focal option does not exist. We cannot be in two places at one time. It’s our sanctuary or God’s sanctuary.
I ask God to help me never view my work as a sanctuary that competes with living a surrendered life in YOUR inner sanctuary.
Where is YOUR sanctuary?
“Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary and that the Spirit of God makes his permanent home in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

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