I’ve had some major life changes recently take place. I’ve also had to face head-on a sinful nature that roared it’s ugly head when I found myself attempting to address deep wounds and scars from my past. One would assume in all of this that as a believer in Christ I would be in constant prayer and scripture, leaning on the one who has the strength to give.
Instead of Freedom, I became more entrapped and bound by my own thoughts, and those thoughts were being tightly braided with the thoughts of the “world”. There can be no true freedom when the thoughts of the world consume you. Why? Because the thoughts of the world are “hollow and deceptive“. Deception is a powerful thing. Once you’ve fallen into it, you begin to perceive it as truth, however, there is only one truth. As a believer, no matter how hard we may try to dive head first into the ways of the world, we believe because we have glimpsed the truth. The Holy Spirit will not give us peace when we attempt to turn away from the truth.
I side track.
My point is that coming on the other side of my own personal journey and seeing the truth again, all of it, and desperately wanting to submit to it and grow in it, I find a difficulty with how to get back in the Word again. With over 1000 pages to choose from, I’m at a loss with where to begin.
After fifteen minutes of mindless searching, browsing, and wondering if I would ever figure out where to start reading, I was lead to Colossians. Specifically, Chapter 2. The version I’m using is NIV84, so right above verse 6 the title states “Freedom From Human Regulations Through Life With Christ.”
Verse 6-7 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Now I didn’t stop my reading here, however, what a punch these two verses pack! I have received Christ as my Lord, as my Savior, who died on the cross so that I may have eternal life. Why? Because God knew that I was never going to make it to eternal life on my own. He knew exactly what I needed, Him.
Accepting Christ is just the first stepping stone however. Continue To Live In Him. Daily. Everyday I need to be living with/in my Lord Jesus Christ. Worshiping Him. Leaning on Him. Talking to Him. Repenting to Him. I need to be rooted in Him. Built up in Him.
Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s the image the Lord laid on my mind this morning. However, the words “rooted” and “built up” made me think of a tree. The thing is, that tree has roots that run deep into the ground and spread out. If someone takes out the roots, it doesn’t matter how big or burly the tree is, it’s going to come down. However, a strong tree that withstands the storms that head it’s way, has strong roots. Roots that run so far and so deep that there is no taking them out. That’s how I’m to be walking with Christ. Allowing Him to be my roots and build me up in Him. Strengthening my faith. Just like He taught us in the gospels.
And if that’s not enough, add in “overflowing with thankfulness“.
Here is the thing about that last part. I kept reading verses 8 through 23. We receive the important warning against falling into the hollow and deceptive philosophies of the world. It even tells us how we can recognize the world’s philosophy by pointing out it will depend on human tradition and basic principles of the world rather than on Christ. We are reminded too that God has made us alive in Christ. We have been forgiven, the written code with it’s regulations canceled, nailed to the cross, and Christ triumphed on the cross. We have died with Christ, died to sin, to the philosophy of the world, died to it because we have seen the Truth and have been made alive with Christ as our head.
And in all of this, in walking with Him, being rooted in Him, we are “overflowing with thankfulness“. Not because we got some spiffy new promotion. Not because we are making more money. Not because of how we look, how we act, or who notices us.
No. Because when that happens. When our thankfulness is rooted in these things, we are being deceived by the hollow, by the worldly principles.
We are OVERFLOWING with THANKFULNESS because we have been made Free through our Savior Christ. Freed from the principles of this world. Free from death. Free from the regulations and laws and rules of man. We are alive in Christ. And to be made alive in our Savior, to grow in Him, to strengthen in Him, to be rooted in Him, to be alive in Him and Free, FREE FREE FREE. Oh yes, to stop for a moment and really focus on Him and remember that moment when you saw the truth, remember that moment and grasp onto it so He can pull you out of the dirty murky sea of the world. To me right now, that feels like overflowing thankfulness.
So today, I got back in the word. Back in the scripture. And for whatever reason I was lead to this passage, and specifically, these verses, I do not know. What I do know is that I am so very thankful that I was.