Hey! How has your week been? Have you seen the power of God moving in and through your life in ways that has brought you joy, strength and peace? I pray so. God truly does impact our everyday lives -- in major, tangible ways, and in the quiet moments of mundane schedules. We simply need to be on the look out for His imprint on our lives.
With that, we have quite a lesson for this week.
As we read this passage together, many things jump off the page. The overall feel is a distinct separation between the things of the world (tradition, man made rules, self imposed requirements, etc) and what God desires of those who worship Him. May we always be mindful that Jesus fulfilled the Law, and the requirements that were set in place until His earthly ministry.
Now, as we look at verses 16-17, which refer to the traditions of OT faith such as food restrictions or seasonal celebrations, we learn that these are "things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." (Col. 2:17, NASB)
Before we go any further, think about these two verses. The OT faith and teachings were put into place by God to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:23-26), and Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not negate it. Everything the Jewish people understood and followed before Christ was wrapped up in Him when He became our perfect sacrifice and rose in victory through the Resurrection. God is consistent in all things, and all things previous set the stage for God's purpose -- Jesus Christ our Savior.
Look at the transition of verse 18: "Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshy mind" (Col. 2:18, NASB)
From food and seasons we move to admonishment concerning angel worship and self-abasement. False humility is a dangerous trap that we all need to be careful not to fall into. But look at the rest of this verse - visions from our fleshy minds?!? All these things are alive and well in our world, and even in our religious circles. Setting our minds on ourselves, other created beings, or our imaginations can become an idol - if it takes precedence over God's Word, will, and ways. Why?
Verse 19 explains that these people also are not keeping Jesus as the "head" - the focus of all things, and the authority for life. All of us, and really, all of our worship, is connected through our relationship with Jesus - with Him as the head, and all of us as the other parts of the body that come together to make one complete body.
In and of itself, this must have been a hard teaching for the Colossians. Yet Paul took the time to explain that our relationship with Christ moves us past the "elementary" thoughts of the world and "self-made religion" into the things of God. We are moved by the spirit, and ruled by the authority of the Messiah. Our minds become renewed with heavenly truths rather than earthly logic. We are transformed each day by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit - and that wisdom can only give glory to Jesus Christ and the Godhead...not to tradition, self, angels, or self imposed restrictions.
Glory be to God for His provision of a Savior that would save us from ourselves!
Question:False humility, angel worship and false visions. What do they have in common?