Friends, I’ve been worried about you. Lately, I’ve noticed you all frantically running around, clinging to this piece of information or that piece of propaganda… believing this person claiming to have the “real” truth or that person claiming to have new “elite” knowledge.
It hurts my heart to see you like this. I see you scrambling to figure out which side you should be on. “Who should we believe? Is everyone scheming against us? Are we being deceived by a secret agenda? Do the people in authority have a hidden mystery they are not revealing to us?”
(I don’t claim to know whether or not our government or other large corporations in this country have ulterior motives or hidden agendas… that’s not what this post is about.)
I’m more concerned about the condition of your heart. What truth are you clinging to right now?
For the past few months I have been reading in the book of Colossians. The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in the city of Colossae, in order to confront a false teaching they had believed: that Christ was not enough.
The believers were seeking a higher truth, a higher enlightenment and a greater wisdom than the blessings we have in Christ. Let me share a little bit about what I read with you this morning:
Colossians 2:2-4 (NLT)
“I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments.”
You guys… we don’t need to worry that we are missing out on some higher knowledge or that there is a great mystery that is being hidden from us. We are privy to the greatest mystery of all… Jesus Christ! (And even more exciting… Christ in YOU! – Colossians 2:27).
We can have complete confidence that we are already in the “inner circle” of wisdom and knowledge because we have Christ. Don’t be deceived by those with well-crafted arguments, claiming to have secret information that no one else possesses.
A few verses later, Paul exhorts the believers in Colossae not to be taken captive by empty philosophies and arguments that claim to have wisdom, but are not grounded in Christ. He reminds the believers that they are already complete in Christ!
Colossians 2:8-9 (NLT)
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
Don’t let anyone deceive you. You are complete in Christ! Did you catch that last line in verse nine? Christ is the head over every ruler and authority.
Are you worried about the government taking control of your life? Are you worried that you will lose your freedom and your rights? Paul states here that Christ is the head of every ruler and authority… both those we can’t see, as well as those we can.
God doesn’t promise us freedom from government overreach, but he does promise us freedom in Christ.
(Don’t hear me wrong. I am not in favor of the government micro-managing our lives. But neither do I believe that we need to live with fear and anxiety).
How then, are we to respond? What should we do when the world around us, and even our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are scrambling to find answers and searching for hidden wisdom? Paul’s letter to the Colossians gives us the answer.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Continue to follow Christ. Build your lives on him and you will overflow with thankfulness. Go back to the basics of your belief in Jesus.
Where is your faith rooted right now? In what or whom are you trusting? Are you waiting for our government to rescue you? Are you hoping that the medical community will save you? Are you trusting in the latest viral video claiming to have secret knowledge and wisdom?
(Again, I’m not supporting any particular viewpoint over another… just asking the hard questions).
Paul exhorts us to root our lives in Christ so that our faith will grow strong, “in the truth you were taught”. What is he referring to? What “truth” were you taught?
He’s talking about the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He’s talking about the “mystery” that God has revealed — which is Christ living in you! There is no greater truth, no greater mystery, than to know that I belong to Christ and I am united with him.
As we establish our faith in Christ and build our lives on him, the result is an overwhelming overflow of thankfulness in our hearts. Take a minute to name a few things you are thankful for right now.
No matter what your situation, a grateful spirit will help you refocus your mind on what God has given you, and bring joy to your soul.
If you have a minute, go grab your Bible and a cup of coffee and read through the entire book of Colossians. It’s only four chapters, so it won’t take you long at all. Try circling every time the author talks about being “in Christ” or “in him.”
Take a minute to thank God for his mystery that he has revealed to us — Christ in you, the hope of glory!
So today, friends, rather than pursuing wisdom and enlightenment from unreliable sources that may or may not provide you with answers (but will definitely make you angry and suspicious and paranoid) let’s stick with the truth of what God has revealed to us in his Word:
- Love each other. If you don’t know how to respond to someone who thinks or believes differently than you, love is always a good choice. (2:2)
- Christ (through his Word) is the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge. In a society where truth is relative and distorted, we as believers in Christ know where to turn when the “truth” around us crumbles. (2:2-3)
- Don’t be fooled or deceived by well-crafted arguments. Beware of anyone claiming to have hidden truth or knowledge apart from Christ. (2:4, 8)
- Continue to follow Christ. Let your faith grow strong as you cling to the ultimate truth of God’s Word. (2:6-7)
- Be thankful! (2:7)
- We are complete in Christ. It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers. It’s okay if I don’t know which “side” to be on. (2:10)
- Christ is in control. He is the head over all rulers and authorities and I don’t need to be anxious or fearful. (2:10)