“Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness 8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
3 “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 5 So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. “
When we hear the words philosophy and tradition, what is our first reaction? *Yawn*. Well, to be honest, I confess I love to discuss deep thoughts and perspectives and to analyze why we do what we do. Isn’t it a blessing to know, though, that being in Christ is not contingent upon recitations of sayings or following a set of rules? No, our relationship with Christ is vibrant and full of life.
This invitation to the greatest adventure known at first blush does not sound very appealing. Come, die. Die to self, die to your former ways. Until you discover the beauty in this death. The freedom to walk away from sin and to invite God Himself to indwell us and to enable us to live for His glory. Unparalleled joy, beyond comparison.
When we first die to our flesh, our flesh cries out, complaining about having to do so. The argument about the Christian life being boring begins to try to tempt our souls that it is unbearable to have to discipline our flesh. But wisdom reveals that our flesh is not our friend.
All the time wasted listening to our flesh crying out about what it wants, when the inner man longs for what is really our joy – time with Christ. What joy was found in disobedience? What grief and sorrow have been born from choosing to walk after the things of this world? Seems hardly worth it now.
But time with Jesus is sweeter than any other vocation on this earth and satisfies our souls long after the temporary satisfaction of pleasing the flesh does. This God of the universe chose to live in us! That, my friend, is far more exhilarating than anything else this world has to offer.
Lord, help us to be filled with your joy when the world makes us feel like fools. Whatever sacrifice we have offered pales in comparison to Your sacrifice and the greatness and privilege of walking with You.