Thursday, August 29, 2013

Restrictions and More Restrictions

"If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations - 'Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch' (referring to things that all perish as they are used) - according to human precepts and teachings?" Colossians 2:20-22 ESV

Some see spirituality as a complex system of 'Don't's. They mix the ten commandments and other passages in the new testament together and have devised religious systems of protection from transgressions.

By limiting sinful interactions or actions they reason that God will somehow be pleased and people will be safer.

"These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh." Colossians 2:23 ESV

This verse says these restrictions have no value but only project an image or promote a perception. Wow, what a statement.

A large battlement is erected to stop invasion from the outside but meanwhile our biggest enemy is neglected. Ourselves.

Restrictions do not deal with the self life. In fact they can make the problem worse. Much worse. Self can hide in a system like that very easily.

"Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God." Colossians 2:18-19 ESV

Christ is our safe place. What He has done and what He is doing is where we grow and live and have our holiness. In Him is a great big 'Yes an Amen'. He has nailed the 'No's to the cross.

"My beloved has gone down to his garden to the beds of spices, to graze in the gardens and to gather lilies. I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; he grazes among the lilies." Song of Songs 6:2-3 ESV

Now we believe... we listen, learn, pray and worship. We participate in a vision to reach people. We let God love us and then love one another. There are children to be raised who need God more than they can know. There are people who have been hurt living in ignorance and false systems who need healing. God has much to say to us and many place He wants us to see. There are memories to be made that are full or joy and laughter and tears.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7 ESV

Yes, We resist things but the things we resist are things that steal our identity in Christ or hinder others from finding an identity in Him also. The word for devil there means the accuser. So we resist the great accuser and any thinking that has that same tone.

"...You are complete in Him..." Colossians 2:10b NKJV

A life of restrictions is just a mask to hide behind. The cross eliminates the old broken life. The great commandment to love and the great commission to go is where we live out the completed life.

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