Colossians 2:8-10 – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” NKJV
Before I venture into this and explain what I’m talking about let me ask that you read: Colossians 2:8-3:2 and Ephesians 4:11-16. Now let’s get to the heart of my message for today. I asked you to read those verses because I believe that those, along with others are vital foundations upon which I hope to build my thought in the hopes of inspiring, encouraging, and helping some break free of what I can only call the “religiousness of religion or the religious” which is often nothing more than a rekindling of the mentality and philosophy of the Pharisees and Secularist.
The fix I am speaking of is not drugs albeit Karl Marx said, “religion is the opium of the people” usually translated “religion is the opiate of the masses.” Sadly, for some who profess to be followers of Christ that may be a more accurate description than we care to acknowledge. While I understand what many are saying when they decry religion, in my view, it is not religion, but the ‘religiousness of the religious’ that is a larger problem.
Spiritually, our world is at war! Tragically, that is often also a description of the condition in the natural through the interactions of man to man and nation to nation. In the church today, I am not sure that we always realize where the real battlefield is or what the real battle is. I have become convinced that we, too often, focus on symptoms and believe them to the disease or the battle. The only consistent result of that is frustration, disappointment, despair, disillusionment and ultimately defeat. That is not the Church that Jesus described in the Gospels that He was building. We have problems in the world today but making war on symptoms will not solve the problem it will only frustrate our purposes.
Jesus declared in Matthew 24:14, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations and then the end will come.” That is truth and being fulfilled powerfully through the means of technology but let me ask a probing question. “What is the Gospel of the Kingdom?” I am not trying to get into a lengthy debate over an issue that has divided much of the church today but to simply suggest that the Gospel of the Kingdom focuses on LIFE, not symptoms. It is the Life of God that is to be lived in each of our hearts. It is more than salvation and going to heaven when we die it is about LIFE NOW! The words of John in 1 John 4:17 ring in my mind as I write, “…because as He is, so are we in this world.” AS HE IS not was or will be but IS and that is IN THIS WORLD right now!
As I study the Book of Acts and the First Century Christians I realize that what they had would be and is often called radical today but it was the norm of the Christian life and that norm has not changed. It could be called Traditional Christianity and if that is true then what would you call what we have today or most have today? They turned the world upside down with their Religion or Christianity! I argue that what we call Radical Christianity is actually Normal Christianity and that kind of Christianity is always innovative and captures the hearts and minds of people. It does not do so with entertainment but truth, life, and power.
Inside and outside the realm of the Church or Christian circles our world is ravaged by divorce, betrayal, child abuse, addiction, battering, and many inadequacies. Many within our churches are ensnared by some sin or thought process that is destructive, beaten down by rejection, wounded and are like caged animals and filled with despair. The problem is of epic proportions and demands the question, “Is there an answer?” The immediate and obvious answer is, “Yes!” The answer truly is in God but there must be more to the pursuit of a remedy if we are to become the Church Triumphant that Jesus spoke of that the very gates or powers of hell would not be able to resist.
I want to say more on this matter but will pause here and pick this up next time as we focus on the War, Warriors, and Warfare in which we can pull down strongholds and see the captive set free, the blind eyes opened, and true deliverance come in lives spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and in every way.
God bless you as you embark on today’s leg of your life’s journey in Christ!