Obedience | Colossians 2:20-23
Colossians 2:20-23 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
OK… growing up this was the deal at our church. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t dance. Don’t go to movies. Don’t play cards. Don’t curse. You get the idea—a whole lot of “Don’t’s.” Now, in and of themselves, the “Don’t’s” were not that bad. There is an appearance of wisdom in each of them. Everyone knows the dangers of drinking. There are even commercials against smoking. I was thankful to have an excuse not to dance. And who wants to have a toilet tongue. (The movie thing was a bummer and I played cards anyway). But it wasn’t the “Don’t’s” as much as the reason behind the “Don’t’s” that was the problem. Not doing these things was supposed to make you a spiritual person. But as this passage well says, these “human commands and teaching…lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”
Obedience is not outward to inward; it’s inward to outward. Obedience comes from a heartfelt desire to please God. Based on our love for Christ and our desire to live a life of joyful thanksgiving, we want to do what he says. When actions are forced upon us or we do them with the wrong motives, they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
I am sure you have heard about the little boy who was made to sit in the corner as a result of his bad behavior. He told those enforcing the discipline, “I may be sitting down on the outside; but I’m standing up on the inside.”
Obedience is not a set of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” but rather a heartfelt desire to please our Savior. We died with him to the basic principles of the world. We no longer submit to its rules. Ours is a higher calling.
Ready… on three… throw away the worldly baggage that says you have to try to be good enough for God. Ready… one… two… three! OK, now with the lighter load let’s step up to the higher level, responding to God’s grace in heartfelt joy and thanksgiving.