“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Colossians 2: 8-10
I’ll go first – I need to repent. Far too often have I bought in to a belief system created by the world. I’ve found myself with opinions, thoughts or values that are not actually of The Lord even if / when they were being taught by those who claim to follow Him. The philosophy of work, martial status, home ownership, relationships, church, personality types, etc. etc. etc. have been watered down and tainted from their original intention and design to produce a lesser version. There is a good design intended for the daily movements and workings of life and I’m quick to buy into The worlds ideas of what that is. But here in Colossians 2 we see that being rooted and built up in HIM leads to thankfulness.
Being rooted in Him isn’t only for the daily, ordinary moments of living. In psalm 66, the psalmist writes, “ For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads and we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” (V 10-12, ESV)
and in 1 Peter 1:6-7 Peter writes, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
Can you see it? How we root ourselves in Him, in the truth of WHO He is (sovereign, good, just, merciful, kind, holy) so that it orders our everyday. And when those every days become difficult + filled with trials (whether trials just from living in a fallen world or trials from the enemy) we may have these roots in the right place. Those roots produce thankfulness. And we rejoice! We rejoice not because we enjoy trials + suffering but because our faith may be made all the stronger, our roots even deeper in Him. Right? Can you feel it? How when it hits the fan, our roots found in idols are easy to be pulled out and crushed. They can’t hold. But eyes fixed on eternity, knowing that in trials we can praise Him for this life is not it. We worship at the cross for His death means this world is not our home and we press ever further towards hearing, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
It’s not done perfectly, right? Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s just me here, so I’ll speak for myself. I want to maintain a posture of kneeling, worshiping at the cross, not dependent on my circumstances. Not only when things make sense, when my todo list is being crossed off, when the baby is sleeping, when plans are clear, when relationships are easy. I want to be in that position, eyes fixed on eternity. While the world is still exhausting, causing difficulty and grievances there’s a hope. A confident expectation of the future based on the promises of Him who is faithful.
So we lean in. We don’t numb the difficult days with pleasures meant to stir our hearts towards affection of Him. We don’t find our peace in a glass of wine, a pint of ice cream, a Netflix binge. They aren’t bad, but they make really crummy comforts. They neither last nor satisfy our souls the way we long for.
But the cross. But the one on the throne. But the hope in eternity. But God.
He brings us from the brokenness into life.
He brings us life abundant.
He brings us to praise and worship, steadfastness and strength.
He is the only, the only, one worth rooting in.