“I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge...
“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. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh,.. having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.” Colossians 2:1-3,6-13
As we received Christ– how was that? By faith, a gift from our pursuing Father (Ephesians 2:8-10). With joyful, humble recognition of His relentless love and redeeming grace. With gratitude for what was impossible in myself. With full knowledge that without Him I am nothing and have no hope. With confidence that He can be trusted. This is how we are now to walk.
I am forgiven, so playing the martyr as a victim or one unable to forgive myself has no place at the cross. Jesus bore my condemnation- it is finished- and living by faith is living in that freedom from sin and guilt. (Psalm 32:1-2; John 19:30; Romans 8:1)
I have new life, so clinging to old habits and mindset is a refusal to wear my new clothes. Since I am rooted and grounded in Christ, the truth of the gospel infiltrates my thinking, my desires; and continuously filled with Him, I follow my captain’s lead in priorities and choices. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:1-15; 1 Peter 2:24)
How persistently am I pursuing a deeper knowledge of God? Am I walking at such a pace that I continually discover new spiritual and scriptural treasures? Am I in stride with my Lord’s view of history and creation, or the most ‘liked’ trends in humanistic philosophy? What evidence is there in my words, my mien, my gait, that I am vibrantly walking step by step with Him?
“I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
‘Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.’
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” ~Johnson Oatman, Jr.
Amen, and amen!