“So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness.” Col. 2:6
Three words are empowering me tonight. So much of the Christian life can be summed up in these three words: continue in him.
If I’m being brutally honest, the temptation to quit is sometimes strong. I’m not talking about ‘going off the deep end’ and abandoning life-long values, but the temptation to quit Jesus in substitution for something else…
An idea. A leader. A church. A job. An opportunity. A relationship. A program. A “ministry.” A Bible study. A feeling. An experience. A reputation. A status. A philosophy. A “mission statement.” A teaching. A personality.
Because when I’m following Jesus… when I’m consistent in prayer… when I’m walking with him in the truth, its hard! He commands me to see the ugliness that’s inside me, to dive into my own unexamined brokenness, and to confess those things to people in embarassment. He challenges me to seek reconciliation with people that have hurt me and with those that I have hurt even when I don’t want to. He calls me to forgive people and to let go of the anger I have towards them. He leads me to seek to be in community and relationship with people, transparent and authentic, when I’d rather be alone and hold people at arms length. Why would I want to “continue in him” ?!
There’s times where I’m tempted to give up on him, and substitute him for something else. Quitting is the ever-present temptation…
I refuse to give up though. I commit to “continuing in him.” I know I’m going to fail again, but I’m set on continuing in him… letting him live his life through me, being a reflection of his great glory and goodness. I know that his grace is enough for me, and that my nourishment comes from him alone. I’m committed to identifying and letting go of the things that I’ve substituted him for, and coming back.
I know that without him, all I am is a messed up guy in need of forgiveness from God and from others, without purpose or hope in this life.
But I also know verse 10 : “you have been given fullness in Christ.” He’s all I will ever want. All I will ever need. The old Luke has already been crucified with him, and I am a new creation, possessing the only relationship that matters, transformed by grace, overflowing with joy that I sometimes lose sight of. Its not Jesus plus (fill-in-the-blank)… its Jesus alone, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Sometimes I wonder if that’s all it takes: “continue in him.”