For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. (Colossians 2:17, NLT).
In pursuit of living a life worthy of their calling in Christ, the Gentile believers at Colossae were experiencing information overload. The Jewish believers had ideas to share from their long history and traditions. The Gentiles themselves were acquainted with philosophies that seemed useful. So when fellow worshippers suggest approaches which seem “wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline” (v.23), how is a believer to discern what is truly of God?
I need to remember that I am not, but Christ, the only reality (v.17), is in charge of my transformation. In his great love, he has already resurrected me to a new life. The gift came about because of his work, not mine. Pursuing Christ himself is what pleases him and brings me more in communion with him and his body—not a method or methodology. When I love him and love others, I remain in him and he calls me “friend” (John 15:9-17).
Father, thank you for transforming me. Guide me through this life by your Spirit to love your Son and share his love with others. Keep me from being distracted from true Reality by human ideas. Give me grace to see and to walk in the Way of your Son. In whose name I pray, Amen.