Thoughts on Colossians 3 Selected Verses

Somehow I feel obliged to address certain issues being broadcast by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and myself. What Iʼd like to address Iʼm guilty of doing myself, so as they say, Iʼm preaching to the choir here. No offense is intended. Iʼd only like to bring up something which has been pointed out to me. What Iʼm offering is that we write or share posts about the times we live in by giving these matters the higher and more hopeful meaning which our faith is about, rather than something to be afraid of like the rest of the hand-wringing, fearful, doomsday – enthralled world.

Here are a few ideas:

First of all, Jesus Christ did not address politics, as bad as conditions were in His day. Examine the gospels, and youʼll see itʼs true. The Zealot sect of His time were already involved enough in that. They were all about protests and rebellions and insurrections, giving Imperial Rome every excuse to only tighten its grip on and make things more difficult for the people they ruled. The Zealots did not understand that all who take the sword shall perish by the sword [or gun?]. What you sow you reap. Thus they were not of one mind with the Messiah. His take on it was that “My kingdom is not of this world.”

Jesus, however, always pointed the focus of His followers toward higher truth than manifest circumstances, even as bad as the times were. Even at His trial before His crucifixion, all He would say about politics to Pontius Pilate was, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

He always pointed to the “invisible” reasons why reality can be so harsh. And it had nothing to do with God “punishing” anyone. It was an outcome of something that cannot be seen. And He wanted to show us how to correct it in lasting ways.

The real answers were and still are “elsewhere”. They were and still are about the spiritual changes that need to happen inside every individual through a real and living and experiential rebirth. And this is the only answer – a “quantum shift” within every individual called a “new birth”. But first something old has to “die”. That something old is what the Bible calls the “old Adam”. These days we may call it the ego or false self. It has to back off and allow the True Self, Higher Power, Infinite Mind, God… to assume the throne. And this new life must be maintained and not taken for granted.

Jesus knew that the only thing which would permanently change the world would be this sea change within every human. When humans change through genuine rebirth, only then does the world change – one Soul at a time. That is the mission of Jesus and the Church. That is the objective – to live empowered by the Holy Spirit in such a way that it can be seen that this change has taken place, and others want to know how to have that too. This is kind of change that rocks the world.

Secondly, Iʼd like to point out that – according to the following verses – those of us who name Jesus as Lord, and sincerely wish to follow Him, have already “died” to this world. Our life is hid with Christ in God, according to this text. And we ought to be living and sharing information in such a way that reflects this: that we not only have died but are spiritually risen with Him.

Consider the following verses, taken from the King James Version of the Scriptures:

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory…

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord

Everything taught by Jesus and the apostles, whether in the Gospel narratives or in the Epistles, contains powerful metaphysical truths. All of it.

Some of you are going to come down on me for saying this because youʼre afraid of the idea of “metaphysics”. Somebody has taught you to be afraid of that word and to associate it with dark things. That is not at all the case. I feel the need to get this out of the way first, so I can get to what Iʼm trying to say concerning the verses preceding this.

The word “metaphysical” simply means beyond or above [“meta”] the physical. Consider this. You believe in prayer, right? Prayer is engaging in a very powerful thing which is beyond the physical and into the spiritual. Talking to God about things is prayer, and since you are talking to God, you are engaging in a metaphysical activity, since God is a Spirit and we cannot see or define Him. My Bible states that “God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” [John 4:24 KJV]

There isnʼt anything spooky or evil about that. All religious or spiritual practices – prayer, worship, meditation, praise, contemplation, ritual, sacraments, hymn singing, placing intention, and the like – are metaphysical practices. That means you are simply “re- arranging energy” that you canʼt see in order to affect the physical reality you inhabit and can sense. Itʼs really what we do as we call on the Spirit of God to intervene in something.

Certainly what makes metaphysical activity good or evil is what youʼre trying to accomplish with it – its intention, and who you might be calling on. But this is all a subject for another day. I think you can see where this is going.

The foregoing verses from Colossians encourage all spiritual activity to be directed to the highest places. There are a number of “directives” implicit in these lines:

 

1] Seek those things which are above. 

2] Set your affection on things above. 

3] Let the peace of God rule in your hearts. 

4] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. 

4] Teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. 

5] Sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Iʼll leave you to think carefully about what each of these directives speak to you as to how to relate to current events. Just highlighting them like this helps us to see them more clearly. Itʼs good to mull over them, asking the Holy Spirit to personalize them.

This spiritual, metaphysical activity consists of some very actively directed focus words: seek, set your affection [intend, focus], Let / allow, teach, admonish, sing.

This is an apostolic directive as to how we are to change the world. A far cry from what many of us have been putting out there. We choose these actions and attitudes, how we see ourselves in Christ!

We need to borrow a bit of an axiom from our friends in the Unity movement. They have a song among them that goes like this: “Our thoughts are prayers, and we are always praying; our thoughts are prayers, take charge of what youʼre saying. Seek a higher consciousness, a place of gentleness, and know that God is always there, and every thought becomes a prayer.”

Thought itself moves a great deal of energy! Our thoughts can drag us down; they can lift us up. They can color our world in tones of dread and discouragement. Or they can say, “Hey, there might be more going on here than meets the eye! I know God is in charge, so I know Heʼs going to work this out, and there will be something really great on the other side of this. He is using this for our good and His glory!”

What sorts of thoughts are we putting out there? Where do our minds and hearts dwell? Does what we say or write or share reflect that “God is always there”?, or does it tell the world weʼre really fearful people who have nothing more to offer than anyone else who continually offers conspiracy thinking, or the “Ainʼt it awful” worldview – something no one in their right mind would want to adopt as a way – let alone THE WAY – of life?

Thereʼs another idea thatʼs catching on, one that is spiritually and metaphysically true: “Where the focus goes the energy flows.” Could we actually, due to focusing on the problems, rather than the higher solutions of doing our inner work of rebirth and growing in grace by surrendering ourselves to God, actually be contributing to making things worse, by our perpetual whining and dwelling on sorrowful and disastrous things?

We need to take an honest look at that question. I know I must. Iʼm not advocating sticking your head in the sand about anything, or that we shouldnʼt call a spade a spade. What I am advocating is being “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” in giving these events meaning from our Heavenly Fatherʼs perspective.

One thing our speaking, sharing, and way of moving through life as a people who have died and are resurrected through Jesus Christ ought to reflect is stated by Jesus Himself in John 10:10b – “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Thus an important thing to ask is, are my thoughts and prayers and life aligning with and affirming this important truth from the Lord Jesus Himself? Is the information I pass along reflective of this truth? Am I coming from a higher place of spiritual depth and riches in glory?

This is all well worth considering prayerfully and in all sincerity, if we wish to be effective in this life.

Christʼs is not the message of villains and victims, but that of victory! 

Letʼs “make it so!”

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