Monday, 26 September 2011
Colossians 2:6-23 Review: Dig Deeper into Jesus
Do you garden? I don’t.
But thanks to Mark, we have a garden. When we left on vacation in June, we pulled everything out of our raised box. Well, almost. We left one basil plant. While we were gone San Diego suffered from a heat wave. Oh well, it’s just one basil plant. Maybe if Stephen waters it extra it’ll make it, but if not, that’s OK. Then I forgot about it.
We walked in the door on July 2, dropped our suitcases by the laundry room door and began to settle in. I booted up the computer. Mark headed outside to see how the yard had fared.
“Honey, come quick!!” Thinking something was terribly wrong I raced outside. “Look at the basil plant!”
Yes, that’s one plant. The thing had quadrupled…at least.
Growing with a growth that is from God. What happened? That plant grew with a growth that was from God. The drought forced its roots to grow and search for water. The tiny drip line kept it alive. And the deep weekly soaking by our friend Stephen was sucked up by the well developed, thirsty roots.
God wants us to grow with a growth that is from God. That’s what Colossians 2:6-23 is all about. Our passage for the week starts with our theme verses:
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.
He is our soil. The truth about him is what our roots need to go deeper into.
- Who he is–Colossians 1:15-20
- What he’s done for us–Colossians 1:21-22
- His death and resurrection–Colossians 2:11-13
- His payment of our debt–Colossians 2:14
- His triumph over our enemies–Colossians 2:15
Dig Deeper into Him. Going deeper does requires studying the Word, but it’s more than study. It actually requires suffering. Just like the drought forced the basil plant root system to develop, so suffering causes our thirst for God to develop. Have you ever noticed that? The verses that were previously merely nice become an oasis to us. Bible reading goes from being a habit to being absolutely mandatory. We must soak in it or we won’t survive.
Of course, I don’t feel like I’m growing during suffering. I feel like I’m shriveling. But my root structure is developing. I am pushing down deeper into him, looking for water. When the suffering ends, my roots will be more established. I will continue to be nourished by him. Someone will exclaim, “I don’t know when it happened, but you’ve grown!”
Walk in him. Not only that, going deeper requires something else. Walk in him, is how Paul puts it. That’s a strange phrase.
Commentators tell us that “walking” is a common Hebrew metaphor for “living.” OK, that must mean application. I need to live according to the truth of Christ, not just believe it. I need to be a doer of the word, not just a doer. Got it. Check. But I still don’t get what it means to walk in him.
I know how to walk with someone, but how in the world do I walk in someone? We use the first phrase all the time. “Thanks for walking with me through my cancer,” we say. It means a shared experience. It means we weren’t alone on that part of our path. Someone was with us, bringing us meals, holding our head when we were sick from chemo, taking us shopping for the wig to cover our balding head. Though they didn’t share our symptoms, they shared everything else.
This means even more. The mystery of these words points to nothing less than our union with Christ. We don’t just believe in him, we are united to him. We are in him and he is in us. We are never alone.
- We are never given marching orders and sent away with instructions to return. He comes with us.
- We never have to explain ourselves. He is nearer than our thoughts. He is in us.
- We never have to go begging. He shares himself more fully than most generous husband. We are in him.
Hear how Paul puts it in Colossians 2:9-10:
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.
So sisters. Dig down deeper into Jesus. Walk in him. You won’t be able to help giving thanks.