“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”Colossians 3:1-3
I’m pondering today what an absolute mess we make of our lives when we reject the most simple truths given to us by our Creator.
When we are born again in Christ, we have new life. Our minds, spirits, even bodies are renewed, redeemed and no longer slaves to entangling sin or it’s consequences. We aren’t perfect, we will stumble and get back up many times, but but if we accept who God is and who we are in Him, we are changed.
Something we often forget though, is that in order to have that new life, something drastic must happen to the old one. It has to go. We must die to the carnal nature so ingrained in us. We must surrender everything to Jesus. At the foot of the cross is where it all must go – even the good things, the lovely things we think we hold rights to, all of it must be set down. We have been raised with Christ so that we may live with Him.
This is one of the fundamental truths about Christianity that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of our culture: God is God and I am not. I am not, as it turns out, the author of my story. I am not, as it turns out, the center of the universe. I am not, as it turns out, here to serve myself. Those who are not firmly rooted in this basic truth will be constantly tossed about, driven by circumstances, slaves to their emotions and the opinions of others.
This isn’t complicated, unless you are holding on to your idea that you exist somehow outside of Him, which most folks are. What if we made things a little less complicated? I don’t mean be naive or unquestioning, I just mean… what if we stopped being so unnecessarily tangled up in knots every darn day over things that have already been settled through His Word to us?
You belong to Christ! You are to be about HIS business! The old you is gone!
He is God and I am not.
But… but… but… there’s so much to question, so much to doubt, a crazy world with bad things looming all over the place. It’s complicated!
Or is it?
Life sure is a messy venture, no matter how you look at it… made even messier if our most basic, fundamental beliefs and thoughts carry us further away from our Creator. He tells us to set our minds on His business, get our gaze off of ourselves, and reflect Him. We do the opposite and are shocked at the outcome.
I read this week a progressive Christian’s ode to the wide path. It was kind of a sad doubling-down of the warning we receive in 2 Timothy 3:7:
“…always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.“
You see, wide looks more welcoming. There’s space to move around, make more decisions, have more freedom. The new religion says everything is so nuanced that we have to continually keep adjusting, keep widening, keep adding. What is categorically true of these wide-path walkers though, is that it isn’t working out. They are not enjoying freedom of any kind. They are however, masters at making the fall-out look authentic, and therefore ok.
You can authentically wallow in your sin and it’s aftermath all you like, it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s toxic and needs to be put to death.
When you declare that you categorically reject God’s power and His strength in your particular situation, (as this person did) you are rejecting the very essence of Jesus, His work on the cross to free you, and any chance of freedom He lays before you. Choosing a softer, wider, more feelings-based path believing it to be a way out of suffering is nothing less than tragic.
God help us if we ever declare His power and strength to be a deficit in our path to healing. And I’m sorry, but shame on us for turning Jesus into some neutered version of our bestie who only comes to validate our wild emotions and our every whim.
If you’ve spent more time examining your enneagram number than examining the Word of God…
If you have started accepting sin and calling it just a ‘personality quirk’…
If you see Christian obedience as legalism instead of a door to freedom…
If you are getting tangled up and choked by the consequences of your unbelief…
You might be walking on the wide path.
“Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”Matthew 7:13
Wrong thinking leads to wrong living. It leads to an authentically disastrous life. What the progressives don’t tell you is that you can have a wonderfully authentic life with Jesus too… it doesn’t always have to be chaos and mess and drama. Jesus is more the real deal than any self-help nonsense out there.
Is it so bad to be a simple-minded Christian? One who operates from a fixed place of truth and doesn’t change as the world changes? I’m for sure the kind of Christian that these progressives would say doesn’t ask enough questions. I ask plenty of questions, the difference is that I believe what Jesus says at face-value. I’m all for digging deeper if the goal is actual truth.
Jesus told us be childlike, not childish.
Friends, if we have the power to self-create, we also hold the power to self-destruct. Christ frees us from both – choose the narrow path and let Him author your life. Lay it down, all of it. What rises from the ashes will be shockingly beautiful, and more authentic than any self-help nonsense you could ever find.