Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations– “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:20-23 NKJV
When we became Christians by allowing Jesus to rescue us from the penalty of our sins, we became new creations in Christ. The old is gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Then being now new creations, why do we still operate out of our old ways? Could it be that we really don’t believe it? That’s what our actions would indicate.
We have a liberty in Christ which frees us from all bondage to rules and regulations. I’m not saying we’re above the law in a smug kind of way. As we operate out of Christ’s Spirit in us, we live out of love. As we live out of love, we fulfill the law as Galatians 5:14 says: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.””
Our minds and hearts need to be focused on the things that matter in eternity, not the things that have do not have lasting value. Second Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
What are the things that are not seen? Motive, character, trust, belief are just a few. Motive is what the Lord looks at. First Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”” Why did we choose to do or not do that? Was it for selfish gain or to be seen as good before men? Or did you do or not do something in order to bring glory and honor to God? Why we do something is more important than the actual doing to God.
While you can see the results of someone’s character you can not see the character itself. God’s in the business of improving our character. In every way He is shaping us, molding us and developing Christ-like character in us. Romans 5:3-5 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Trust is what allowed Abraham to tie up his son Isaac and offer him to the Lord in Genesis 22. In order to give your own flesh and blood you have to trust that the Lord knows what He’s doing. God promised Abraham’s seed would be more numerous than the sands of the shores and that this promise would come through Isaac. Therefore, if the Lord was now asking for Isaac as a burnt offering, then the Lord would raise him from the dead to fulfill the promise. That took faith. Faith is based on trust. Did you ever stop to think about trust? It is not something you just have. It has to be built. It takes time to learn to trust. That’s why I like keeping a prayer journal. In it I journal out my prayers and God’s answers my prayers. If ever I seem to be waning in my faith, reviewing that journal re-energizes me! To see in black & white, all the times where God came through for me, is so amazing to me. Try it and see for yourself!
Belief or faith itself is unseen, but you can see the results of it. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 describes various ordinary people from the Old Testament who had faith. From Abel to Noah and Abraham and Sarah, they all live out of faith. In every story you’ll find ordinary people asked to something that seemed strange by the world’s standards, and yet they carried it out by faith.
It’s all about perspective. Who’s perspective are you going to live by? Yours or the Lords?
Lord Jesus, thank you that in You we have liberty. Thank you for showing yourself to us and delivering us from an unfulfilled life. Thank you for the abundant life in You. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.