Read Colossians 2:6-15
Imagine with me for just a minute. You are standing 100 feet from the summit of Mt. Everest. The team leader is calling for you to keep moving. You are almost there! But instead of finishing the summit and absorbing the view from the highest peak on earth you reply, “No thanks. I’m good. I’m going to go back down the hill and study some more about this mountain and what it might take to reach the summit. Besides, I’ve seen pictures… even the IMAX movie.” You then turn and head back down the mountain. This is an absurd scenario, isn’t it? Why, when the real thing is within reach, would you turn around? Why would you deny yourself the experience of standing on top of the world so you could settle for someone else’s stories and pictures? It doesn’t make sense.
In our reading for today Paul says to the people who make up the church of Colossae,
My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6, 7 MSG)
Why do we sometimes hesitate or resist moving forward in faith? Why do we sometimes settle for second hand accounts of what it means to follow Jesus? Why do we settle for other people’s stories of faith when God has given us all we need to live our own? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a ready, fire, aim kind of guy. I like to have a plan and a clear sense of where that plan will take me. I like to study things and gather information but there comes a time where I simply have to close the books and do something. Hungry people aren’t fed by reading about them. Hungry people are fed when we feed them. Disciples aren’t made and multiplied by reading books about discipleship. Disciples are made when we engage with people in discipling relationships. It’s time for us to put legs underneath our faith do something with it!
In Jesus, you have what you need. Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Don’t turn around and settle for second hand accounts. Step forward and follow in faith. “School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!”