Colossians 1:26-29 (the message)
This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.
This morning as Leah was praying she told Jesus to have a good day. She also expressed her thankfulness that Jesus was in our hearts and named each of her family members. Rivers asked Him to help her stay on green (the color for good conduct) as she does every single day.
Just now, as I sat rocking Leighton with my Bible precariously in my lap, I read the scripture above. I was struck then not by the cuteness of the prayers my girls pray, but the simplicity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. My children do not think they need to gussy up their prayers. They don’t consider how eloquent they sound. And thankfully, they do not feel silly praying about whatever is on their minds or hearts and do so with a pretty straight-forward approach. Hmmm…I am reminded how God teaches us we must have child-like faith.
I decided to follow their lead. I purposefully decided to just thank Him for my blessings and then ask for what I need. You know what? It didn’t take very long. But it was kind of hard! Paul warns the Christians in Colosse not to “add to the message.” I believe somewhere between elementary school and adulthood we start adding to the message. As Jesus-followers we believe the Bible is truth, but we still add our own efforts to the mix. We often make it harder than it is. Than it should be. And I know for me that shows when I have to really focus to just talk to God without begging, pleading and sounding like a broken record.
Sometimes the flow of prayer and communicating with God in our lives is easy and sweet and seems like Heaven. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we might feel like we are in the dark and can’t hear Him speaking to us as clearly as before. This morning I sense a gentle reminder in my heart….My grace is sufficient and when you can’t see or hear or feel Me you continue on, step by step, in faith that I am with you and my Word is true. See, we can be so tempted during these times to add to the message. To somehow think we need to bring something more that our simple hearts to Jesus.
Spiritual maturity is being basic. Knowing it’s because of Jesus and for Jesus. When I read this it challenges me. My destiny is not really the great purpose I hope to fulfill or the goals I ask God to help me achieve. Those may be the plans God has for my life, but my destiny is to know Jesus. Knowing Him, really knowing Him, is so humbling because we must let go of what we think we have to bring to the table of our relationship with Him. I find it so confounding at times! Feeling as though I am not fully doing my “part” in our Jesus and Vanessa equation and struggling to let go of the illusion I ever really had a part. It’s all Jesus and all I can do is believe it and trust Him and indeed allow His grace to really, truly be enough.
I believe this is how we become basic…learning it’s truly just about Jesus and our response to Who He is.
And I sure do hope He has a good day.