Lent :: Roots, Branches, Captivity

Today’s Lent passage for the memorization challenge I’m doing is Colossians 2:8:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy & empty deceit, according to human traditions, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

It’s an important warning.  One that Paul repeats in several of the letters he penned.  “Watch out!”  “Pay attention!”  Be careful”.  Paul knew how easily we lose our path. How easily we are distracted.  “Squirrel!”

Walk close to Christ.  Set those roots down deep.  Let the growth get growing.  Get established in the faith.  Those are his instructions.  Why are these things so important?  {vs. 8}Because there’s deceit and lies and philosophies contradictory to Christ everywhere around us.

We aren’t believers in a bubble.  Around us are thousands of different ideas to hang our souls on, to tether our hope to.  And many sound very good, very sound, very truthful.  That’s the funny thing about deceit.  If it were outright outrageous it wouldn’t likely draw anyone.  But if it’s kind-of-sort-of-maybe the same…it’s easy to be fooled into agreeing.  But Paul goes further.  Warning that such philosophies & beliefs could take you captive.  Captivity sounds miserable.  Captivity is not a choice.  Captivity is stolen-freedom.

But how do we keep from being led off path?

First, I think Paul is telling us to be aware that there is false doctrine & earthly philosophies and beliefs that contradict Him.  We must not go through life naive thinking it’s all ok.  It’s not all ok.  Some of it will take you captive & steal your freedom.  Be on the lookout!

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Second, Paul says that in order to not be tricked we must be sure of Christ’s teachings.  We need to be walking with him {being rooted and built up and established} so we can spot the deceit and run before it takes us away.  Abide in him, get into the Word and let him root us and establish us and build us up.  The more we abide the deeper those roots go & the harder it is to uproot us and take us captive.  Have you ever tried to uproot a 100 year old oak tree?  Not likely going to be an easy task.

Test the philosophies.  Test the ideas and beliefs.  Compare them to the Word and see if they stand.  And if they are contradictory, run!  Run like never before away lest it uproots you and steals your freedom.

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