It’s so easy to get SIDETRACKED… we start to do something or go somewhere – something captures our attention, and before long we’re SIDETRACKED and may not remember what we came to do or where we were going in the first place! And it can and does happen spiritually!
I don’t know how to break it to you… Following Christ and religion are NOT the same thing!
The religious practices can be extremely rigorous, seasons of fasting and prayer can be abundant, rituals and liturgy can be impressive… but you may not be following Christ! You may be SIDETRACKED! In fact, it may all be a self-righteous, pride generated show. You may be challenging your mind with philosophical thought – even religious philosophical reflection. You may delve deep into religious studies of all kinds – Christian and otherwise – and know nothing of the life-transforming power of the risen Christ!
Hey, religion won’t cut it! ONLY JESUS CHRIST can save you from sin, give you eternal life, and transform your NOW and TOMORROW!
How do I know? I read it in the Bible this morning… I’ve experienced it… and I’ve observed what CHRIST – CHRIST ALONE – can do it lives of others. You doubt me? You should read what Apostle Paul said about this to believers in ancient Colossae (and it’s still true!)… I challenge you to take some time today and read it for yourself – Colossians 2:1-23 (read it all!)
Here’s a taste of what Apostle Paul had to say on the issue…
“IN CHRIST are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!” (vs. 3)
“IN HIM (Christ) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily!” (vs. 9)
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses…God made alive together WITH HIM (Christ), having forgiven all our trespasses… He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them IN HIM (Christ).” (vss. 13-15)
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath… Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about their visions… These things have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh!” (from vss.16-23)
And finally, Paul summary advice on the subject of getting “SIDETRACKED”… “Therefore, AS YOU RECEIVED CHRIST JESUS THE LORD, so walk IN HIM, rooted and built up IN HIM, and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving!” (vss. 6-7)
God helping me, I’m going to keep my focus ON CHRIST ALONE and not get “SIDETRACKED!” “On Christ the solid Rock I stand – all other ground is sinking sand!”