Appearing in Glory

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1-“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2-Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3-For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4-When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 KJV

The last verse of this section continues instruction regarding our present and eternal placement. At first reading, one would think it is only talking about the future when we “see Him as He is.” However, as I sit with it, I am aware of its present day/time reality. Let me try to explain.

We know that when we leave this realm of life, as born-again believers, we will join Him in the Spirit realm for eternity. However, now, when He is clearly present in us, with us, through us, and housed in us (we are the Temple), then we are seen in that same glory. It is the element of His person and presence that becomes visible in this realm at times. In the Old Covenant, it appeared as the cloud that could not be ministered within and the fire that overshadowed Israel at night.

In the New Covenant, we are resident within that glory. As one in and with Christ through the Holy Spirit, that glory is within us. We do not generate it – He does! It is a part of His person and His presence.

However, unless we choose to allow this glory of His person and presence to be our breath, purpose, and joy, it is highly likely that we do not even know what it means to be in His presence. Oh I know, He is present everywhere – Yes He is! However, the presence of His person that brings glory into our lives is another dimension of His person than most even know exist. It is not something of our creation, but His.

I am reminded of the fruit of the Holy Spirit spoken about in Galatians 5:22-23. Those nine characteristics, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are not developed through study. Study we must, but study in and of itself does not produce these within us. Only purposeful communion and fellowship in the Holy Spirit will do that. Our emotions become trained in Him so that the expression of our living brings revealed glory.

No, we do not all glow! We do however have an essence of person that lets others know He is here. We are known and seen in that glory. This presence can at times be seen physically, but it is always known by faith and seen in Spirit. It has a “glow and a shine” but only in Spirit. So as we make Him known in our lives, we too are known in Him.

When He is seen, we are seen with Him in glory! So I guess the questions is, is Christ really our life? Or is He an add-on to make sure we go to heaven? Or have we chosen to make His interests and His desires our own? What is the dimension of life we each share in Him? Are our prayers all about this material life, people, and stuff? Or are we learning in Spirit to see through His eyes and talk with Him about those things?

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

In Him

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1-“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2-Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3-For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4-When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 KJV

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” What an amazing statement. If we have risen with Christ, then we are dead,  and our life is hidden with Christ in God.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” NIV

Romans 6:8-11 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” NIV

I wanted us to share at least two other passages that say just about the same thing. They make it very clear that we have died with Him. In Ephesians 2:5-6 we read that we were also raised with Him. So our passage here in Colossians 3 is just recounting a repeated truth found in the New Testament. 

We died with Him; we were raised with Him; we are now hidden with Christ in God. So our life is His life, and His resurrected life is our life. The next verse tells us what will happen to our life later, but right now let’s just focus on the fact that the death that He died was not only substitutionary but also participatory – we did it with Him in the Spirit. We were in Him, in Spirit, as He was being crucified. The advantages He has as a resurrected human, we also have, as we have taken the journey in Him. The ramifications of these facts are enormous in our understanding.

Our lives now are hidden in Him in God. What an absolutely marvelous placement. When we begin to accept this, then we will start to allow our true identity to be manifested, as that brings Him glory and we find our total completion in His being. This is not an “if I try hard enough,” or if I do this or that,” it is instead a Spirit reality based on the Word that we discover in His love and abundant grace. 

Now we can begin to live in the Spiritual realms found in Ephesians 1:1-14. Now we can begin to receive and live in the trust of Him in us so that it is no longer me but Christ living in me. This takes some real changing of our minds. (That is the meaning of the Greek word translated “repentance.”) We are no longer trying to please a God way up in Heaven in an impossible flesh discipline cycle, but we are in Him and have shared His journey. Now He is in us, and we are infused entirely together in life based on His love, mercy, and grace. He now shares our journey. We are released to be Him in our world (1 John 4:17b), with all the love and power He possesses. 

We must rethink our position, our life, and our future. It is all Him. He has done it and included you and me. 

Lord, “thank you” can never be enough to say or be. It is what our English can say, so Thank you! We receive and begin another kind of journey in You in our Father. Thank you!

Where We Belong

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1-“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2-Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3-For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4-When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 KJV

In the previous post, we covered the first verse of this passage where we are instructed to set seek those “things” which are above. Now we look at verse 2, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”  The word used here in the Greek text for “affection” means “to have the understanding to think, judge, observe, direct the mind to, see for, care for.” We would naturally turn to the word “mind” the Greek word does mean that, but also includes the heart, the soul. So really we could accurately say, “Set your entire being to love and think about things above, not on things here on earth.” It points us to spend our time in the Spiritual sphere of existence. 

We live in both spheres. The natural, and the Spiritual. We make a moment by moment choice as to where that affection and thinking goes. For most of us, even all our time working with the Lord, prayer, etc… including our worship, is spent thinking and talking to Him about here. We need to really consider what we are to be doing with our time here. There will come the time when our existence is in that sphere and there only. For now, we occupy both. So the challenge the Holy Spirit is giving us is to develop our spirits in Him so thoroughly that we are able to take all ques and instructions from there and operate there more freely than here. To learn that when we read the Word, we see in the Spirit instead of just working to apply it here, let us get to where we can “see” the reality of the Word there in Him – then we can rightly live out the instruction in the now. 

Beloved this is huge! If we were to take this seriously, it would totally rearrange our priorities. We need to not only consider this but to take advantage of the invitation to do it! It will remake us – from the inside out into people of God’s love and God’s power in our Lord Jesus. 

This is not an “I hope you will consider it” approach. The Holy Spirit has given us direct instructions to do it! 

Next post we will look at verse 4 where we are told why. It is a biggie too, but for now, let’s receive the instruction of the Holy Spirit and begin to not only seek – but to set our hearts and minds there. 

He continues to call.

Yes, Lord, we hear and follow. I know you are giving us instructions for real-life – eternal. In your strength, we accept the call, voice, and direction. Trusting You to continue to show us how.

Seeking Things Above

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“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 KJV

(After reading the above passage in a couple of translations, including the Greek text, I decided that none really improved upon the King James, nor did they make it any clearer. So we will just stick with the good ole’ KJV for this passage).

Some translations say, “Since you have been raised with Christ,” for this opening statement, and it can be either a question or a statement of fact. The tense in the Greek does not seem to be conclusive on how it should read. “If you are risen with Christ” speaking of receiving Him as Lord and Savior, received the baptism of the obedient (Colossians 2:2), now we enter into the Holy Spirit’s teaching on living the lifestyle of the Beloved. 

In most of Paul’s writings, he is diligent to give us the position of the believer as a Son of God and many of the blessings that are automatic within that Sonship, then he will turn to the expected outcome, which is a lifestyle appropriate for one is such a position. We could study the royal family of Great Britain if we wished to see a lifestyle marked with position. They have excellent training as to proper behavior, royal thinking, manners, love of people, and on and on it goes. Well, we have the same type of thing in the New Testament writings. 

We are no longer like other people. We are God-infused human beings, so everything we do has divine consequences. That is not to place undue stress on us, but the reality of belonging to the King! So our lifestyle must, of necessity, be very different than the rest of mankind. As sons of the King, we are to serve the people, love the people, govern the people, etc. (If we understand John 13:1-17 — that will help us here). Since we belong to the Royal household, there is training we must undergo to serve and live well as sons of God.  

The first instruction – in verse 1 – is that we are to “seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting on the right hand of God.”  This is something many of us know nothing about. Our days, hours, moments, seconds, and our prayers are spent seeking the best way to order our world. Almost everything we seek has to do with the world we know – the physical. We, as a rule, do not even know what is above. This is true even when we read the Word, pray, and worship. Most of us are still “landlocked” into what we physically see, know, touch, feel, want, etc. Clearly, this will take some time and training (and there is no condemnation at all), but many, many joys await us as we choose to “seek,” “look at,” spend time pondering, become aware of, what is “above.” 

Just how do we do that? There are several avenues to begin our journey of as we choose His way. Learn to be “in Spirit” buy purposely joining your heart and His in Spirit. Choose to be in Him and to see what He sees. Meditating and seeking the Spirit’s Word beyond the black and white letters as we read and study the Word. Begin to expect to “see” what was not “seen” before. Sometimes this is called revelation, and sometimes it is a new “Spirit-knowing” that empowers us. As we diligently listen for His voice, His words to us individually, and begin to worship weaving with Him in Spirit with His truth; much appears for our seeking. Other avenues will open as we begin to consciously “seek that which is above.” 

None of this is easy at first. But as we are diligent to begin, our gracious Holy Spirit begins to open realms of glory above for us, and we start to be able to understand matters of the Spirit and not just of flesh. Understanding on the flesh dimension can never do the work of God. Understanding on the flesh dimension can never “see that which is above.” We are sons, filled with His presence and His glory. Our home and our inheritance are above. Let’s go for it! 

Beloved, there is more, much, much more!

Sweet Call! Sweet Jesus!

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20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Colossians 2:20-23 NIV

Before Paul begins to unfold for us the Spirit-filled life and lifestyle, he adds this caution to his beautiful teaching on the placement as in Christ as Sons of inheritance. There is a Spirit way and a flesh way, especially about worship.

The regulations to control the flesh placed upon many in the name of Christ, do nothing to restrain the flesh. The more we think about what we should not do, the more likely we are to do it. In Galatians 5:16 Paul writes this:

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

The way of the Spirit is very different than our flesh-oriented thought life (which will be addressed in the coming verses). In all sincerity, we try to do the “religious thing” most of the time to please Him and get out of our mess. However, none of the how-to’s of man work for any length of time, and we end up in a deeper mess. None of these “Thou shall not” concepts can do the Spirit’s work. That is why the Law could not save. All it did was to point out sin. (The book of Romans is a treatise on this very concept). That is all this type of concentration is empowered to do.

But in the Spirit, worship, and life take on a different type of empowering – an empowering natural to the Spirit of the Lord and supernatural for and in us.

Worship is to be the adoration of the heart to our God – a deep and complete infusion into Him and His love in thankfulness and love. However, we most of the time head to worship to “feel His presence” and to receive from Him something that will help our pain. While all of that is what everyone begins with, unfortunately for us, we stay there. Instead of becoming Spiritual beings worshiping our Spirit God, we become flesh expressions of fleshly needs and dreams and hopes. We become only a sponge trying to “get” all we can, so life won’t be so hard. This is the elementary stage of Spirit life.

The understanding here in Colossians is much different. Our worship is to adore Him and thank Him with every fiber of our being – not to get something. The purpose is not to feel something either, however, when we invest our total beings in Him, that moment becomes precious beyond precious, and we are changed and charged with power beyond power. But if the focus becomes the change and the power, we will once again, miss the Spirit dimension and call.

Once again, we are caught in the flesh expression of our need instead of the Spirit knowing of our fullness. He always knows our need (or our perception of need), but if we do not get beyond this in our thinking and heart position, we will not know anything but man-made rules of behavior.

If you want to know this call, then take a few moments to allow this truth to settle into your Spirit, then turn and adore Him.

If your heart knows the call, take a few moments to respond to Him. Bless Him and allow Him to be the focus. Lord, thank you for making this section of Your word clear to us, we turn in adoration. Sweet call, sweet Jesus!

Listening Cautiously


“Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” Colossians 2:18-19 NIV

There are folk in the body of Christ who choose to cling to legalism, believing it to be the “safe” way. They adopt all kinds of practices from the Old Covenant and use them to become what they think will please people. They look spiritual, talk spiritual (in their own minds) but their humility is self-made. The KJV says “voluntary humility” in this place. Meaning they are making it happen. It looks good and has the wisdom of man attached. You know the teaching that tells us if you think you are humble, you have just lost it? Well, that is not the word at all. You see, from our Lord’s point of view, humility is an attribute of Himself that He gives to every believer. It is not something we create by the way we behave or speak. To truly be humble, we are to receive what the Lord says about us – instead of the “worm theology” of the religious world of Christianity.

The Lord Jesus has given us Himself. That means that as we willingly learn from His hand how to live and respond to life, we are as He is. To be humble means to be constantly leaning into Him. No pride is there and no arrogance. This we must learn.

These folk also worship angels, and the text implies they have seen the angels they worship. I do believe it is consistent with and in the Word to “see” angels, however, when adoration or special devotion is given to them, if they are God’s angels, they will refuse it. For an angel to receive worship tells us they are not our Lord’s angels. So immediately this person is trying to sway you into what is untrue.

The next part is about how they treat others. The Word says, “Do not let anyone …disqualify you.” The word “disqualify” here could also read, “put you down,” or “make you feel small and unimportant.” It has the sense of judging you and making you feel you really have not arrived – yet. Such an attempt is out arrogance and not of the Spirit we live in and belong to.

So the entire verse is trying to warn us about people who do these things – they can capture our hearts and we then begin to join in and become as legalistic as they are — or worse. Out of our sincere desire to “know Him better,” we can become very bound by our own behavior. This legalistic attitude will miss the person of Jesus because He is just not that way.

Verse 19 tells us the people doing these things are no longer attached to the Head of the Body, and therefore are not growing in Him properly like the Body He is growing. That is a sweet thing to know. The Lord is Himself growing us into what we need to be. He does this after we are a part of His body and it is Him doing it. We just corporate by loving, listening, following, and receiving. It is out of those things that we flow and become.

Thank you, Lord, for your love for each one of us and for your taking on the responsibility to grow us into yourself. You lead us and You guide us into all truth and allow us to study your heart, your Word, your very breath. Give us great discernment to know what we are listening to – life – or some form of legalism. Thank you!

Legalism’s Crippling Grip

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[As a help with this passage, I have shared a copy of one of my teaching charts that I use in our Bible Institute to help us understand the way the Word divides things. We could add all these items mentioned in the verses below plus many, many more. I just thought it might help.]

16So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV

The last few posts here have been about the glorious victory that we have as believers in Christ. It might be good to review those if a refresher is needed, before reading this post. Actually, these two verses are really a “therefore.” When we discover a “therefore,” we then need to know what was written previously and attach it to this section.

Since we have such overwhelming victory in Christ Jesus, “therefore,” or in this version “so,” do not let someone judge you about these various items. It is interesting to note that each of these items is something that the Old Covenant had rules and regulations about. Here, Paul, says they no longer apply, and in fact, they can lead us right back into rules, regulations, and how-to-do – all with emphasis on “do,” instead of into intimacy in Jesus with His emphasis of “be in me.”

Our favor (grace) is given to us freely as we have seen. We do not do anything but receive it! Our lifestyle will then reflect this gift as we “be” in Him. But that is done as a response and an empowering in Him, not a “do to receive.”

So many folks get hung up on this very thing. We embrace Him, and then get side-tracked with the multitudes of Christian teaching from our favorite teachers on “how to get closer” or “how to conquer” this that or the other. I am not negating the process we all go through in learning Christ and His heart. But we get so caught on “being like Him” that we try things “like Jesus did” – keep the Jewish festivals, Sabbaths, kosher laws, and a myriad of law empowered items. These actually hinder our life in Him, not enrich it.

None of that effort does anything in the Spirit. We have Jesus living inside of us – we literally cannot get any closer. We can become more focused on that reality, but not in the “if I spend more time doing this and so,” or reading the Bible, or praying, or and or and or. While much of that is important, it doesn’t create what is not already in existence. We are in His heart, and we are responding to His voice and His ways and His will, on the basis of relationship – not action.

The “Crippling Grip” is at every turn of the road and advocated by many beloved believers. Dear reader, let’s get to know Him through His presence, Word, and love. Then much of this will fall by the wayside, and we will discover that His gift is so sufficient. Talking with Him, fellowshipping through His Word, and enjoying today day in His heart, not as a legal requirement, but as an expression of our love and thankfulness – is quite sufficient to bless Him and release us into life over and over and over again.