Good Morning Brothers…
Turkey season is about 2 weeks away and the woods is full of new buds on trees, song birds, and a bit of green starting to perk here and there. Spring turkey for me is really an excuse to get out of my daily life and into the woods for a couple hours. I don’t really care if I get a turkey or not, but the smile on my little boys face when he gets one is worth it’s weight in gold (or .22 rounds). My anticipation for the wild places, at this time of year, is reserved for the big country of the northwest and elk season. Elk season doesn’t start until September, however, if I don’t start prepping now, I will not be ready. Every year it seems like the same thing; lose weight, get cardio, practice my bow, check my gear, etc. Although it may seem routine, I do not want to die on that mountain because I’m too fat, my feet hurt, my lungs gave out, or my heart decided to stop ticking. Every new season is a year older and a year closer to those things if I do not prepare myself to go.
I like this passage from Colossians 3:1-4, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
I like this passage because there is a flow to it. Sometimes, it is better to start at the end and work backwards in order to understand the flow. For instance, in September I am going elk hunting where the ground is steep, the trees are thick, and the air is thin. In order to be ready, I need to train myself physically. I need to focus on that hunt to keep the motivation. I need to remember the smell of the mountain air, the sound of the wind whispering through the conifers, the haunting sounds of an elk bugle, the chill of the mornings, etc. Likewise, Paul is revealing for us the end so we can understand the importance of the beginning.
“When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
Our great coming out party happens when Christ is revealed. This has a future tense to it but it also has a present tense. In the present, we come out of our shell, shine like a candle in the dark, whatever analogy we want to use, when…and only when…Christ is revealed through us. That sounds awesome. What Christian doesn’t want to be revealed in glory, in Christ? Okay, but how does that happen? Well, lets work backward through the passage.
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Okay…die to self, bear my cross daily. I get it…Luke 9:23-24 surrender stuff.
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
Does this mean I shouldn’t focus on elk hunting? Does this mean I shouldn’t try to do my best at work? Does this mean I don’t need to love my wife? Um…no. In this passage earth means “evil” and above means “good”. So…don’t focus on earthly, or evil, things, but focus on good things. A marriage is a good thing if it is surrendered to God. Elk hunting is a good thing if it is surrendered to God. We should surrender all things to the Lord. To surrender something means to “give up disobedience” in it. If my marriage has disobedience unto the Lord and I surrender it to God…it means I must become obedient in the parts I was disobedient in.
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
If we have been raised up with Christ means that this does not apply to those people who do not know the Lord. For those of us that do…we do not have the lazy, or ignorant, option. The verse says that we are to seek Christ who is seated at the right hand of God. This is significant. The “right hand of God” reference means authority. If we remember, at the ascension, Jesus gave us the great commission. In it, He said, “All authority has been given to me”. So…as we put those pieces together, we are implored to seek the Christ who bears all authority through our obedience, through our focus, through our worship, through our life. Because…when the glory that is Jesus is revealed now…and later…their we will be.
Who doesn’t want that…?
So…go on with your weight loss, running, low carbs, and cardio routines…just surrender it all to the Lord. Cut out the disobedience…and with anticipation prepare yourself for the next moment when Christ may be revealed through you!