Doing Life Together

to-reach-2697951_1920As we talked, I wondered, has Diane been taken captive? All through the dinner, Diane spoke with great enthusiasm about her job. It was her identity, the thing she worked for all her life, the pinnacle of her career–she reached it, but something felt empty. She waited for this day, a big promotion, huge salary with bonuses and benefits, prestige, power…why wasn’t she feeling the satisfaction of her success?

Achievements, money, the arts, sports and even our anxieties can take us captive if we aren’t careful. Colossians 2: 8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” This is a warning from the apostle Paul who was in prison, but dealing with a church that was losing its way. He had received word that someone in the church was preaching that people needed much more than Christ. Paul was correcting this body of believers and telling them not to be deceived by the culture as to what brings fulfillment and satisfaction. Don’t believe what you are being told–anything apart from Christ will not bring the fulfillment we all seek. His message applies today. Have we been deceived as well? Are we captivated by things other than Christ?

Verse 9 goes on to say why Christ alone is that fulfillment. “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Christ dwells in us and is our ultimate fulfillment. Whatever you are looking for apart from God cannot match the experience of the fully man and fully God who dwells in you and seeks intimacy. We are to desire Him. And according to this verse, nothing can compete with His power and rule.

So when we are tempted to be captivated by something like money, power or fame, we need to remember that everything is subject to His rule and authority. He is the desired person, not the things He can do for us. Yet, it is so easy to be swept away by the idea that something like a job, an achievement or money will bring us fulfillment. Thus, we can be deceived.

The secular way is to strive, attain and reach for any number of things that promise fulfillment apart from God. In the end, they simply can’t bring the fulfillment we were designed to receive–a personal relationship with Christ. Nothing else will satisfy and we will find ourselves like Diane–reaching our goals but not feeling fulfilled.

As the dinner with Diane came to a close, she was somewhat saddened by the emptiness she felt reaching her goals of success. It was a reminder to be captivated by our God, not things. God  is ruler and authority over all things whether we recognize this truth or not. Only He will bring the satisfaction Diane was looking for in her life.

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