Have you ever tried a diet that didn’t work? Who hasn’t? Have you ever tried a spiritual diet that didn’t work – some structured plan and commitment to read through the Bible in a year? Perhaps it was to use a particular devotional. Most of us have and with similar bad results as with the food diets. The power of the initial commitment fades and things return to familiar and often unprofitable patterns of thinking and behavior.
May I be so bold as to say, as for the spirit, the Blue Book is a diet that works. I know so many people who were handed this book by a friend. It was often met with these kinds of responses. Outwardly there was the, “Oh another devotional…well thank you!” Inwardly the response was closer to, “Oh great, another devotional. Hmmm.. It doesn’t even have a dust cover. I can’t even tell who wrote it. Why, It doesn’t even have a copy write!” Yet, more often than not, the unpretentious little Blue Book draws the skeptic into its pages.
I looked at the book for months before opening it. The last thing I wanted was any structure to my free-flowing communion with God. I found quickly that even though the book is structured it was anything but constrictive. I would not want to rob you of discovery, because discovery is part of the Blue Book adventure. However, I will reveal one of its secrets.
This diet involves eating smaller and more frequent meals. It involves slowing down and chewing each bite longer. People learning to linger regularly at a banqueting table with the best possible company who has served the richest of fare is why the Blue Book is in circulation. This book, which has never been advertised, is in the hands of well over 20,000 people. This phenomena is due to a growing community of saints who are hungry to personally know their God in more intimate ways. This is just a little tool the Holy Spirit is using to quench the hunger of His precious children. Is it possible that nourishment can be lost in the predigested meals of someone else’s sermons or teachings? Is it possible that for some, a glut of massive bible reading is not the best way to intimately connect with the Father?
In a very real way, the Blue Book is all about His beloved precious children. So is our passage today in Colossians. The starting point for the spiritual life is having a correct identity – understanding not only who we were but especially who we are now. One of the devil’s greatest ploys is to convince a saint that they are victims of the Fall of Adam, that their core identity is governed by depravity. It is impossible for a child to enjoy any kind of abundant life when their pedigree and legitimacy are still in question. Paul knew this. Even though it is a great mystery, he is hammering home the higher truths that will affirm our identities as His Beloved……
Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.
Pursue the things over which Christ presides…. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above
We have to ask ourselves, “Was Paul deluded, thinking he had found the fountain of youth?” Or rather was Paul enlightened, having found the fountain of eternal life? My heart tells me that Paul had perosnally tasted and seen that the Lord, He is good. My heart also tells me that Paul’s advice is sound. While he was convinced of God’s sovereignty, it certainly did not lead Paul into passivity. On the contrary, Paul advocates a vigorous and intentional spiritual life ….
Look up! Be alert! Forget what lay behind! Reach forward to what lies ahead! Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus! Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God! Set your mind on the things above!
We have been caught up into a great mystery; We are hidden in Christ and He is our life. The essence of our lives, regardless of our belief or our experiences (which have unfortunately shaped our beliefs and doctrines) is Christ Jesus Himself. The deepest and truest thing about us is our identity in Christ. Paul knows the enemy’s tactics and he knows our propensity to look down into our old lives or behind us at our history of failure. It is no problem for him to remind us of the facts. He wants us to arrive at that place in our experience where we have made these facts our own.
I am suggesting the Blue Book is a proven tool in assisting us in our looking up; in our reaching forward; in our pressing on; in our seeking and the setting of our minds. Out of Christ, who is your life, may you prosper in spirit soul and body!
Father, may this be a year where our hearts release a fragrant aroma to you as we more deeply discover the birthright of our divine identities; this imperishable glorious inheritance that is ours even now in Christ. Amen.