Rules.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world,
why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to
regulations – “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”…
These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting
self-made religion…. but they are of no value in stopping
the indulgence of the flesh. If then you have been raised
with Christ, seek the things that are above, where
Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Colossians 2:20-3:1

This passage really struck me this week – mostly because this is so very much how I deal with sin. When I was trying to, at the very least, scale back on Halo, I could not find it within myself the ability to for very long. And certainly not the desire to. I so badly wanted to set up rules – Halo on Sunday, maybe for three hours. Or, only when Brad was out. Or… I did not really know. Maybe I would not play unless I had read my Bible that day. (How sad is that?)

And Laurel was quick to tell me “those rules, they are not going to work long term Nikk. That is no way to get over something.” Legalism does not work for long, and it certainly does not change the heart. I could have set up a ridiculous list of boundaries, and still never be closer to God. At one point last year, when I did not really feel like playing much, I was surprised that I still did not draw near to God. I mean – I had given it up (for a week : ), but where was God? Is this not what He had wanted of me?

The answer, maybe more obvious to others, is no. It is not what He wanted. That we would come to Him… draw near to Him, that is what He wants. Am I the only one who maybe thinks that “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness” is a great verse for a new soon-to-be convert? I guess I have been tempted to think I have FORGIVEN stamped on my forehead, without living out the walk of belief. Rules… so very useless, when they are not governed by the working of the Holy Spirit.
I try, in my own strength, to change myself. But, when I look to Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith, then, and only then, do the things of this earth grow strangely dim. Only, only when my eyes are on Him, when I am seeking the things from above, do I find relief from the things on earth – the weight and sins that cling so closely (see Hebrews 12:1,2)
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