What Stands Against Us?
Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.
This will be the first of a series of articles entitled, “The Order.” Specifically, these articles will be dealing with “the order” for our lives; how to order all the different elements of our daily lives into a seamless pattern of service and worship that glorifies our Father and ministers unto others. How can we keep our minds and activities from running in twenty directions at once? Are we really accomplishing anything worthwhile, when we try to “do it all”? Are we even capable of doing everything? Who decides what “everything” is anyway? Was it God or man that has created the list of obligations we all feel hanging over our heads each morning? And while we are running around trying to be everything to everyone, are we being the important things to the important people? I in no way consider myself an expert on this topic. If anything, I am a stumbling student like everyone else. I just want to share the few things the Lord began showing me back in November. Keep in mind, though, that even the few rays of light I have seen on this subject, still allude me on most days. And I find myself still running in circles, working very hard and accomplishing very little that can be counted worthy at the end of the day.
I want to begin by looking at Col 2:14 and trying to understand what lies against us. We all have an idea of who we want to be and then the reality of who we really are. For me, the two people are hardly similar. What is it that prevents us from being that person we dream of being? What stands against us? What holds us back? Part of the answer is in Col 2:14 and specifically in the word “ordinance.”
Many years ago, I learned an important rule: never assume you know the true meaning of a word before you’ve looked it up. Preferably, before you’ve looked it up in the Webster’s 1828. Often we assume a word means whatever the contaminated usage is for it in our own decade. But for an author’s writing to ring true in our minds, we need to understand what words meant to the author. If an author is not of our own time, it can sometimes be difficult to fully understand and appreciate their meaning. This is most true with the writers of the Bible, and the translators of the King James Version. Now admittedly, there was over 200 years between the authorization of the King James Bible and Webster’s 1828 masterpiece, but sometimes we just have to get as close as we can. Closer is always better.
So, when I read Col 2:14 back in November, the word that jumped out at me was ordinance. “Ordinance- a rule established by authority, a permanent rule of action.” A permanent rule of action. A permanent rule of action. And one more time, a permanent rule of action. Sometimes to help myself better understand a verse, I will paraphrase word meanings to clarify it to myself. “Blotting out the handwriting of permanent rules of action that were against us, which were contrary to us and took them out of the way nailing them to His cross.” Permanent rules of action are simply the things we do, the negative things we do, and do, and do and then do again that hinder the Spirit of God from molding us into our true self. Are there permanent rules of action in your life that hold you back from becoming your true self? Your true self is you in the perfect will of God. You completely centered and aligned to the leading of the Holy Spirit. You, wasting no time or energy on tasks, people, hobbies or careers that lie outside of God’s plan for you. You, gushing forth the love of God toward others, and soaking up and receiving the love of God from others. You, boldly pursuing the dreams that God put in your heart! Do you live life as your true self? If not, what “ordinances” what permanent rules of action, negative action, do you allow to stand against you?
In the next article we will look at some of the most common ordinances that stand against us.