Summary: We’re no longer under the reign of the enemy - Christ is victorious through the Cross.
The devil wants us to be spiritual couch potatoes.
He wants us to be satisfied and content with mediocrity.
He doesn’t want us to dream radical dreams, to think revolutionary thoughts, to think of the impossibilities becoming possibilities.
The devil wants us to pursue prosperity, security and comfort without having any thought toward Christ being glorified in our lives.
What’s the tactic, you may ask, that the devil uses to get our eyes off of the radical, the revolutionary and the seemingly impossible?
It’s failure. Our own personal failures and the guilt that follows them. Satan uses the guilt from our own failures to condemn us, to make us feel unworthy of the calling, to tear us down, to add weight to our hearts. Eventually we become so weighed down that we give up. We become apathetic towards faith. Toward ministry. Toward fellowship. Towards God. It’s the reason why some Christians feel they have nothing to offer others – the reason why they don’t serve, the reason why they don’t take risks, the reason why they don’t get baptized, go on missions trips, become a missionary, lead someone to faith at school or the office, or mentor a younger believer.
The ultimate is what George Verwer, past president of the missions agency Operation Mobilization, calls the spiritual couch potato. It is a life once lived as a passionate follower of Christ, who now is a Christian by name only. Having experienced the excitement and awe of knowing God on a personal level, they have forsaken that fellowship with the Almighty, their Creator, for a lonely fellowship of self – a life of loneliness, self-serving apathy and lack of eternal purpose. Sure, they still have salvation, but barely. To live 20, 40, 60 + years as a spiritual couch potato is no life at all. No passion. No excitement. It’s a tragedy.
If you are here this morning thinking that I am talking about you I want to assure you that I have no one in mind. But I plead with you to accept the Spirit’s prodding in your life and to consider what He has to say to you today. I’m not here to heap more condemnation upon you. God knows you have suffered enough of that at the hands of the world and the enemy. Listen - The tragedy is not that you have sinned. The tragedy is not that you have failed. The tragedy is that Satan has taken your failures in your relationships, your failures in your spiritual disciplines, and your failures in your sexual integrity and is using them against you. The enemy is saying “See, you’re a loser. You may as well not even go to church. No way are you going to make any serious commitment of your life to Jesus Christ! You might as well just sit there, drink the world in until you’re wasted, and settle for the mediocre life you deserve.”
But this is a tragedy that doesn’t have to happen.
Let’s go back to Colossians 2, starting in verse 6 again we see these words:
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
1. Growing your roots deep – v. 6-7
The tragedy is not a specific sin, the tragedy is our hopelessness fed on by this world and satan. This is a hopelessness we don’t have to experience.
I am not denying the fact that we suffer depression, that we have times of great mourning, that we will suffer tribulation and trials, but in these times we can hold fast to the one sure thing, the truth of God’s Words to us which have lasted throughout many millenia, words such as these:
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18
“In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead” – 1 Peter 1:3
The world is hopeless. Satan is hopeless and he knows it. As believers in the living God, we have hope, but, as verse 7 states from Col. 2, we must be rooted in this hope. I like the way the New Living Bible translates this, it says “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.” This makes me think of Psalm 1, many of you know it. The godly person is “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”
The next verse of that Psalm compares the solid tree with the chaff of grain which gets blown away. You see, if you are rooted deep, you won’t get blown down with the storms of this life. Satan will come and blow, like the big bad wolf, and he will huff, and he will puff and try his hardest to blow your tree down, but if you have your roots growing “down into Christ”, then you will not be blown down. The windstorm may hurt, you may get some scrapes, bruises and aches, but in the end you will stand tall.