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by Mary Alice McGinnis
I love visiting Hocking Hills. The rocky cliffs are beautiful and majestic, and the trees are nothing short of stunning. The trees I find the most intriguing are the ones that grow right on the top of the rocky cliffs.
I have often wondered how these trees can grow at all since they have little soil beneath them to provide nutrients. I imagine a seed finds its way into a little pocket of soil. With a little sunshine and rain, the seed germinates and begins to grow. They shoot up strong, healthy and grow to substantial heights.
However, being shallowly rooted, many of them succumb to the winds, the rains, and forces of erosion. Some manage to hold on for dear life by the thread of a weakened root. But I have countless pictures of these tall, majestic trees that have ultimately topple headlong - roots up, over the side of the cliffs to the ground below.
Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, says:
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Many of us would say we trust Jesus to “save us” and bring us to heaven someday. We know He came to wash away our sins. But when it comes to our day-to-day problems or looming anxieties, we try to fix those ourselves. We try to dig our roots in and place our security in the rocky ground of our own ability to figure things out.
But, what happens when we can’t fix things? What happens when things don’t get better, but seemingly only get worse. What happens when we realize, despite all our efforts, our lives are NOT full of joy, happiness or hope. Instead, we are only faced with insecurity, disaster, and hopelessness. We can find our faith on rocky ground.
Paul says: plant yourself, ground yourself, build your life upon THIS firm foundation.
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form . . ." (Colossians 2:9)
How can grounding yourself in the reality that all of God’s fullness lives in Christ help you? How can the reality that God the Son, Jesus, came to earth in the flesh for YOU have an affect on your day-to-day living?
Paul continues: "and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority." (Colossians 2:10)
What does it meant to you that in Christ YOU have been brought to fullness? How does it change your view of things knowing that the One who has authority over all has wiped clean every record of wrong you have committed? And He has erased all the regrets of the good things you have left undone?
He took them all away and nailed them to the cross.
He stood up as our Advocate against everything that condemns us.
He has DISARMED everything that threatens to harm us.
The battle has already been decided.
Jesus has WON the victory.
When Jesus - the One in whom all the fullness of the Deity of God dwells - was humiliated, spat upon, whipped, crucified and seemingly defeated, Satan was sure that he had won!
Yet, Jesus proved He was the Victorious One. He has conquered sin, shame, death, and the evils of Satan. Jesus is right now leading His Victory Parade, making a public spectacle of all who tried to bring Him down.
Today, bask in grateful thanksgiving that Jesus, who was fully God has declared us His and has imparted this victory to us! He is the Victorious One who has disarmed and put on public display the lies of all who tried to destroy and humiliate Him. He promises to do the same for you.
Where do you look for security in this unstable world? How can rooting your heart and building your trust on the Victorious Jesus as Lord of all bring you more peace in your life today?
Today, ask yourself this question, "What do you tend to root my life upon?" Bring your heart in humble confession to Jesus, God's Son. He is waiting for you! He longs to have you walk with Him in faith, in assurance of His Victory, not just in heaven, but each and every day as you walk out your life's journey.