Does obedience in christ plus freedom equal oxymoron?


“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” – Colossians 2:6

Obedience. Not a popular word nowadays. People want to be free; they just want to be – me. Go for the gusto, get all that you can, because you only go around once. What’s going on?

Marketing – it’s a powerful word. This word gets people to spend money on the silliest things. Remember the Chia Pet? The Pet Rock? How about those Ugg boots that came out (I maybe stepping on some ‘ugg toes’). You’ve heard the saying, “People spend money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t like, in order to impress people who really don’t care about them!”

The important variable in all of this is – change. Just when individuals believe they are in “fashion”, everything changes. But all of these changes are profitable – just not for you. Author Les Brown says that, “In day-to-day commerce, television is not so much interested in the business of communications as in the business of delivering audiences to advertisers. People are the merchandise, not the shows. The shows are merely the bait.” How true.

Not only is there a constant push to change what you buy and wear, but also how you think. With so many “new”, “fresh”, and “exciting” things on the “spiritual” smorgasbord, how do you stay grounded? Paul tells us to continue in Christ. Continue to obey.

Many would think that God is being a killjoy, but quite the contrary. John 15:9-11 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” God is for our complete joy!

People will try to lay their commands on you, and we have all been guilty of this at one time or another. But, the important point needs to be made – we are to obey God’s commands. Remember the marketing machine of today is: 1) No Jesus – he’s outdated, “out-of-touch” OR 2) Jesus + “something else.” God has called us to complete joy in Jesus Christ by “continuing to live in him,” and “whom the Son sets free, is free indeed” (John 8:32). So Obedience in Christ + Freedom Oxymoron; But = Life.

By Pastor David Myles

Pastor David Myles is a local pastor and guest columnist.

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