Tuesday, June 30, 2009

not moved

not moved. i've been reading colossians 1 this morning and i came across those words. paul is talking about the incredible thing Jesus did on the cross - reconciliation! - putting us, who were alienated, into right relationship with God. and then paul wants to encourage us to stay connected to that awesomeness and he says (in the NIV) in verse 23, that we need to continue - not moved from our hope. not moved. another translation (NLT) says that we shouldn't "drift away" from our assurance.
i like this 'drift away' metaphor because i can easily picture my life as aa boat, which can so casually be moved by the current or the tides. it all happens gradually, but at some point i find myself somewhere i did not intend to be, just sort of floating by in life. it would seem that the obvious answer to this situation - the way to make sure we are not moved and not drifting away - is to put down anchor. it would seem we should remember the joy of our salvation; recall the circumstances around our conversion and try to maintain or recreate them.
but i am convinced that is ABSOLUTELY NOT what paul had in mind.
paul isn't advocating spiritual paraylysis. paul isn't suggesting stagnation. he is just urging us to be careful about who is moving us. that's why i prefer the message translation here: 'stay grounded and steady...constantly tuned in...careful not to be distracted or diverted.' i saw a great quote on twitter yesterday by len sweet which said, "what if we were more open to being sent on The Way than set in our ways?"
and that is the crux of the issue, isn't it? i mean, some of us aren't experiencing the fulness of relationship with God because we've drifted away; we've been distracted and diverted, moved by the current. but i am convinced that others of us are lacking intimacy with God and growth in spirit because we won't move at all - we're anchored down - clinging tight-fisted to a place where God was once present in our life. This place may have once been a garden of growth for us, but if we're honest with ourselves we'd have to admit that it has become a rut where we are stuck. paul says in another book that we must continue 'to work out our salvation with fear and trembling,' which is another way of saying that this relationship with God thing isn't so much about anchors as it is about awareness - keeping on the lookout for God - and willingness - having the guts to go there. my prayer today is that i would find the courage to pull up old anchors and be willing to use the oars to move to whatever new places God has in store.

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