By Adam Pursel
One of the great (and awful) things about studying through an entire book of the Bible is that we often encounter passages that we would rather ignore. Colossians 3:5-6 are some of those verses for many of us. Here, Paul is beginning to explain to us what he meant in Colossians 3:1-3 when he told us to seek the things above, set our minds on the things above, and that we have died with Christ.
Colossians 3:5-6 says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”
Do you see what I mean? Here we are, happily enjoying some time in the Word of God – we’ve got our coffee mug, our phone is poised and ready to post some really inspiring verse on top of a sunset/mountain/ocean/baby picture, and our pen is carefully resting on our Jesus Journal…and then God has to go and say some stuff that we don’t like! I can’t put that on Instagram! And now my coffee is cold! OK, you get my point. Seriously though, I do think there are at least two things here that go against what our culture tells us, and (I think) go against our culture-shaped intuitions as well.
Instead of addressing those two things, I would like to take a minute to discuss our attitude toward Scripture in general. I think a lot of us would say that we trust Jesus for salvation. If that’s you, that’s awesome!!! Praise God that He has redeemed you through trusting His Son! But I think that some of us who have trusted Jesus for salvation have somehow formed the belief that we can more or less pick and choose which Scriptures we listen to and which Scriptures we can ignore. That’s not OK. Here’s the deal, if you pick and choose which parts of the Bible to listen to and which ones to ignore, then you don’t have a God who can disagree with you. And if you don’t have a God who can disagree with you, you don’t have a God at all…you just have you (and that’s neither good nor Christian).
So, here’s our statement for the day: “Actual trust assumes an attitude of trust.” Here’s what I mean: if you actually trust Jesus, then you will necessarily have an attitude of trust for His Word. This attitude of trust is one that says to God, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”
Let me tell you how this plays out in my life. There are times when I come across a passage in Scripture that I dislike. I look at what God’s Word is clearly declaring, I compare that to what I believe or want to be true, and there is clear discord – one of us is wrong. When I encounter those moments, I like to ask myself a question: “Between God and me, when we disagree, who is more likely to be right?” You don’t need to know me to know that the answer to this question is painfully obvious – God is always right, I am always wrong. And I don’t need to know you to know that this applies to you too. Whenever your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or opinions contradict what the Scriptures teach – God is always right, you are always wrong. That isn’t because we are particularly bad people, it’s because we are people. And if we’re people who are claiming to have actual, saving trust in Jesus, that actual trust assumes an attitude of trust. It assumes an attitude that seeks to hear from God through His Word, and then to confess to God that He is right, even if we find our hearts disagreeing with what He has declared. Actual trust assumes an attitude of trust.
So, how has your attitude been lately? Have you adopted an attitude of trust towards God and His Word? Or have you been choosing to trust you over God? If you’ve been doing the latter, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to stop. The God of the Universe has invited you to know Him and love Him, but we can only do that by trusting Him…and actual trust assumes an attitude of trust.