Confession begins the process, but it doesn't finish it and God shows me this gently and thoroughly. He is long-suffering, waiting patiently, in no rush for my sanctification to happen, only wants it fully and deeply real. He waits. He is self-controlled. He is the ultimate of self-controlled.
I am not.
I say this to you a few months ago, confession beginning, but not finishing the work. I talk about it in vague spiritual terms, Christ compels us, we do not control or preserve ourselves, He is ultimate, we are only fruit-bearers when we abide in the Spirit.
But the truth is that I am so self-controlled that I will not unclasp my fingers from around the things that comfort me, convict me, console me. I am actually very controlled by self.
I pride myself on things, habits, concerns, activism, foods, musics, friends, etc. I have in my head that if I A, B, or C, then 1, 2, or 3 will happen. Disappointment in myself and God ensues when they do not happen.
They are not even wrong things, they are things like organic food, Starbucks coffee, buying used clothing, being politically informed, washing my hair once every three days. People, these are not dealbreakers! These are not things that will catapult my life into grandness or wreck it into smithereens. These are the everyday, normal, typical decisions every person must make.
The Book of Colossians is the comfort to my soul these past few weeks. They were people like me. I read it in the morning on my phone, while I wait for the shower. I read it as I am closing my eyes before sleep. I read it over lunch and sometimes during my day at work. I mull and let it sink in deeply.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy or empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:8-10
I am so captivated by philosophy and empty deceit, human traditions, elemental spirits of the world. I am so enthralled with information and how-tos, biography and testimony. I want to know things and I want to know how they will work themselves out in my life. I want to know about the intricacies of human and plant anatomy, the benefits of animal husbandry, the holocaust of child slavery, the roadmap to spirituality. I want a plan and a direction. I want to hold the fruit of my labor in my hands.
But Paul says that only in Christ dwells the whole fullness of deity.
The whole fullness.
All of it.
Only He can know all, be all, say all, do all. To try is to already fail.
I am humbled tonight, sitting in the corner of my bedroom typing. I am humbled because I want to let go of control, not so that I can accomplish something by doing so, but so that there will be more space for His Spirit to fill.