Checking It With God
“Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head” (Colossians 2:18-19).
Have you ever heard of someone described as a very spiritual person? Such a description, in our modern society, would seem to describe someone who denies themselves worldly pleasures, or is philosophical about life, or seems to have an unusual wisdom. But what does it mean to really be a spiritual person?
The Apostle Paul describes a so called spiritual person in today’s passage. He describes such a person as an ascetic, worshipping angels (or spirits), who claim to have visions of spiritual things or heaven, and taken away by their own mind. These are all negative descriptions. But, then Paul gives one description of a truly spiritual person. He uses the phrase, “Holding fast to the head.” What or who is the head? It is none other than Jesus Christ. “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
How do we hold fast to the head? Jesus himself explained how to do this in John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Also, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31).
Becoming a truly spiritual person is nothing more or less than obeying the voice of Jesus. And since Jesus has spoken to us in scripture, obeying scripture is to obey Jesus.
Be wary of those who claim a special knowledge or high knowledge about God and Christ. Be careful not to give too much attention to so called spiritual truths that you can’t find in scripture. Whatever you hear or are told, be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who checked everything Paul said against scripture.
“Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Have you heard from people who claim to have a special knowledge of God? What should you do to put their claims to the test? Have you found yourself relying on so called spiritual truth that comes from dreams or visions? How should you test these?