Noticing the unusual display of light and shadow on the wall cast by the sunlight, I turned to look for its source. The leaves of the palm I had moved to that corner seemed to glow as the sunlight spilled over it and through its leaves. That’s when I noticed the dry soil and offered it a drink.
I had been mesmerized by the shadow and missed the source.
As I sat down with Jesus this morning and began to tend into my soul the next passage in my reading, I found it was Colossians 2:16-19. I took the time to ask for His presence and guidance first, as I explain here.
These are a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ, was the reminder in verse 17. The words leapt off the page as I examined the facts that these things mentioned as shadows were rituals that the people had been focused on. Rituals of dos and don’ts, what to eat, what to drink, which festivals to celebrate and what to refrain from.
Seemed to me that they were checkboxes that aren’t too dissimilar to checkboxes I have had.
- Read my Bible, check.
- Pray in the morning, check.
- Work on memorizing that verse, check.
But how often do I focus on the shadow and thereby end up burnt out from it?
The Berean Study Bible translates verse 17 as, These are a shadow of things to come, but the body that casts it belongs to Christ.
The body casting the shadow is Christ’s! So the actions aren’t bad, but the reason for them is not them in themselves or even us, but rather it is Christ, the source of the shadow.
Glancing back to a focus on Christ, the Lover of my soul and His call to sit with me and speak to me through His Word, changes things. The lesson I noticed was highlighted in my soul. Fixing my efforts on the ritualistic shadows would leave me empty; but reorienting towards the body that was casting the shadow would fill and satisfy me afresh.
I began to list rituals that I might be doing with the wrong focus. I then did what He was pressing on me by His Word. I prayed it through with Jesus, repented and felt encouraged to reorient towards the Son once more.
It is a constant reorienting that is demanded of our wayward heart. Daily I need the reminder to TEND the truth into my soul and allow Him to bear much fruit in me.
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