The Path to Second
The Path of Subtraction – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:16-23
Key Verse: Colossians 2:20-21
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?
Down through the ages people have found it comforting to deny themselves of things in order to please God. This is the path of subtraction: eliminate things from your life and God will accept you. What this boils down to is we feel more worthy when we give things up for Him. Though the flesh leans in this direction, we must fight it. We cannot earn God’s favor by subtracting things from our lives.
The Apostle Paul asked the Colossian Christ followers why they were submitting to this path of subtraction. He quoted the overall principles of this path: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch! Paul goes on to remind us that these rules will perish because they are based on human commands and teaching. The apostle explains why these “rules” are so popular with so many: “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, with their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body…” (vs. 23).
Are you trying to please God via the path of subtraction? When you sacrifice for God, it does feel good to your flesh in relation to your walk with God. However, our acts of sacrifice must be carefully examined to make sure the motives are not to earn God’s favor. We are saved by grace and must live in grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God!
Father, I praise you for accepting me as I am. I know you love me to the full extent possible and I cannot earn more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.