Colossians 2:20-23 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.
About seven years ago, as I was reading my bible, the words ‘will worship’ popped out at me. I asked my husband about it and he said he didn’t know. I forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago. Ron and I were talking about laws, rules, and the need to be in control. The light bulb went off and I said, “That’s it! That is will worship.”
We want rules so we can be in control. We want laws, look in Exodus, so we can choose which ones we want to follow, or not. The Israelites wanted laws. What a mess! If you read from chapter 20 to chapter 32, you’ll see there are rules and laws about everything. Moses had gone back up the mountain to get a hard copy of the laws they all wanted. He was gone 40 days and nights and the Israelites got tired of waiting so they made a golden calf to lead them. The Lord sent Moses down and Moses asked Aaron, “What happened?!” Aaron said, “We threw the gold earrings into the fire—and out came this calf!”
Good grief! The Israelites, and us, say to effect, “I will do it my way and in my strength.” It’s all about will power, right? Isn’t that why we set up New Years resolutions? We set ourselves up for failure every year.
I chose the picture of feet in chains, because anything apart from Him, Jesus, hinders us from walking in the freedom He gives us.
When I researched for this post, I found a great article titled ‘Paul’s Condemnation of Will Worship’ by Wayne Jackson. There are several commentaries and this is worth looking up. The one statement that stuck out to me was, “Will worship is self-chosen worship.” by Vincent in 1972. The website is: Christiancourier.com.
Paul wrote a letter to the Colossians because he heard that strange theories were creeping into the church, to include a mixture of astrology, magic and Judaism, which downgraded Christ to being some sort of angel.
It seems to be what we do. It’s like we add so many things to take our eyes off Christ and the simplicity of living as a new creation in Him. That would actually mean we have to surrender completely to Him and take our control mitts off things. That’s scary to many.
Jesus dealt with those who wanted control.
Matthew 15:1-9 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to interview Jesus. “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions?” they demanded. “They ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say, ‘You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.’ And so by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.’
Isaiah 29:13 And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. And their worship of me amounts to nothing more than humans laws learned by rote.”
We can get off course so easily when we take our eyes off Jesus and try to control everything and everyone around us. Look at the following examples.
Colossians 2:16-18 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new-moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ himself. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial. And don’t let anyone say you must worship angels, even though they say they have had visions about this. These people claim to be so humble, but their sinful minds have made them proud.
1 Timothy 4:3-5 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanksgiving by people who know and believe the truth. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it. We may receive it gladly, with thankful hearts. For we know it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
Titus 1:14 They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned their backs on the truth.
Jesus is Truth and He is Love. When you meet Him, it’s like this:
John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Hebrews 10:15-16 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. First he says, “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts so they will understand them, and I will write them on their minds so they will obey them.”
If we’re truly one with Him, then we will walk in love and won’t want to steal, kill, control others, etc. Trying to be a better us, or trying to control everyone and everything around us will get you nothing but confusion and bondage.
About 26 years ago, the Lord promised me that He would give me a daughter if I quit smoking. My will power got me nowhere but frustrated and disgusted. I tried everything, but could not quit those cigarettes. Pretty soon, I was walking with a 500 pound cigarette on my back! Haha! I finally realized I was beating myself up and trying to do it in my own power. I put the stick down and said, “Lord, I can’t do it. Would You please help me and bring me to a place that when I wake up, it will be as if I never smoked?” That night, I had a God dream. I call it that because it was for real. I was on Gabriel’s back, I just knew it was him somehow, and he was flying me around and telling me that when I woke up, I would be totally free from cigarettes. I saw myself sleeping in my bed. The next morning, I got up, and you know, it was like I had never smoked! I haven’t had a craving since and my daughter, thank You, my Jesus, is 23 years old!
2 Corinthians 3:3-6 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ prepared by us. It is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on stone, but on human hearts. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God. He is the one who has enabled us to represent his new covenant. This is a covenant, not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old way ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives life.
Jesus said, “Father, not My will, but Yours be done.” This is ultimate surrender because Abba gave us a free will. Jesus shows us this powerful and complete act of worship, though one with the Father. May this be our act of worship…total and complete trust in Him. Not my will, Abba, but Yours. Amen and so be it.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But this precious treasure-this light and power that now shine within us is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.
Don’t let others pull your eyes from Him, and don’t let yourself pull your eyes from Him. Let it all go and trust Him completely.