Photo credit to Angella Laderas
“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 2:9,10
Well, Lord, this is where I left off yesterday. But I can’t help thinking about it more. Because this is the treasure right here. I mean, if I really get this so that I let this be fully true and evidenced in my life, everything about me ought to scream out, “This is His child! Look here. See this one? I know who this child belongs to. They’re a spitting image of Jesus!”
Listen to that first truth that Paul is trying to get us to grasp not just with our minds but with our whole being. “For in Him,” that in Jesus, in You, Lord, “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him.” Think about that. In You, Lord, in You, Jesus, the fullness, the entirety, the complete essence and being of God the Father, God the Spirit, and God the Son dwells, lives, exists, resides, cohabitates! You, Lord, are “I AM.” “I AM” resided and resides in You. But the truth doesn’t stop there. No, the mind-blowing truth is that “I AM” fills me or maybe more specifically, I am filled with Him as I reside in Him.
This little word “in” implies a lot. It’s a positional preposition. It’s all about the positition. My postition in You, Lord, makes all the difference. I could walk around my whole life being so happy that You are in me and never, ever walk in You. I have to think about that. There are a lot of people out there who have said a prayer after someone or asked You to be in their hearts. And they’re walking around confident that they know You. They’re following Your rules and regulations pretty closely and doing good things. But You tell us that’s not enough. You are saying that we are only complete IN YOU. Paul isn’t saying that when Jesus is in me I’ll be complete. Only when I am in Jesus am I complete. I suppose, Lord, that’s the same thing You were saying before him when You warned, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare unto them, ‘ I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.'”
Am I in You, Jesus? Or am I just walking around with You “in” me? I suppose the danger of just walking around with You in me is that I can still control You, so to speak, because I’m really still controlling what I do or don’t do. I just take You there with me. But if I’m in You, I can’t do that. That means that I am truly following Your leading. Because if I’m in You, I have to go where You go and do what You do. I mean, if You’re in me it’s like I’m the boat. I do the steering and the floating and all that. But if I’m in You, then You are the boat, like Noah being in the ark. He couldn’t even shut the door. You had to shut Him in. You kept the boat afloat. You guided where it floated and where it landed. Noah just let You be in control and obeyed.
So, I get the importance of You not just being in me, but me needing to be in You. And only when I am in You am I filled in You. That word filled is beautiful. Well, it’s beautiful not necessarily in the Greek alone, but when we think back to the Hebrew equivalent that Paul surely had in mind. The Greek word is “pleroo” and it means “to fill”, but the Hebrew equivalent is “male” which means “to be completely satisfied, filled to the brim.” Jesus in me doesn’t fill me because I can still be full of myself. But me in Jesus fills me to overflowing, completely, to the brim with You, Lord, because it’s no longer about me any more but all about You.
This is the word that Isaiah used to tell about his vision of the Lord where he saw Him “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple.” In Jeremiah 23:24 You, Lord, declare, “Do I not fill the heaven and earth?” And I have to ask myself, when You fill something, is there any space therefore that is not filled by You? What space in the temple was not filled by Your robe? What space in heaven and earth is not filled by You? Think of what that means. Think of what that implies. Can I say that’s true of my own life? It can be true of my own life, if I live in You.
As I read ahead of verse 9, I see that Paul has prayed for his brothers and sisters in You to be “completely satisfied to overflowing with the knowledge of God’s will.” (Skip Moen) But when he talks about this knowledge, he’s not talking about a head knowledge. Read Colossians for yourself. He’s talking about a real life personal knowledge of You, Lord, having Your way in our life. It’s not about an effect on my life or yours either. It’s completed, filled to overflowing by the Godhead who lives in us and has become our head.
This is the difference between Christ in me and me in Christ. When I have come to the point of placing myself in Christ, where You are inviting me, then I place myself in Him, “who is the head of all rule and authority.” What does that mean? “Oh, I get it, Jesus becomes my Boss, my head, right?” Well, He ought to be but that’s not really what that word “head” means. Listen to this quote about what Gilbert Bilezikian argues in Beyond Sex Roles, “he makes the compelling argument from both Scripture and extra-biblical sources that the Greek word kephale is never used in the sense of designated authority. It is always understood as source, the origin of something as in the ‘head’ of a river.” Now stop to think about that a minute. Really.
On that thought, let’s jump to 1 Corinthians 11:3 for a moment. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is man; and the head of Christ is God.” Why is that important? Listen to this flow. “But I would have you know, that the of every man is Christ…” Is that not the truth? Is it not true that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things?” (Romans 11:36) Isn’t it true that all things were made through Him? (John 1:3) Funny thing is that the word for “through” is “dis” in Greek. And it means “a channel.” A river forms a channel, doesn’t it?
See, this is important because there’s a big difference between following a boss or a leader and being led by the movement and strength of a river you are caught up in. And that takes me back to Romans 11:6. See, Lord, You have to be my origin. I have to be of You, from You, out of You. I can’t just live the life You call me to by walking alongside You. I need the power of Your river compelling me along, pushing against me when I try to swim the wrong way, or lifting me above the rocks in my path. I have to be in the midst of Your channel, You doing through me because I’m in You. And everything has to have it’s purpose to You. I’m not just flowing blindly doing good things. I am flowing closer to You, closer into Your presence and Your will being done in me and on earth and in heaven. But I can only experience this, I can only experience You, if I am in You, the fullness of God Himself.
Forget superficiality. Forget what other people will think. Do I want You most? Do I love You most? Then I need to make my whole life and mind agree with that. You abhor fence sitters. They make You vomit. And I suppose I ought to feel that strongly about my own life considering the magnitude of all You did for me and do for me. It would be disgustingly ungrateful of me to ignore the immensity of Your love and sacrifice and sit on the fence and be comfortable. “O taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8) Did you catch that? The blessed person is the one who takes refuge IN You. I don’t want to just take refuge up to my ankles or up to my knees or up to my waste. I want to dive in and want to live like a mermaid in the blessing of Your refuge, swimming in Your river of life that is You continually that is the fullness of God. There’s an action I must take. I can’t say how I want to be in the shade and wait for the tree to come to me. If I want You, I have to go to You. If I want You fully, I have to place myself fully in You. Lord, I need to be in You that desperately. I’m diving in all the way and I’m not coming out of the water!