The past two days I’ve led you through my confession about walking the path of the flesh and what the consequences of that path have been. You really should read those posts before this one if you haven’t already. Today I’m going to switch gears and write about the work of God’s Spirit in this madness.

Awhile back I mentioned God has been speaking to me through the book of Colossians, in particular chapter three. Colossians basically deals with two subjects: The victory of Christ, and how life-change flows from that. The Gnostic heresy Paul was trying to correct taught that you can change yourself, your heart, your life, by disciplining yourself into it. Practice makes perfect. Live by a set of carefully orchestrated rules, and beat yourself into submission. Sound familiar? Our churches are full of versions of this Gnostic program. But if all Christianity offers is an inspirational way to try harder, count me out.

The Way of the Spirit is so different, it’s almost alien to us. Where do we start?

1. Set your heart and mind on heavenly (kingdom) realities, in particular the exaltation and supremacy of Jesus Christ. Why? Because if you’re a believer, you died with him and were raised along with him, so “Your life is hidden with in Christ in God.” (3:1-3). You want your true self, your real life? It’s hidden in Jesus, mixed up in him so thoroughly that you’ll only find yourself by exploring and enjoying him. Period.

2. Here’s the exciting part: “When Christ is revealed, you too will be revealed with him in glory.” And guess what? What word “when” literally means “whenever.” Whenever Christ is revealed, you will be too (because your life his hidden in him, remember?) So this isn’t about finally finding life and your true self when you die; it’s saying that as Christ becomes more real to you, you become more real to yourself! Wow.

Where did the real Brad go when I chose the path of the Spirit? Why did I feel so numb? I gave up searching for myself by exploring Christ. I shut the real me out and chose the false self, which should feel numb and hollow. Honestly, what did I expect?

Tomorrow? Cooperating with God’s work in your heart.