He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

Somewhere in the world, a Christian t-shirt has this verse written in a bad font alongside a clever sentence that goes something like this:

If life is falling apart, it’s because you’ve put Jesus after all things.

But we can’t move Jesus.

He is before all things. He is holding all things together.

I have no authority or ability to dislodge Jesus from His position or His power.

Oh, I do try. I believe am smarter. I pretend I am wiser. I look at His ways and decide they do not seem good or fair or right to me.

I decide that kneeling at the holy place where He sits does not make me feel active or in control, so I fashion my own tiny throne-chairs and drag them around the back of the room, staggering and stumbling under the belief that I hold all things together.

My marriage, my children, my income, my future, my work. I’ve got these things, God, You can have the rest.

Now, if I could just find a spot to set these thrones down where I can see You best…

No, I can’t move Jesus. But I can move me.

Spiritual life, then, becomes about positioning myself, not my God.

I do not make Him Lord of my life; I do not put Him on the throne. I acknowledge that He is already there and arrange my life accordingly. I move away from my lies — I am in control, I am the authority, I am my god and deserve to do as I please — to kneel before Truth.

This is our greatest and hardest and longest work. The Christian path is one of conforming and transforming into the image of the One who is before all things. It is stepping away from the domain of Satan, who does not stand in the truth, and standing in Him who is the Truth.

It is fight by fight, inch by inch, cell by cell, molecule by molecule, replacing the falsehoods of this world with not just belief in Christ, but with the beliefs of Christ.

I cannot change Truth, it can only change me.

For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth (2 Corinthians 13:8).

And I feel free to the degree in which I believe what Jesus believes.

We shall know the truth, and the truth shall set us free (John 8:32).

The places where things seem to be out of order are the places I do not believe He is before all things.

The places of where things are falling apart are the places am trying to make sense of brokenness without the One who holds all things together.

The places where I do not yet reflect Christ are the parts of me that do not believe God is for me and not against me — that He is good and faithful and true.

The places where I feel fear or disquiet are the places where I duck out from under the cover of His authority, which has been established in truth from ancient days:

A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary
(Jeremiah 17:12).

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

This is my deep breath, my freedom, my rest.

Read the next post in The Colossians Project.


Featured image by Jóannis Sørenson.

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