“Do Not Touch” Really Doesn’t Keep You From Touching
When you see a sign that says, “Wet Paint, Do Not Touch”, do you feel an urge to touch that object anyway? Some would say “no” and others would say “yes”. Avoiding sin is important and warning signs can certainly be helpful; but rules and regulations that we put into place are not the most effective way, and often are not effective at all, in conquering the desires of the flesh. Man made religion, and even those that follow Jesus have struggled with using rules and rituals to help draw close to God and avoid sin. The Colossians were falling into this trap. Here is what Paul writes in verses 20-23: “20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” Paul is warning against the use of rules and regulations as the primary weapon against sin, when the follower of Jesus has already died to this sin in Christ. Ultimately, the things of this world are not effective. They appear to be effective. They have the appearance of wisdom…we think they should work…but they ultimately don’t. Again, I don’t think that Paul is against each of us setting boundaries to help ourselves avoid temptation. That makes sense. But if we rely on those rules, without the power of the Holy Spirit, we will fail. If you are struggling with sin or “indulgence of the flesh”, ask God to help you discern “why” you are struggling and pray for His deliverance. In the Holy Spirit you have all that you need to win the battle. Put His “weaponry” into place.