Don’t Touch That!
In Colossians 2 Paul is exalting Jesus over man made rules of religion. Every false religion focuses on rules and behavior. Even Christianity has been infected by this disease which sucks the heart out of the vitality of faith. Near the end of the chapter Paul writes this: 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. I am particularly interested in verse 23 and the phrase “no value against the indulgence of the flesh”. Rules and regulations have the appearance of wisdom but they don’t really work. Remember that Jesus said if you look at a woman and lust after her you have already committed adultery in your heart…without actually “doing anything”.
God is not only interested in the actions that we do but the attitudes that we have. Genuine Christianity is a “from the inside out” kind of religion with the indwelling Holy Spirit of God producing the changes in us and restraining the desires of the flesh. If you are constantly focusing on life from the outside in, it’s not going to work. Allow the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out. Sure, you will still have some rules and regulations in your life which can help you to avoid certain temptations, but you will be governed primarily by the Spirit, not by the rules.