TAKING PLEASURE IN HIS PREEMINENCE
A woman on my Facebook timeline posted a paragraph which included this phrase:
“Just imagine if Christ alone became our pleasure.”
Think on that for more than a moment. What if Christ was not just our duty and not just our gratitude but if He was our highest and paramount pleasure. What if Jesus was not only the force behind our lives, but He was what gave us unquenchable pleasure even in this temporal world. This temporal world is filled with all sorts of pleasures. Self gratification, material things, entertainment, sports, food, clothing, and many other things give people pleasure.
But what if followers of Jesus had more than a doctrinal commitment? What if Jesus became our very life’s pleasure and He was the preeminence in everything we thought and did? And this was not just a duty to orthodoxy, but this was what we craved and what we sought and what we thirsted after.
Col.1: 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
What does the phrase “that in all things He might have the preeminence” mean? I mean we know what it is saying but how does it translate into our hearts and lives? We speak of money and sports and politics and world events and weather and a laundry list of other subjects, but where is Jesus in all of that? If He is to receive the preeminence in all things why is our speech not consumed with Him and His Word? Even the church has transformed itself into a help and good advice station rather than an oasis where Jesus is always high and lifted up.
Can you not see that in general Jesus has been relegated to the doctrinal books and statements of faith, but He has not been the focal point of the church for many decades. The Spirit does not say that Jesus should be preeminent on Sunday morning which in most circles He is not. He says that Jesus should be preeminent in ALL things. That, my friends, is a tall order and monumental in scope. But when we lose sight of it and ignore that exhortation we can settle into a nice and comfortable religious framework which soothes the conscience and strokes the flesh.
The world ministers to the flesh, but the Spirit ministers to our spirit. And instead of Jesus being the beginning and end of all we are and think, we have taken what pleasures us in the temporal and force fed a caricature of Jesus into that equation. It is spiritual treason at its zenith. How can we pretend to submit to the preeminence of Jesus in all things when in reality He does not even have the preeminence in anything?
Now with the concept of preeminence clearly focused in our minds let us move into sacred and spiritually sophisticated territory. It is one thing to completely surrender to His lordship in our lives and live under His authority. But it is quite another to have that lordship as being our unequalled pleasure. Can that be possible? Can we move from dedicated and dutiful servant and while still being that servant having it be spiritually pleasurable in all things? What would the church look like if Christ was our all encompassing pleasure?
But alas, we have settled for a world of lesser gods in which our gods are marionettes which dance to the strings of our desires. It is a world where men worship themselves through other names such as Redeemer, Savior, and Jesus. Far from being a pleasure serving the Risen Christ is such a stranger to the culture and present such a sacrifice that we are forced to manufacture another Jesus who acquiesces to our own thoughts and lusts. And the church believes they are giving Jesus all the preeminence when in fact we are preeminent. And yes, it is we who we serve. The things of this earth give us pleasure and we paste God’s name to it. The only one we fool is ourselves.