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— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using— according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 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.
Colossians 2:20-23 NKJV
Sometimes when I read a passage it pricks my heart but I don’t fully ‘get it’. It’s almost like God is saying “this is for you, read it again“; so I read, meditate and let God’s Word sink into my heart. Sometimes, I believe that the Water of the Word takes some time to reach our soil [see my post “Fields of the Heart”]. This is one of those scriptures for me.
To understand this verse in a new way, I had to start at the end. What are we trying to accomplish here? We are battling against the flesh, specifically how we indulge or feed our flesh over the rest of our life. We all have those things we battle, sometimes we hide them so no one sees us. It’s okay, we all have struggles; but let’s go deeper so you have tools to help you fight them.
In order to battle these sins, issues, struggles or strongholds many people create rules [these are the regulations in the verse]. Don’t do this don’t eat that, don’t touch this etc… We all put laws in our life; it’s part of our culture; it’s how we’re trained to think. However, the Word doesn’t say for us to impose those laws. In fact, we aren’t under Law anymore, we are under Grace! We have a new covenant that is established on better promises.
So if we creating laws doesn’t help us battle our flesh, then what does?
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV
Shift your focus. That’s how you battle your flesh and your secret sins. Change your perspective.
Stop thinking about those laws and the rules you imposed on your life that seem to be smart, and simply start focusing on the things that are with Christ. What are they? Spiritual things; Praying, worshipping, reading your Word, speaking blessings over your life; think about your call and purpose; Fellowship with other Christians. Be apart of a Bible Study.
When you shift the focus of your thoughts and life away from the laws of “I can’t” to the spiritual things that are with Jesus, then you will begin to win those battles against your flesh.