False Postures


Building on what we have just seen in Colossians 1:15-20, I want to challenge each of us over the next few devotions in a very practical way about postures that even we as believers can assume in regards to how we approach and relate to God, postures that fall short of Christ and His being first place in everything, unrivaled, what everything is ultimately about. Postures that dethrone God and replace Him with other things as being central. These can be subtle, can enter our lives gradually, and thus very dangerous.

On the front end, ask yourself these questions: Would you say that you currently enjoy personal communion with God? Do you enjoy being loved by and living with the God of this Bible? Do you enjoy communion with God, or might you be relating to God in way that is seeking to control Him, rather than enjoy Him? Does Christ have rivals in your life?

All of us can fall prey to these subtle rivals and false postures of how we relate to God. Why are they so tempting? Because they falsely offer the illusion of control.  What we truly seek thru these rivals is control. This was the issue when Colossians was written, and it is an issue for us today in these crazy times – feeling less out of control, complete. Alleviating anxiety felt by not being in control of our world. We fall into the trap of relating to God in some way in order to get something from Him, versus getting Him and enjoying the relationship. Christ no longer is supreme. That really is the underlying motivation behind these false postures of relating to God. CONTROL. SECURITY.

That is exactly what many of the false teachers Paul faced were offering the believers, control and security in this uncertain universe thru things they could do themselves, control thru works such as visions, eating or not eating certain food or drink, achieving spiritual fullness apart from the work of Christ. And in doing so they were attacking the sufficiency of Christ to offer what He promises. Simply appease the gods in order to gain some form of control over your world. Manipulate the gods in order to gain some degree of protection from bad things happening. Appeal to the gods to find security and not a relationship with the god. And in doing this, Christians bring into question before watching world the sufficiency of Christ.

That is the ultimate danger. Christ alone offers sufficiency not only for our initial salvation, but for our growth and ultimately from the judgment of God for our sin. To hope in something else is to sever yourself form Christ’s power and the relationship He offers – the source of true spiritual power.

The first false posture we will consider is this:

A "Life FROM God" Posture of Relating to God. The person who has assumed the posture of life from God is that person who has begun relating to God in a way that is more concerned with the blessings of God than the person of God. Thus, Christ is not above all else. He has rivals.


In this case, God’s blessings become the rival. This is a trap we can all fall into, either from the start or over time. A gospel that starts with something like “Do you want to go to Heaven?” can be dangerous depending on where you go from there. This alone can set someone off down a wrong road to how they relate to God. WHY? Because the gospel you have presented to someone could be divorced from any notion of treasuring God. It is just so you don’t go to hell. And once you have that ticket out of hell, who needs a relationship with God?

So, people express faith in Christ simply so they go to heaven or not go to hell, rather than the need to be reconciled with God, forgiveness of sin, gain communion with God, avoid God’s wrath, etc. And what this type of presentation misses out on is the fact that God is the treasure of having your sin forgiven, not getting to heaven. We are in need of being reconciled to God and as such we go to heaven. But God is the treasure. Heaven is heaven because God is there. God is the prize and the treasure.

In this trap and false posture we begin to or are essentially  using God to get what we want. And the relationship becomes about CONTROL versus FAITH. Life FROM God. God simply becomes a means to get what we want, rather than God being the treasure. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven as much as it is a way to get people reconciled to God. If it is not God Himself that is the goal and treasure of our gospel, then you have not believed a real gospel.

What this misses is the relationship, and so many people miss the relationship with God. They have sought to be in heaven without a relationship with the one who makes heaven what it is and desirable. Again, why is this so tempting? Because it makes us the center of everything and not God. We get what we want and then move on. This is the essence of life FROM God. We don’t really want God, just His blessings. We want to control God versus trusting Him.

In this wrong posture of relating to God, we begin to believe that God exists to simply help us thru our problems and achieve what we desire in life. Sort of a divine butler and therapist all in one. We go to the Word for answers rather than for spending time with a person. Our happiness becomes paramount to God’s glory. Getting our questions answered becomes a priority over learning obedience and having our character transformed by the character of God. Christianity and our times with God become more about getting than being.

Couple of reasons why this posture is so tempting, but also so devastating to us as believers:

The life from God posture is so appealing and tempting because it does not ask or demand anything from us. God becomes sort of a holy vending machine as He is approached to get what we desire or need versus the relational aspect of knowing and trusting God. God demands very little of us because He is so like us, or so we think. We become the center of everything. Our needs become the deciding factor for everything. Even God’s value to us becomes determined by His usefulness to us. Again, getting into heaven versus getting into a relationship with God.

The problem is this, and even relating to our study of lament, the life from God posture sees no possibility for redemption in the trials, no purpose, nothing good from struggle and sorrow. Think about this: In our struggles and crazy times such as these, do we approach God from the standpoint of just getting thru something, of making us more comfortable in something, or for safety, or do we approach God to help us experience the joys and sorrows and victories and defeats from a greater perspective, trying to grasp and embrace how God sees what He is doing with and in us thru the trials? Do we have a “just get us out of this” mentality or a “do something thru and in me in this” mentality?

That is the fallacy and issue with the life from God posture. True Christianity is placing our hope in Christ and not the gifts. Don’t use God to get what you want or need and miss God Himself. He is not a family therapist, financial planner, or political advisor. What we need most is Him. Knowing Him speaks to and guides all of these other issues. Our lack of knowing Him is why we struggle in all of these other issues a lot of the times.

When we fixate on what we can attain from God, we fail to experience the blessing of His presence in our lives and the relationship with God. Christ and God are the prize. We as God’s people must focus less energy and time on His blessings and more of the same upon knowing Him, building a genuine relationship with Him. This is what is missing. Eternal life is about knowing experientially and intimately the Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent, see John 17:3. Don’t miss this. Don’t exchange this for lesser things and contradict the gospel before a watching world.

Maybe as you read this you sense that you have related to God lately as sort of a divine vending machine. Maybe your relationship with God and your prayers have been more about getting stiff than getting Him. Maybe you have subtly made God out to be and look and think a lot like you. Maybe you have loved the gifts more than the giver of the gifts. Maybe you have believed a false gospel?

These can show up in our lives in so many subtle and not so subtle ways. Ask God to point these out in our lives. And when He does, repent. Return home. Run from your sin to God. Make the relationship about knowing God and not the gifts. Know that no matter how you have seen God lately believer, when God looks at us, He sees His child, created in His image, who is dearly loved. May we relate to Him in this way and enjoy Him and our relationship with Him as it was intended. And if you are not a believer today, I beg you to be reconciled to God thru Christ today.