Dead-end Alleys, Dark Dungeons, and the Kingdom

Colossians 1:13-14

God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He's set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. - Colossians 1:13-14, The Message


Do you ever wonder about what it takes to change? Not the kind of change that lasts for a few days, but the kind of change that we call transformation. You know what I’m talking about, right? The kind of change where we become someone different than we were before.

Throughout my life I have tried make many changes. All of them were changes that I thought would help me become the best version of myself. Most of them did not stick. Every year I create a list of goals that I want to pursue. Most of them are never accomplished.

Why?

I think a big part of making any kind of change is an influx of energy. This could be physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental energy. When we are making a change in our lives it means that we are going in one direction and we want to go in a different direction. To change direction requires a significant amount of force to stop us, turn us, and get us going again. Over the last couple of years I have made a significant change to the way I eat. The force necessary came from the realization that food is an important tool to my health. My health was in decline and if I made changes to what I ate, I could change my health for the better.

What kind of force is necessary to change the spiritual direction of humanity? What is required to bring about the reconciliation of all things? On a personal level, what kind of force is needed to help us get “rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating”?

It turns out that it is a divine force. We, quite literally, needed divine intervention to change us.

I just love the imagery here of God rescuing us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. We could not save ourselves. There was no way for us to pull up our boot straps so to speak. No, we were stuck in a cycle of sin-sicknesss in dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. At every turn it seems that we would make the wrong turn.

But God.

God, not only saves us from the dead-end alleys and dark dungeons but sets us up in the kingdom of the beloved Son. There is a change that has taken place an infusion of divine energy and force to make us different. We are now free to live as those who live in the kingdom of the beloved Son. In our daily lives we can choose to put others before ourselves, we can choose to practice the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control).

I look so often at myself and see that I too often still live as one trapped in a dead-end alley or a dark dungeon. Why? I think it’s in those moments that I find I’ve come to the place where I think it all depends on me to “live right.” But, it doesn’t. Part of the learning the way of the Master is to learn how to yield and trust the Spirit of Christ in me and my neighbor.

How are you doing? Are you finding yourself experiencing the kingdom or the beloved Son or are you too often living as though you are in a dark dungeon?