In my Bible reading this morning, I came across this passage from Paul's letter to the Colossians. I've been reading the book of Colossians every day, becoming increasingly familiar with Paul's wise words to the believers at Colossae and prayerfully heeding his words of warning. God must have known that the dangers they faced would be common to all believers, so He caused these words to be written by Paul instead of spoken in person, so we would still have them. I'm not glad for Paul's imprisonment, but I love how God sovereignly used it to transport His Word through Paul to us today.
What caught my attention this morning were the words, "...grows with a growth which is from God." That statement implies that there can be growth which is not from God. Not all things which aren't from God will wither and die right away. There can be a period of growth and fruit (albeit, bad fruit). The tares grow alongside the wheat. So how do I tell if the growth I'm experiencing is "from God?"
First, I must check to see that the teaching I am receiving is "holding fast to the head." The Head is Jesus Christ. I may have measureable growth in certain areas, but if what is feeding or teaching me does not acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ, it is not "growth which is from God." I don't want that kind of growth. That kind of growth, like a cancerous tumor, will grow and grow until it robs my mind and spirit of the healthy "nutrients" it needs. It's bondage.
I love this post of Terri's the other day, dealing with the book "The Secret" and other books like it. I encourage you to read it. (The post, not the book!) So many earthly teachers today, inflated without cause by their fleshly minds, are defrauding believers of their prize, their spiritual blessings in this life and in the life to come, by teaching what does not acknowledge Jesus Christ. I am burdened by what I see, and I know many of you are as well. Self abasement (false humility) angel worship, and grand visions characterized the false teachers in Colossae, and we do see those qualities present in the false teachings we see in mainstream media today. But I think they represent the types of teachers Paul is warning us about those who teach any persuasive, empty doctrine. If believers accept these teachings and put them into practice, they won't lose their salvation but they will be robbed of present and future spiritual blessings.
Just because it's growth doesn't mean it's from God. "Measurable" does not equal "meaningful." I want my growth to be real. I want it to be of God. I want my fruit to last. And I know you do, too. I pray that all of us would test our teachers and the teaching we're receiving to see if it is supported by the Head, Jesus Christ, Who holds all things together and (praise God!) holds us in the mighty grip of His grace.