‘Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God,’ John 17:3a
When everything goes awry, then we long for a solution that God must surely give. We put ourselves on high alert and become more vigilant. But when everything is going well and we feel God is with us, then our alertness diminishes rapidly. Therefore, when Paul saw how disciplined the people in Colossae were and how firm their faith in Christ was, he deemed it necessary to warn them against the misleading spirits. For, especially when God blesses us, human pride lies in wait to lead us astray from our sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).
And instead of devoting ourselves to Christ, we then seek to find favor in the eyes of others. We start having deep respect for human philosophy, but Paul calls this philosophy hollow and deceptive, because it depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world, rather than on Christ. The apostle James even calls this wisdom - that does not come down from heaven - earthly, unspiritual, demonic (James 3:15). Why would we allow ourselves to be taken captive by this, whereas, when we hold onto Jesus - Who is the Head of every power and authority - we share in His fullness?
In practice, it boils down to the very realistic choice: whether to build upon Christ or on human insights. Anyone who has received Jesus Christ, has come to understand that human wisdom is foolishness in God’s sight. Whoever still relies on his own abilities, cannot receive Jesus as Lord. Let us - who have put our trust in Christ Jesus - be on our guard to never again allow ourselves to be misled or taken captive by anything of this world, but let us be led by what He tells us, continuously.