Scripture: Colossians 2:6-23

Paul has spoken vision over your life, and he has spelled out the life-changing reality of who Christ is, thus preparing you to recognize some of the traps in your culture. It’s like he is sending you into the world armed with the truth that “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him” (Col. 2:15).

The “elemental spirits” in this passage are, in fact, spirits—not just principles. How does this work? Paul outlines this in Ephesians 4:26-27: “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil a place.” The Greek says “place.” So imagine how many places the devil can connect with humans when they move in pride, unforgiveness, lust, lies, etc.

No matter what sub-culture you come from, there are “traditions” that govern what is expected of you: values, behaviors, beliefs, attitudes. Behind many of these philosophies or traditions is a spirit world that Paul says is “according to the elemental spirits.” Satan is a liar, a deceiver, and here Paul simply calls him out and declares that He disarmed these spirits.

The call is to discern how God’s ways differ from what is popularly advertised and celebrated. When you begin to follow Christ some deceptions become immediately obvious, such as pornography. It’s flagged, but the subtle, often unspoken “rules” of our culture must be exposed by the Holy Spirit’s “Aha.” Pride, for example, has a thousand changes of clothes.

Jesus, our Head, is sending us into the world as “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37).

Thought Questions:

  1. What were some of the “rules” you grew up with that differ from the ways of freedom in Christ? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. Do you have a prayer partner with whom to share these things? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. One of the main ways we stay alert spiritually is by investing in prayer. How is this working for you? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Prayer Time:

  • Spend some moments thanking God for His Son.

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the traps set for you.

  • Pray for your church to be powerfully used by God to set others free.

  • Just sit quietly and let God minister to you.