Our Worship is Our Walk of Obedience, with Thanksgiving
Part 6 of 6 –
Colossians 2:6-8 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so WALK YE IN HIM: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with THANKSGIVING. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
At one time “obedience” to the Lord was a word that was unsettling to me. As I’ve grown in life and understanding, I find it is the only way to live. Our obedience to the Lord within is our “walk in him.” Believers are to conduct their daily walk in accord with the life of the indwelling Christ as He leads them individually from within. It’s the way of victorious living. Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
“In Him” (v7) means we live in union with Him, as our soul and activity is conducted in accord with our sense of Him within our Spirit. Paul says all believers are the “children of God” (Rom 8:16), but in Romans 8:14 he says only those who are willing to be “led by the Spirit of God” are the grown children, the “sons of God.” Surely then our walk through our daily life on earth is to be “rooted and built up in Him (v6).
This way of walking reflects the believer’s dependence upon the indwelling Lord as the “governor” (Isa 9:6) or Lord of their life as He restrains or permits them. Believers need to know that the Lord’s love and life within are fixed and secure. Then believers may be sure of their inner spirit-sense His inner restraining, and absent any sense of restraining of the Lord, they are free to simply live, move, and have their being in confidence of the Lord.
Let’s now consider Paul’s use of the word “thanksgiving” in verse 7. While Paul does not use the word “worship,” except quite sparingly as we have already studied, he does repeatedly use these words; “thanks,” "thanks be unto God,” “giving thanks.” Thanksgiving is mentioned over thirty times in Paul’s thirteen epistles to the members of “the body of Christ.”
Cornelius Stam wrote the following concerning “Thanksgiving,” consistently quoting Paul.
“God’s verdict upon the pagan world is that “they are without excuse, because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful...” (
The Psalmist, on the other hand, declares:
“IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH: TO SHOW FORTH THY LOVINGKINDNESS IN THE MORNING. AND THY FAITHFULNESS EVERY NIGHT” (Psa. 92:1, 2).
Believers today have even more to be thankful for than did the Psalmist, for we can rejoice in what God has done for us through Christ and His redeeming work. Thus Paul, by divine inspiration, speaks of...
“GIVING THANKS UNTO THE FATHER, WHO HATH MADE US MEET [FIT] TO BE PARTAKERS OF THE INHERITANCE OF THE SAINTS IN LIGHT: WHO HATH DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, AND HATH TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON” (Col. 1:12, 13).
It is because of this “deliverance” that the humblest believer can cry with Paul: “Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ!” (2 Cor. 2:14) and “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor. 15:57). How appropriate, then, are the following exhortations:
“In everything GIVE THANKS” (1 Thes. 5:18) and “By [Christ], therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise... GIVING THANKS to His name” (Heb. 13:15).
“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the THANKSGIVING of many redound to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:15).
Most of all, “THANKS BE UNTO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT,” our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! (2 Cor. 9:15).
(While Paul is specific about his “thanksgiving”) “Many people entertain only vague notions about “thanksgiving,” just as they do about “faith.” They confuse optimism, will power, presumption, imagination, and all sorts of other things with “faith”; e.g., a doctor may tell his patient “If it weren’t for your faith you never would have come through his illness.” Somehow, the patient was “just sure” he or she would recover. This is not faith. A smiling mother encourages her married daughter to “Have faith, everything will turn out all right.” Is that the faith the Bible speaks of? No.
Actually, “faith in God” is to believe God; believing what He has said. Thus, true faith is based on the written Word of God. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
In the same way, many have vague ideas about “thanksgiving.” A man escapes some great harm and thanks his “lucky stars.” Another says: “I’m grateful for a healthy body,” but to whom is he grateful? He doesn’t say. In many cases it doesn’t even occur to him to ask or consider that question. He’s “just thankful.” This is not the genuine thankfulness we read of in Paul’s epistles.
If we open our Bibles, especially to the epistles of Paul, the chief of sinners, saved by grace, we see him “giving thanks” for specific blessings, and to the specific Person of God.
“GIVING THANKS unto the Father, who hath made us meet [fit] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:12,13).
“THANKS BE UNTO GOD for His unspeakable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
“THANKS BE UNTO GOD, who giveth us the victory!” (I Cor. 15:57).
“THANKS BE UNTO GOD, who always causeth us to triumph!” (2 Cor. 2:14).
All believers may be especially thankful for “the gift of God (which) is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).” How may we express our “thanksgiving” to the Lord for so great a gift as our salvation?"
“Thanksgiving” is our proper soul mind-set or attitude toward our Lord, whether spoken or unspoken. To be “thankful” means you’ve been humbled; you’ve accepted the place of being nothing but a “recipient” of God’s love, life, favor, and blessing – God is the giver and we are recipients of Him. In clarifying the work a believer does unto the Lord, I recall that Norman Grubb has said we should have no activity until we have first have had receptivity.
God completed our creation (Col 2:9-10) by giving us the Spirit of the life of His Son (Rom 8:9-10) to be in our spirit at our core (Dan 7:15)). Our spirit-union (1Cor 6:17) with Christ, and our following Christ’s indwelling life and guidance is what God had eternally planned and intended for us. Our co-operation with Him in us is the most worshipful attitude for us to maintain. All that we “do” unto the Lord must be rooted in Him as He leads, permits, and restrains us. Humility is expressed by our receptivity and our daily dependence upon Christ as our indwelling life-source and guide. This then is our proper worshipful relationship with the Lord.
Paul says “Let this mind (phroneo, attitude of mind or mindset) be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” (Philip 2:5). “Thanksgiving” is to be our new attitude or mindset as it was Jesus’ attitude. John 11:41b … And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. Paul tells us that our attitude of mind should be that of Jesus, which also was “the Son can do nothing of Himself” (John 5:19). Jesus experienced “kenosis,” as He emptied Himself of His divinity. Philippians 2:7 (AMP) But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. Thus, He then humbled Himself and trusted the Father unto death (Philip 2:8).
For us to realize that we need to trust and follow the Lord in all things in our life is a humbled attitude. We can be thankful that our Father has given us the resurrected life of His dear crucified Son to dwell within us as our overcoming life.
Now Christ, as the peace of God, is the indwelling umpire in our hearts. Colossians 3:15 (AMP) And LET THE PEACE (soul harmony which comes) FROM CHRIST RULE (act as umpire continually) IN YOUR HEARTS [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And BE THANKFUL (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. We are worshipping Him when we depend upon His indwelling life, as we follow Him guiding us from within.
Our greatest worship is a thankful heart while we simply live by trusting God our Father and yielding to the indwelling Christ whom He has given to indwell us as our very life (Col 3:4a, Gal 2:20). I believe; to receive Christ’s life and take Him as the Lord of our living, as He was given by the Father and meant to be, is the greatest worship of all.<END>