Which one is your fount of life?
To get the question in its context, let's read a short passage from Colossians. This letter was sent by the apostle Paul to a church where alien doctrines was being introduced, as salvation, spiritual illumination and God's knowledge, without Christ. Most of Colossians emphasize Jesus Christ sufficiency and his uniqueness. These verses shows Him as the giver of eternal life:
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God"
1) We are "raised with Christ" (to a "new life", see Romans 6:4) with Christ, and only with Him
2) We have died (if we are "raised with Him") to our earlier life, that one marked by a heart which is set on earthly things, and led by earhly principles
3) Our new "life", the eternal and spiritual one, is "hidden with Christ in God". It is invisible to the world, but it is the only one which matters before God
Which one is your fount of life?
Is your life hidden in God, or maybe you live with your mind set on earhly things?
Read the following verses:
Daniel 4:14-15 (NIV 17-18)
“The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people"
“This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
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When we compare these verses with the Aramaic of the original, then we see that the New International Version has a very good rendering. Even in his pagan beliefs (talking about "gods") the king Nebuchadnezzar knew in some way that a "holier" god had been manifested in Daniel, because of a superior spirit and wisdom. We see the reason of the punishment which came upon the tree: to make clear God's Lordship all around the world. "Messengers" and "holy ones" means the same (angels) proclaiming that the Most High (or the God of Israel) is sovereign over all kingdoms.
In the first place, let's remember that Nebuchadnezzar didn't know Jesus Christ. He had another "fount of life". When we read a little further, we find him bragging in the verse 30 of building Babylon "by his mighty power" and "for the glory of his majesty". As it have been to Alexander, Julius Caesar, Napoleon or Hitler, the "fount of life" of the king was the power to submit other peoples to the Babylonian Empire.
Your fount of life determines your thoughts. It is there you determine what is good or evil, or what is necessary or useless. There are rather few persons which consider "evil" theirselves; most of them which do evil things believe that their actions are good and correct.
In your fount of life grow also your feelings. That which causes joy, encouragement or pride to some people can be a source of sadness, discouragement of shame to others. Because they have different founts of life. Peter the apostle, who loved Jesus so much, he felt a terrible pain when he heard about the agony and shame that should come upon the Lord during His crucifixtion, being prophesied by the Lord himself. Peter's whole soul refused to believe that his beloved Prophet, Master and Messiah had to go through these things. He rebuked Jesus, and told Him that it would never happen to Him. The Lord rebuked Him severely, because he was going astray from God as the fount of life.
Our visions and plans are born also from our fount of life. There are those things we want to achieve in this life. Our Lord prophesied several times his agony and crucifixion, his death and resurrection, and He confessed that "the hor had come" for him to be killed and resurrected, and even when "his soul was troubled", he would not ask the Father that he would spare him from the cross, because that was the reason He came to this world, "for this very reason I came to this hour" (you can read it in John 12:23-27) That which Peter didn't understand, and which he even regarded as a senseless cruelty, in the infinite knowledge of God and in His plan was the only way to save the sinners.
The "tree" of Nebuchadnezzar is not the only one to be cut down. In Matthew 15 we read about a discussion between the Lord Jesus Christ and the pharisees. These religious persons thought that they were close to God, and that the Almighty was their fount of life. But when we understand their knowledge of God, then we perceive that they were far, far from a real relationship with Him. Their "fount of life" was to strictly follow a set of religious laws, rules and traditions. In this chapter they are accusing the disciples of Our Lord because they ate without washing ther hands. The Lord rebuked them because they taught "human rules" as a divine teaching. They were very offended, because their whole religion was about those rules and traditions that men have to follow in order to please God. The Lord called them "blind leaders who lead the blind" and He prophesied that "every plant that his heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots" (Matthew 15:13)
The severe words fo The Lord to Peter or to the pharisees, and the way God treated with king Nebuchadnezzar and Babel's builders, they are examples which show us that many thoughts, feelings or plans that we regard as the reason of our life, can be a sin before God. Nevertheless, God's judgement about them is not to bring death upon them, but as a warning so that they can repent. The king did it, and Peter should understand and even preach the crucifixion (it is said that he himself died crucified also) From Babel's people descended Abraham, the father of the holy people of God, and some pharisees received Jesus and His teachings.
The reason of cutting down the tree, which means humiliation and confusion of the king, is the same that caused humiliation and confusion to the builders in Genesis 11. They wanted to carry out great things, but without God, and without glorifying Him. God wasn't their fount of life. Nebuchadnezzar was very proud and bragging about all he had done to make Babylonia greater, as a son who believes that his father will love him because of his great achievements. The builders of the tower were trying to avoid "to be scattered", and they wanted to "make a name for themselves", as sons which are trying to evade their father's discipline. The pharisees lived to follow traditions and to teach that this was the true religion, as sons which believed that their father should love them because of their obedience and zeal.
Which one is the fount of your life?
Have you experienced the love of your Father God?
Do you rely in the love of the Father, or are you somehow seeking it?
If you have been trying to win God's favor in some way, let me tell you that this attitude is offensive to Him. It is God who loved us first, it is He who knew we should sin, and who determined before the foundation of the world to send His own Son to die for us on a cross. We love Him because He loved us first. And nobody can "win" the love of God; we just can receive it only.
If you have not yet received Christ as your Lord and Savior, let me tell you that you are missing the "fount of eternal life", the One who proclaimed that "apart from him we can do nothing". It doesn't matter what do we think, or feel, or plan in our hearts; if it is not on the same wavelength with the Word of God, the voice of His heart and His plan to save us, then it is a fount of death, as the tower of Babel, Nebuchadnezzar's bragging or the traditions of the pharisees. No achievement that we perform on this earth without God, no matter what sublime it seems before men, grants you a seat in eternity.
Receive Jesus Christ, and you'll be able to begin a new victorious life under His guidance!
May the Lord bles you!
In the love of Christ, your brother
PS. Jesus comes quickly!