By Lisa Jackinsky

Learning to live in a foreign country is hard. The ways of thinking are different, the ways of acting are different, the ways of being are different. It takes time and effort to adjust.

After college I spent two years in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer and experienced a completely different way of life: instead of huge superstores, there was a small outdoor market; instead of rock music, there was cumbia; instead of American football, there was soccer; and instead of roast beef, there was guinea pig. 

Learning to live fully in the kingdom of God is like learning to live in a new country. The ways of thinking and acting and being are different. It takes time and effort to adjust. This is the process of transformation, or, as some call it, spiritual formation – an active, relentless participation with God to become more like Christ; to become a new creation. 

In Colossians 1: 13, Paul reminds followers of Christ that, “God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons (and) set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves…” The Common English Bible says He’s “transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.”

When we say “yes” to following Jesus, we’re transferred into the kingdom of God. But the customs are new to us. Just because I move to Ecuador doesn’t mean I suddenly love soccer, or cumbia, or rice with an egg on top for breakfast. It takes time. 

And so, Paul assures these Christians that he and others are praying for them – praying that they’ll fully adopt the customs and attitudes and ways of God’s kingdom.

In Colossians 1: 9 – 12, Paul describes four of those customs, four ways of life of this kingdom. Over the next four posts, we’ll explore each one.

Learn more about Lisa Jackinsky.

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