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The Headless Horseman

The Headless Horseman

Words of Faith 10-31-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 2

[18] Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.  [19] He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.


       Part of the heresy that crept into the church at Colosse involved ascetic practices, extreme fasting, and self-denial.  These practices involved worship through angels, spirits, and visions as intermediaries.  Extreme fasting was a form of mysticism that produced hallucinations as a result of protein deprivation. 

       Paul was clear that such practices are not just a bad idea; they disqualify one for the prize.  They literally rob or cheat a person from their reward.  When a person gets caught up in self-abasement or false humility and the worship of angels, they lose connection from Christ, the Head of the church.  And Christ is our reward.

        For us today, we would do well to watch out for teachers, preachers, prophets, or movements which display a false humility.  This may take the form of "super spirituality.”  It may involve the talk of visions and angels.  It is humility that draws attention to itself.

        Jesus said that when one fasts, they should wash their face and not let anyone know.  The right hand should not know what the left hand is doing.  This is not the way of the truly humble who seek to follow Christ because He is the reward.

         You see, by its very nature and definition, humility becomes false when we draw attention to it.  The phrase “I am an extremely humble man, perhaps more than all others…” obviously denies its own premise. 

         But in the same way, fasting that draws attention to itself is actually self-serving or self-feasting.  Charity that is done to be seen by others is not really charitable.  Spiritual practices done for the public eye are not actually spiritual.  These are all activities of an unspiritual mind that puffs up a person with empty thinking.  They are of the flesh, not the Spirit.

          Paul made a profound picture for us.  Such a person has lost connection with the Head!  They are headless, like the headless horseman of literary fame.  The falsely humble person has lost track of the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and risks the possibility of galloping about with no direction or connection.  That is not the way we want to be.

          What is the answer?  How about genuine humility?  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).


          Father God, teach me the discipline of genuine humility.  Give me the mind of Christ so that I might live a life that becomes the Gospel. Give me connection to You, the head.  In Jesus’ Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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