I wrote recently of the shrinking effect of a poverty mentality on our lives. Living from the law or even one attachment to the law is the Christian equivalent of living from a poverty mentality.
A mindset of scarcity limits our humanity in general and our spiritual selves in particular. Before the fall Satan seduced Adam into scarcity with the promise of abundance in a more elevated life in separation from Father. He did not reveal that separation would be the effect of removing trust from God. But the result was the opposite to what was suggested. The children of Adam and Eve lived in genuine scarcity until the coming of the Christ. Once Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ It was. The age of Adam was over and the Age of Jesus Christ and the Sons of God had begun.
To live from the law and old covenant is to imprison ourselves in Adam’s reduced humanity and his realm of spiritual scarcity called the law of sin and death. The law is the spiritual version of a poverty mentality. To live from the Spirit in the new covenant is to live in the Spirit of Sonship without limit.
‘For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death’ Rom 8.2 ESV
To live from the law or attached to the law is to shrink our humanity and ripple our spirit. When we make money the measure of all as we do under Capitalism, we shrink all human endeavour to the abstraction of money. You may have noticed that some folks have money in the bank but are poor in humanity – they don’t have wealth.
One need not be a Scrooge to live a utilitarian life. All we need to do is to live in the ‘practicalities of economics and politics with its assumed ‘wisdom.’ We become one dimensional people – voices without sound and utterances without meaning. There is no wisdom here at all. These are the Hollow Men who live their lie with confidence until the bottom drops out of their world; their disaster becomes a blessing and it becomes plain that they need to start their life in a new basis. What is so in the world of economics is even more so in the world of God, ourselves and the spirit. This is where our at – one - ment with God is so meaningful. We have been have been made fully human and fully alive by the Christ who becomes us.
Christian Kettler writing on the atonement observes,
‘Attempts to discern a “purpose” for creation, even for human life, may be misdirected. Teleology has a long history in Christian thought (from Thomas Aquinas to the recent discussion over “intelligent design”), yet the joy of creation for God reminds us that God is not obsessed over “the purpose driven life,” but enjoys the simple beauty of creation. Here we see the beautiful symphony of creation and grace, and the terrible problem when grace is restricted to redemption and salvation. The implications are also profound in a culture that values utility over everything else. “What use is that degree in English?” endures the harried liberal arts major.’ (1)
God’s obsession is not with sin and our not sinning. His passion is life and His desire to make you part of what the trinity has: Life to the full. The plan – Christ’s life as yours connects you to infinite life. And in the process drives out our addiction to the various substitutes that we rely on to support the God-hole in our lives. The religious choose religion as a salve. This is a most subtle deceit of the Enemy. Subtle and malignant because it substitutes the things of God for God Himself - for the incarnation, for Christ our life and for the bread and water of life itself. Religion will not quench our thirst for union with God. ‘Religion’ is separation in the name of union. As such it is the most devious of deceptions. God creates life out of nothing. He imparts life to you as He Himself becomes your life.
We live from scarcity and from a poverty mentality when we retain ourselves in the law, old covenant and religion. We live as the sons and daughters of the free woman when we Christ is our life and we are alive in the reality of union with God that is ours as the gift of God.
SONS OF THE PROMISE
‘Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother’ Gal 4.21-26 NIV.
(1) Kettler, Christian D. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 (p. 60). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.