This is about Believers and the poverty mentality and our inheritance as sons of God. I know folks, people who are close to me, who flourish freely in life. They are not richer than others but they live from life rather than from the fear of life’s demise. There are others - good folk, who live a more strained existence. They are not poor. But they live from a poor mindset. They live to survive instead of living to live. But they are not poor. When a choice has to be made they will choose that which might guarantee survival. Here read survival of the body rather than enhancement of the mind, the soul and the spirit – the things at the bottom of Maslow’s list.
They choose from imagined scarcity rather than from the relative abundance that is theirs. They could have made a choice that would lead to pleasure and the flourishing of their spirit and life as a human being. But they give the impression that they would have been just as happy if born as a horse instead of a person. Indeed they define themselves as a ‘workers.’
WORKERS OR SONS?
Jesus has drawn us out of scarcity into abundance. We are no longer slaves or workers. We live in the inheritance of the sons of God.
But here’s the thing. There’s life to the full and there’s existence. One who lives in abundance is quite different to one who is absorbed in surviving. Those I am writing about live in relative physical abundance. But they need to identify themselves as poor. They live in a survival mode when they have more than adequate to survive. We call this living from a poverty mentality. In the Christian life we can live from abundance or from survival mode. This is the difference between sin consciousness and life consciousness. It’s the difference between the old covenant and the new. In the old I would be thinking about law and sin, about shaping up in order to survive God’s ‘horror’ of sin. Doing this out of some notion that ‘He cannot look on it’ … Really? Didn’t the Son immerse Himself in the most vile, worst ever evil? The crucifixion of the One who came to be our life? He did. And in doing so began the undoing of evil from the inside.
THE KINGDOM AMONG YOU
When Jesus began His ministry the Kingdom of God came among the people of the world. This was the beginning of the end of life in Adam and the start of our life in God. In Adam all live as mendicants and beggars, attempting to be worthy of God and ‘be like gods’ while constructing their own versions of good and evil.
But at the cross all were made one with God. At Pentecost God came to live in human beings. When the Spirit came, the person of Jesus came to live in you and in a manner of speaking to ‘be you.’ Christ is our grace, our righteousness and our life. He is God and our relationship with Father. In Him we are much more than advanced pond-scums and liver-warts. We are more than sinners making a virtue of endurance. We are the sons and daughters of God.
People, as a result of apostolic preaching, are learning of the radical grace of God. Jesus has our sin problem covered entirely. Some don’t like this. They don’t like it because its offering people for nothing an infinite life that many in the bondage of religion have been working all their lives to possess. But even then they are not sure they have it. So they bleat about cheap grace, or wave their arms going on about ‘universalism.’
God forbid that infinite life be made as easy as believing in Jesus; in believing that Christ Himself is our life; in believing that Jesus vicariously represents us in every possible manner in relation to God. But the scribes need to believe in a precarious salvation. It’s part of their try-harder gospel. A gospel often restricted to personal morality but largely blind to the injustices of society and the chaos of the Babylonian world system. This is the creed of the modern day Pharisee. But Jesus heals more than individual bodies. He is the new creation. His sphere is the world. And His Kingdom will come.
OLD YOU AND NEW YOU
The difference between old and new covenant is basic. In the old we are our life. In the new Christ is our life. In the old covenant and law we live in survival mode. In the new covenant age will live in abundance. Not talking money here. We are talking an abundance of grace, of spirit and of life. We are in Christ, in God and already have eternal life.
Today you are not separated from God. You are in God. You are in communion with the trinity. You are with the trinity and they in you. You are sons and daughters in spirit and truth. The latter is not theoretical or conditional. It is the achievement of God for you. This is the inheritance of every human being. As a rebel one can ignore this and walk by on the other side in humanistic indifference. As a religionist we can dilute it, dumb it down and smother it in either gross or subtle self-effort – and walk by on the other side on our road of religion. Then again we can embrace what is ours, agree with Jesus that He is our life, step daily into our inheritance in Him and be rivers of living water. What not to like about that!
Some see a perverse merit in describing themselves as sinners. They think it s humility. Really its disobedience. In the natural those defining themselves as ‘survivors’ take a peculiar comfort in defining themselves as poor. They see this as protection and insurance against the dangers of being a spend-thrift, of living too luxuriously as themselves and as a result, exposing themselves to the possibility of financial catastrophe. And with this the possibility of the annihilation of the self. They find difficulty in seeing themselves as deserving. So they are attracted to conspicuous effort as a means of demonstrating to themselves and to the common gaze that they are worthy - worthy of being valued and loved. But we are already valued and loved.
This is a parable of the Believer who takes refuge in the law; who takes comfort in self-effort and security in the un-life and woodenness of law and works. Of isolating principles from the Bible and striving to perform them by acts of the will and by training the will. But the soul shrinks and the spirit withers. It does not enable them to flourish in an abundance of spirit and life. It gives the comfort of survival. But one has become a peasant when one is really a king.
Where the Kingdom is concerned, to live in sin-consciousness is to live a peasant existence. To live as sons and daughters is to live in who we are in Christ. To live in Christ our life is to obey our Father and be filled in Spirit with His Son. To live in the Spirit and not the poverty mentality of the law is to obey - which is better than sacrifice because it is life. The command of God is to believe His Son. The testimony of Jesus is that Christ is your life.