Like I said in my last blog, I was moved into one of the Treatment units. This has taken a little adjusting on my part. One of the biggest things is the way I think. When you are living with the rest of the population you do not have to think about a lot of things. Now, though, I have to start thinking about everything that I say or do. A friend of mine said that it is all about risk versus reward. If a letter I write has a certain amount of risk involved with my treatment will the reward outweigh the risk?
We tend to think about God that way. When it comes to a decision to go somewhere, or do something, we tend to think, “Will God get mad at me about this,” or “Will God punish me for this?” This is not the way God deals with us any longer. That is the Old Covenant way of thinking about God.
I just finished reading (this morning in fact) the Covenant that God made with the Israelites in Deuteronomy chapter 28. In fact, in the last verses of the chapter it stated that this was the Covenant God made through Moses at Moab and Horeb. Why two places? Because the people that He made the first Covenant with had all died in the desert, and these were all of their children. If you read the chapter there are two parts to it. The first part is the blessings for those who obeyed the commandments of God and the second part are the curses for the ones that disobey the commandments. Thank you God for making the New Covenant that is not like the old one! Jesus bore every one of the curses for us on the cross (Galatians 3:13). I am set free from the Law (Romans 1:8-10) and I am now under what God calls “grace” (Romans 6:14).
This is a big change in thinking for a lot of people. Most people say that the requirements of the Old Covenants are still there but the penalty (or curse) is paid for by Jesus. A cursory reading of Romans and Galatians would put an end to that argument. We are now under the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) and not the Law of Moses. Are they the same? No! The Law of Moses, the Old Covenant, says “Do this and you will be blessed.” In the New Covenant, under the Law of Christ, you ARE blessed, whether you do anything or not. The “proof in the pudding” that you are saved and are in the New Covenant is that you will be sinning less because you have the Holy Spirit living inside you (Ephesians 1:13-14 and 4:30). This Holy Spirit will make you want to love God and love others.
This takes a huge change in our thinking. Everything that we do and say is not a matter of “risk and reward” any longer when it comes to living for God. God no longer looks at you and says “one more time and I am going to…” God looks at the worst in us (if we are truly in Christ) and says “that is my child and I love him.” We may get disciplined at times because we go out and do something that God tells us not to. But, in the end, that is to conform us into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).
This is a totally different way of looking at things.
This is truly a paradigm shift.