I’m seeing a different facet of the New Covenant and the Old Covenant today. The other day, I talked briefly about the relational contracts we make with each other. Well, that is strictly Old Covenant – straight up law.
God set the terms of the Old Covenant through His laws. If people obeyed the law, then God would bless them like so. If people didn’t obey the law, then they would be punished like so. That’s precisely what I do when I set up an unspoken contract of demand and expectation with someone. “You do this, and I’ll do that.” It’s ALL law.
But the New Covenant is the law of the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit has many names and offices because He is my complete and only source. The Holy Spirit is my total sufficiency in this life. So, am I relating to people in my life through the Old Covenant, or the New?
Man, I really would like to say that I’m all New, all the time, but I can found making law out of anything. Most recently, I saw a dealing I had with someone in a whole new light. This person was in really bad shape and said they were desperate for the Lord. I cried over them and cried to the Lord for them and wrote to them and bared my heart to them. I prayed for a word from the Lord, and when He gave it to me, I gave it to them; He did NOT give me an easy word for this person, but I jumped off the cliff and did it. And in the end, they said, “ Uh, never mind, I’m good. Thanks, but no thanks.” Well, I was hurt and disappointed and I had to die to them – to let them go and leave them with God. So far so normal, I thought.
Wrong, Jennifer! The Lord showed me that my hurt and disappointment were the result of my contract with this person (“I’ll bare my soul to you and put it all on the line, and you’ll say yes to God and come through.”) AND my contract with God (“I’m going to obey you and be vulnerable and speak this hard word, and you’re going to make it all worthwhile by saving this person – right now.”). I had to die to this person because I was involved and entangled. Had I not made a law out of simple obedience, there would have been nothing to die to – no disappointment, no hurt . . . nothing.
The cherry on the top of this Old Covenant sundae is the repentance I’ve experienced over what my contract did to this person. How badly did I obstruct and attack the Word the Lord gave for them? I may not know in this lifetime. I’ve grieved over that and asked God’s forgiveness. I am sobered and (wonderfully) humiliated by how easily I operate out of the Old Covenant instead of the New.
I find that I am in awe of the meticulous care and timing of my Counselor and Intercessor. I cannot keep myself and I cannot parent myself. He brought to Light this person and my dealing with them, in His perfect time, and now it is all under the Blood. We are so VERY loved, folks. It is in chastenings like this one that my relationship with God is deepened and strengthened. Such trust! I have a Sentinel over my soul – and so do you.