Did you know that Seattle is seen as a foodie city?
I’m not a foodie, so I can’t tell you exactly how “foodie” it is.
But, people who seem to be more of a foodie than me talk about it a lot. One thing is for sure; some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, I’ve eaten while here in Seattle.
Right outside of our apartment there’s this little burger shop. Apparently, it’s one of those “must go to” places when visiting the city. Everything I thought I knew about a burger I’ve joyfully allowed this shop to redefine. After being exposed to really good food for a while, your palate tends to change.
For us, that change was painfully clear when we were taken out of Seattle.
A couple months back Danielle and I took a trip to Redding, CA. Now, you can’t live in California without being exposed to In-N-Out. Since we don’t have them here in Seattle, we made it a priority to get ourselves some sweet, sweet In-N-Out. The result? …We found ourselves severely disappointed. Something we once craved was entirely flavorless.
I’d like to propose that the Kingdom of God functions similarly.
Like the better burger down the road, we know that Jesus introduced us to a superior covenant:
But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. Hebrews 8:6 NIV
What’s my point? Well, when given something superior, the inferior loses its appeal. If we keep feeding ourselves with what has lost its flavor, the effect starts to become evident in our life. It’s like craving a filet mignon and being given squishy tofu. Our desire will never be satisfied! In fact, as we choke down more squishy tofu, day after day, under a false pretense of it being filet mignon, our expectation and understanding of filet mignon may even start to resemble that tofu! (The travesty!)
In the case of today’s chosen people, many cling to an inferior covenant hoping it will give us life.
But life was clearly defined as an attribute of a man who came to fulfill that inferior covenant. This becomes especially painful for the believer who has had a personal experience in the glory, presence, and power of the Lord, yet goes back looking for that experience in a covenant of death and its associated works.
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 2 Corinthians 3:4-9 (bold mine)
Why do we keep going back to the old, flavorless burger of the law?
Well, there’s a variety of reasons. Here’s the top 4 that come to mind in a “burgery” fashion:
1) We don’t know there is a better option
I’m convinced many believers are simply unaware of, or taught out of, the simple realities of the new covenant and its associated grace. A sign of this is the fact that many people associate Christianity with rules. What we can, should, can’t or should not do. If we were Israelites under the law this would make sense. In the context of our relationship with God, the law highlights what we should do for Him. But, the new covenant is about what He did for us. Somehow, over time, our message and teachings have shifted back away from Jesus to man.
How to remedy: Study Paul’s writings to the various churches, stopping to digest with Holy Spirit what they both say about the new covenant.
2) We think we’re under-dressed
When our self image leaves us feeling as though we’re not suited to go to anywhere but the dirty, fast food joint, of course the fanciest banquet halls would feel uncomfortable. Our self image is a clear reflection of our understanding of what Jesus did for us. Paul tells the Galatians that “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Gal 3:27) So, if you look in the mental mirror and see anyone but Jesus, you’re due for an adjustment. The truth is that you’ve been made worthy of the most elaborate banquets, not as a guest, but as an honored son or daughter.
How to remedy: Read the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and the prodigal son. Also consider getting Kris Valloton’s book, “Supernatural ways of Royalty.” (A must have addition to any home library!)
3) We don’t think we deserve healthy food
I read a study recently that proposed that “junk food cravings are triggered by the mere thought of being low class.” Feelings of unworthiness, guilt, or condemnation are a sign of being more intimately acquainted with the law than with grace. It’s the law that brings condemnation (2 Cor 3:9), but in Jesus there is no condemnation (Rom 8:1). And to the real heart of the matter, in the new covenant, we don’t get what we deserve, we get what He deserved.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 NIV
How to remedy: Look at the story of the woman caught in adultery. Then, ask Jesus where we’re condemning ourselves that He is not.
4) We haven’t realized that the chef is in love with us
If our spouse was head chef at the nicest restaurant in town, we’d probably eat there a lot more often than if not. An innate quality of the New Covenant is that it draws us back into relationship with the Father. When we understand that relationship, that we are the bride, and His love for us, we’ll go places we never would normally.
How to remedy: spend time with Jesus, ask Him “what specific qualities do you love about me, Jesus? Why do you love them?” Write down the answers and keep them in front of your face. All systems of belief should be subject to what the Lord says about us, out of his abundant love!
Thanks for reading and we love you all!
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