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Lenny's Meditations, May 17, 2001

Greeley, CO

Again, I'm thinking of the two covenants that God made in the Old Testament: the covenant with Abraham and the other covenant with Moses and Israel. Both covenants are part of our Christian lives. When we start out as young Christians, we accept the covenant that God made with Moses and Israel. "If you will do this, then I will do that, but if you won't do what I say, I will punish you." This is the covenant in the Old Testament with Moses and Israel. We have all been in this law as young Christians. We have all have tried to do for God, to please God and this is part of the walk that we have. The way I see our walk is that we start out giving our lives to God, and by serving Him and doing for Him, we then try to increase in our maturity with God. It's a walk that starts out in the outer court and then gradually goes into the Holy Place, and from there into the holy of holies. (See Ex. 40 for a description of these areas of worship.) This is a gradual maturing walk that we have with God. In this walk, as new Christians, coming out of a fleshly life, where we were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), and had no knowledge of God whatsoever. From there, we stepped into God and walking in Him and through Him and for Him. In this place, we thought that we had to do for God to please Him. In this place, God was an "other" from us. He was way "up there," a strict, controlling God that wanted His way and this is what we believed.

What Job said was so true. He said, "I heard about you by the hearing of the ear, by other people telling me about you and I feared you, and what I feared came upon me" (Job 42: 5; 3:25). This is what happens to us. This is where God starts with us. He knows that we cannot fully come in and grasp His presence and His love and mercy and kindness. He has to start us from the beginning and that beginning is that we "do for God" to please Him. This is the only thing that we understand. We have been slaves to sin before this (Rom. 6:20), and the slave master was Satan. And now, we think that God is the same way. Yes, He is a merciful God, but still we recognize that He probably is very strict and very controlling and we need to please Him. God allows us to start out in this place. He started this way with Israel because Israel had been in slavery for 430 years, and they didn't know any better, and we had been in slavery to sin and we didn't know any better either. This is a place where we start growing by recognizing God, trying to understand God with our natural mind, and the natural must be controlled by the law. This is the way the bible is set up because we came from a natural state and we don't know any better. The bible leads us from glory to glory.

In the outer court, we do our sacrifices to God (I Kings 8:64). We sacrifice by giving up lying, by giving up cheating, by giving up vulgar words, lusting, etc. Many of these things that come from the natural man, the Adamic nature, we are willing to give up to please God and this is what takes place in the outer court. Gradually, we mature a little bit more so that we can enter into the holy place, and in the holy place is both God and us. We've come closer to God and in this place, God starts interacting with us in a greater way. There is a joy in there; there is praising going on. In this place, there is a much closer relationship with God. We've given up all these things and we rejoice in that. We are happy for this and God comes and blesses us by giving us the Holy Spirit. We are able to use the gifts of the Spirit; we are able to praise Him by the Holy Spirit; we are able to rejoice in God because of the closeness that we have with Him. It's a two way situation, where we praise God and He blesses us, back and forth and we feel that this is the ultimate in God, but in this place, we are still in the law. We are still operating out of ourselves, and in this place, we still have to please God. Yes, God has become more intimate with us, but it is still a place where God is an "other" from us. We are going from glory to glory, maturing steadily forward, but it is getting very tiresome to try to keep the law, to try to please God through natural fleshly ways. Our discomfort and displeasure in this place is caused by God. We don't realize it, but it is actually caused by God so that we will move forward into another realm IN Him. And that realm is where we begin to see Him as we come up to the curtain that separates the holy place from the holy of holies. In this place, God shows us that on the other side of the curtain, behind the veil, no flesh can enter in. No Adamic nature can enter in and we are frustrated because we want to enter in.

Finally, God reveals to us the covenant that He made with Abraham, and in that covenant, there was not a law that God set up saying, "If you do this for me, then I will do that for you." The covenant with Abraham was God's unilateral promise, in which He said, "I will do everything. I will cause you to have many descendants in multitude, like the sand of the seashore and like the stars of heaven" (Gen. 22:17; Heb. 11:12). His promise to Abraham was, "I will make of you a great nation. I will make you a blessing to many nations" (Gen. 12:2; 18:18). Do you see how God is saying He will do everything? And if you turn to Gal. 3:16, Paul clearly explains that, that covenant was for Abraham and his seed, singular, not many seeds, but singular seed. That seed is Christ, and so we are included in this covenant. We are heirs to this promise. God is saying to us, "I will do everything. You have reached a place of frustration where you cannot do any more to please me. You can see that now. You have worn yourself out trying to please me and you see now that every effort you have made in yourself, every effort in the flesh, every effort in the Adamic nature to please me has not accomplished what you wanted to accomplish. So, now, give up all your self effort and depend on me." You see where Jesus Himself says, "In and of myself, I can do nothing. I do what the Father does. I say what the Father says" (Jn. 5:19)

You have now reached this place in God where you are willing to give up all your self effort and totally trust God. The love of God in your life has brought you to a place of total trust in God, where you believe that He controls every millisecond of your life, and you can totally give your life over to God, not having to worry that God is not going to accomplish everything so you have to do it for Him. We put all these things aside and we totally trust God. We are now in the covenant with Abraham, where God says, "I will do everything." We are now matured to such an extent spiritually that we can give up our total selfishness, our total ego, our total pride. We can lay it aside and say, "God, you are the only thing that I want. Do what you want to do; say what you want to say through us; be what you want to be through me." As you are now in this place, thinking of giving up all these things completely and totally trusting God, you see clearly that you have been crucified with Christ and it is not you living anymore, but it is Christ living in and through you (Gal. 2:20), functioning through you, doing God's bidding through you, and the life you low live in the flesh, you live by the faith OF Jesus Christ, not your own selfish faith, but the faith of Christ is operating through you. You see that you are dead in Christ (Rom. 6:8), and you recognize that dead men have no faith. In this place, you leave the flesh behind, and you are now able to step into the holy of holies, totally in Christ.

All the Adamic nature is left behind in the holy place; you have now stepped behind the veil into the holy of holies and have total communion with God and in God. You don't stay in there forever. Just like the high priest entered in occasionally, you enter in occasionally; you don't want to leave your flesh totally because the flesh cannot mature without you. You recognize that you are a spirit in God and the flesh is the house that you dwell in and you don't give up your house because God clearly says that, that house, that natural man, that body of yours is the temple of God (I Cor. 6:16), the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19). So, you do stay in your house and occasionally, you enter into the holy of holies. Without you, your natural man, your Adamic nature, your house, cannot mature and give up the corruption in it. It's going to take place gradually. Corruption is going to be swallowed up by incorruption and mortality by immortality (I Cor. 15:54). We're not going to throw away the old flesh, but we're going to clothe upon the flesh (II Cor. 5:2), clothe it with the glory of God, with the power of God, with the love of God, with the mercy of God, with the kindness of God. You see that "God is all and in all" (Col. 3:11), but you are willing to be a blessing to your own flesh because now you have matured spiritually, way beyond the power of your own flesh. Now, you are bringing the flesh with you, not into the holy of holies, but up to the veil. The final step is up to God, what He wants to do beyond this place that you have come to shall be revealed in His time, in His way.

Lenny Antonsson

Jan and Lenny Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)

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