Esau’s mess of pottage can be seen as a parable of those who gave away their new covenant inheritance and the reality of a genuine new birth in exchange for retaining an identity in Adam and the false security in the ‘veils’ they call their faith.
‘So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image’ 2 Cor 3.18 NLT.
We can make religion out of behavior modification coupled with a try harder mentality. We can couple ourselves to the law and retain ourselves in Adam’s tree and Adam’s separation from God. We can offer up interesting pieces of theology and assorted fragments of information as a mess of pottage from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We can fill a space with fragments that where the progress of the Kingdom is concerned they amount to nothing more than something and nothing. They fall into the category of the flesh that counts for nothing. They suffocate opportunities for the multiplication of spirit and life. What actually is spirit and life? It is the substance of the Kingdom of God. Spiritually alive is what we are when Christ is our life. Sons are who we are when we live in God’s new covenant union with Himself.
EGG OR EAGLE
We can anesthetise ourselves to life because we have made an idol out of a ‘half-life.’ This is about living one’s entire life as an egg when one is in fact an eagle because we have chosen an identity as an egg. You have an identity in Christ that supersedes all else. What we become in any role and in any area of life depends on our exclusive embrace of Jesus as our identity and our life. The claim of Jesus on a son is absolute and exclusive - if we choose to be sons and not workers and slaves.
If our vision of who we are is less than we actually are because we have embraced a lesser gospel we do ourselves and Jesus a disservice. When we choose to attach ourselves to Jesus we are married to Christ and are His Bride - exclusively. Throughout the Bible divided loyalties have always been named as adultery. The blessing of the pure in heart is to see God and know His gospel as it is.
As the Second Eve we come from His side and are His Other Self. This version of the Body of Christ makes us part of Him and reveals the fullness of being His Bride as individuals and as the church.
‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20
We complete Jesus - all of us - in a way that partial marriages and conditional attachments cannot emulate. Here we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh in a way that is beyond the legalist and the positional claimant on the body of Christ. This is the interweaving of being that is ours in the new covenant but never in the old. In such a relationship we know God, know ourselves and know others in a degree of empathy that is impossible for the adherent of a belief system of old covenant separation.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.’ John 14.20. The day we realize and embrace this, is the day we change from being notional members of the body to Believers who are His Body in spirit and in truth. This will also be the day we begin to live in the Spirit instead of talking about it. We are living in the Spirit because Christ is us.
Lot’s wife chose an identity with the past and became calcified. This is more than a parable of choosing the false christ of an extra-Jesus identity. It is the reality that turns people pillars of salt.
Don’t marry a ‘wife’ who is a competing identity with Jesus - we can have but one husband and serve but one master. In an adulterated relationship, we will anesthetise ourselves to the potential of our greater glory and minister elements of death as though they are life. None so blind as those who will not see.
THE DOUBTFUL MOTIVATION
Talking of self -medication, Charles Ringma writes,
“We can create a very safe world for ourselves. We establish our work routines. Cultivate a few friendships. Develop certain family patterns. Establish our ideas about God and the meaning of life. Maintain certain spiritual disciplines and take on certain commitments. None of these things in itself need necessarily be inappropriate. But all this may spring from the doubtful motivation of trying to make for ourselves a safe and secure world. A world that guards us from risks. A world that shelters us from new challenges. A world where the very fabric of our routines not only sustains us, but also anesthetizes us.”
And as a result our self-induced coma becomes ‘our faith’ and we spend our lives as eggs instead of eagles.
Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 421-424). Kindle Edition.