Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
If you are one of many, the New Covenant/Old Covenant tension is dry-as-dust dead theology, like memorizing the Book of Leviticus. (For way too many, keeping the Sabbath holy is just that--boring!)
If you have picked up the Old Covenant in school or in church (and you probably have), the idea of "following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth" frightens you. And Old Covenant ideas are subtle, a virus that burrows "bondage" deep in your soul (Gal. 4:24). Those ideas get lodged and as long as you harbor them you find it hard to understand or believe New Covenant ideas.
Some dear saints may even warn you against too much New Covenant in your thinking. They say it's got to be "balanced" with appropriate Old Covenant caveats. The latter rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit (that will complement Pentecost) will be pure New Covenant; and they'll be afraid of it. It'll go over their heads and they'll sleep right through the glorious Loud Cry that will lighten the earth with glory (Rev. 18:1-4). It will be like the Jews who heard Jesus preach but never knew their Messiah had come; they missed everything. As in the time of Paul, "devout and honourable women, and the chief men" can try to squash any little spark of New Covenant life in your soul (cf. Acts 13:50). New Covenant gospel truth must be grabbed the moment the Lord sends it your way. "I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments," says the Psalmist (119:60; meaning, to treasure God's law as ten New Covenant promises).
New Covenant life is that "more abundant" one that Jesus promised (John 10:10). Yes, never a dull moment. "You mean you'll never have any troubles?" No, you'll have troubles but you'll never be alone in them. "The Lord is my Shepherd, … I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me" (Psalm 23). No one on earth ever lived the New Covenant more fully than the Lord Jesus Himself. Was Gethsemane boring? The cross? Strenuously tempted, He held on to believing that His Father wouldn't actually "forsake" Him. Even on His cross when it seemed for certain that He had, Jesus wouldn't give in to the "doubts that assailed the dying Son of God." He chose to BELIEVE the New Covenant promises right through until He cried His shout of sunlit victory that thrilled Heaven and earth, "It's finished!"
Life apart from Him IS boring. What you may think can't be true IS true: "In [His] presence is fullness of joy; ... pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). Yes, even in sharing His cross.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 31, 2004.
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