The Man Who Stopped Being Good

Post #1 in a Tale of Two Covenants

I sort of snuck out after work because I’m in no mood for any kind of boys boys chatter. You know, the rowdy ones where they laugh and say things that would be censored on a YouTube kids’ channel?

But I could be like one of them. In fact, I can crack the next joke as well as the next of them. But what’s the fun in that?

I don’t use the F word. Trust me, the definition of cool is not ghetto talk.

I don’t damn anything.

I don’t party until I drop, out of exhaustion or because the beer has seeped into my veins.

Where’s the fun in losing control like that?

Unless it’s in in front of the altar, a mic in my hand, singing my heart out. I can lose control there.

Oh I don’t sing. I just like to imagine I can. Most times you’ll find me on one of the chairs in the rows of seats. In church. Just being me.

But being me is a little tricky these days.

I’m getting old. Ah, you thought that was only for the ladies, huh?

I’m young but I am getting old. I can’t say it out aloud but sometimes it actually scares me. Many of my old school mates are married…with kids…honestly, I don’t know what happened to me.

I was just never ready, I think. Or maybe it was wrong timing.

There was a girl, a woman, beautiful in every way, but, like I said, the timing was wrong. We had completely different goals. She’d be on this planet, and I’d be on another. Other than that, we got on massively. We were both go-getters. Was that the problem? Oh, I don’t know, I’m not a therapist or life coach.

And I’m definitely not a cliché.

Which is odd, because I should be. Single guy, loves Jesus, no baby mamas, no intention to change that… and I’ve not found anyone…yet.

Sometimes, I am tempted to test the waters. After all, what have I got to show for this wonderfully sanctified life that I live? I do live a good life. I am a good person. Why won’t God reward good behavior?

I’m not frustrated. Just having a very logical discussion with the Holy Spirit.

Oh, you thought it would be someone else? I talk aloud by myself a lot. It’s healthy. It’s called praying. And it was going well until He, the Holy Spirit, said- God doesn’t reward good behavior.

Eh? God doesn’t reward good behavior? What do You mean? Prove it.

Do you sometimes feel like challenging the Holy Spirit? 

Abraham and Abimelech, was His answer.

Ah… Of course, I know that story. And if you don’t, here it is.

Abraham, the friend of God, lied about his wife to Abimelech, the king of Gerar, saying she was his sister. She was a willing accomplice. So Abimelech took beautiful Sarah for his wife. But at night, the Lord came to Abimelech in a dream and said, You’re so dead! You’ve taken someone’s wife as yours. Now, give the man his wife back ASAP and he will pray for you, because he is a prophet.

By this time, Abimelech is really freaking out because all the women in his entire family have been cursed with barrenness.

In the morning, poor Abimelech confronts Abraham, Abraham admits to lying to the king, and prays to God, and finally, Abimelech and his household are healed.

That’s the story.

Now to break it down…

Who caused all the trouble? Abraham.

Who lied? Abraham.

Who did God defend? Abraham.

Who did God call a prophet? Abraham.

Who prayed for Abimelech’s troubles to be corrected? Abraham.

Who got richer because of a lie he told? Abraham.

Who gave lousy excuses for his lie? Abraham.

So many inconsistencies, la!

Good things should happen to those who are good. Bad things should happen to those who are bad.

So if you are like me, you’ll already be asking the big question- WHY is it different with Abraham?

Actually, church boy that I am, I’ve an idea of the answer to the why. I just never applied it to myself. It’s in a few chapters before all this happened- in chapter 15- where forever and ever, God declared Abraham, then Abram, as righteous.

From that time on, God dealt with him based on covenant, the covenant of a righteous man, of a man righteous by faith.

And if you’re still in “I still don’t believe this” combat mode, Romans 4 is what you need.

Back to that JAMB question that brought me here- God doesn’t reward good behavior?

Answer: Nope. It’s faith that God rewards.

Counterintuitive if you think about.

That’s why I love challenging the Holy Spirit. It means He’s about to show me something awesome:

The currency of heaven is not good works. The currency of heaven is faith. But not any faith; faith righteousness. #highongrace

I’m a crypto currency kind of guy so I understand how these things work. And the first thing I’ll tell you is you’ve really got to understand the rules to make it work. The normal rules of finance don’t work with web 3. Just like you can’t use cedis to buy stuff in Australia. Not even remotely possible. You might need a whole Ghana-must-go bag of notes to even start with.

Abraham came out the winner because He was spending heavenly currency- He wasn’t standing before God as a good man. He was standing before God as a righteous man, by faith.

What’s that got to do with grace?

Just this: under the covenant of grace, you don’t get what you deserve, if you are Christ’s. You get what Jesus deserves. That’s the same covenant that we, like Abraham, are under.

So what have I decided? I won’t try to be a good boy to get what I want. I’m going to stay righteous by faith and get all I want.

Missed last week’s introduction post? Check it out here.

Haven’t yet signed up for email notification? You can do so below and never miss a post. See you next week for more on a Tale of Two Covenants.

Stay high on grace my friend.

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