Turning Commands Into Promises
Does it strike you as a command or a promise?
This is the difference between law and gospel.
It applies to so many things in life…
If I drive by a Gold’s Gym, I can see it as an accusation for the fact that I don’t work out anymore.
I can see it as a promise. It can beckon me in and give me hope for a more ripped and shredded future.
I was reading a blurp the other day from a book about Abraham Joshua Heschel’s concept of “radical amazement”. Here’s what he says…
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
I’ve read this quote before as an invitation and it’s inspired me deeply. But the other day, as I read it again, I saw it as law. A law that accused me of not walking around in a state of constant radical amazement.
I think this is what the ego does. It turns every promise into law.
The ego turns every promise into law. The gospel turns the law back into promise.
The ego turns a promise from outside of me into something that I HAVE to do, OR ELSE.
Part of the magic of the Christian faith is that it transforms laws into promises. If I were to rewrite Heschel’s statement from a gospel perspective, I might say this…
“You have been granted with the promise that God’s eternal love will liberate you to live life in radical amazement. When this faith hits your heart, you’ll get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. You’ll see that everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; and you’ll be free from the curse of treating life casually. Amazement is yours.”
Radical amazement, as a promise.
I’ll say amen to that.
Grace + Godspeed,
P.S. It’s really interesting reading the 10 commandments (things that we have to do for God) as the 10 promises (things that God promises to do to us through faith). Totally changes the game.