In order to breathe life into your communion with Christ, you must start that long journey of conditioning your mind to think in a biblical frame of reference. Don’t plan on arriving at some destination; explore the territory and discover the delights of God long hidden from you by your own sin nature.
The first step is learning to purge yourself of heathen elements. We could spend years explaining it, but the Western world in general, and America in particular, still carries the legacy of Enlightenment ideals, and this philosophical orientation is not from the Bible. Rather, it is the combined influences from the Greco-Roman Civilization, and the Germanic tribal mythology of Medieval Europe — both pagan and anti-biblical. If you are going to understand Biblical Law, you must vow to ditch the whole range of anti-Christian philosophical roots of Western Civilization. It has fed you the wrong instincts from the start, and will only cause you much pain and needless misery as you try to serve God according to heathen values.
The proper frame of reference is Ancient Near Eastern tribal feudalism and its mystical approach. This is not just packaging; this is a very critical element in God’s revelation. This is part of the Law of God itself. Creation itself is feudal and covenantal. Nothing God said or did then, nor says or does today, takes place outside of this frame of reference. Everyone serves someone; everyone on earth is personal property of one deity or another, and are bound by whatever covenant applies.
Did you know that the notion of Satan in rebellion does not come from the Bible, but from Zoroastrian religion? Satan did rebel, as we learn from Old Testament prophecy, but that was quashed and Satan was demoted, confined to a service he does not like. All of that happened before the Garden, say the prophets (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28). He was the “covering cherub” of God’s Presence, but violated the nature of his position. What we see Satan doing in the Garden as the Serpent is his new mission. He now serves as God’s Jailer.
In the ancient Hebrew thinking, that is more than your local county sheriff’s job. For the Hebrews, every sheikh had a left-hand man who handled his wrath. This high-ranking servant commanded a guard force that maintained a punitive control over those under the sheikh’s wrath. The people in the sheikh’s household who failed him were turned over to this left-hand man to abuse and enslave. It wasn’t mere confinement, but something akin to slavery. All their productivity was consumed by the Jailer; it was how he made his living. It was his job to snoop and spy on folks to make sure they were obeying the sheikh, and to accuse them before the sheikh when he caught them being naughty. Anyone who truly loved the sheikh was protected from these accusations; they did not fall under the authority of the Jailer.
So it is with Biblical Law. Christ has clearly defined in His Person and in His teachings what it means to obey, to be on the good side of our divine Lord. This limits the authority of the Devil in our lives. And how many Christians do you know who don’t understand this situation? How many of them labor endlessly for things they cannot keep because they belong to the Devil? The Devil is not God’s enemy; he is our enemy. He is not a competitor for Christ. Jesus has unlimited authority over Satan and his demons. You have divine moral authority you can use over Satan, too, but it doesn’t work the way most Charismatics teach it. Your authority rests not on spouting magic spells about the Blood of Jesus, but on your heart-led embrace of Jesus’ teaching. This is the Covenant of Christ.
Clearly that’s not just mechanical obedience. Such is not a bad place to be, if you don’t mind being treated as a slave or servant in God’s household. But real authority is vested only in the divine family. Your authority over Satan rests on a child’s delight in the Father. The Father reciprocates that delight. He is not a legalist as the Talmud alleges, but it is all very personal and full of favoritism. It takes a lot wilful disobedience to irritate God enough to be turned over to Satan. That shouldn’t encourage you to push your luck, so to speak, but should make you feel safe when you inevitably miscalculate in your obedience. It’s not a question of performance, but a heart-led desire to please Him.
The whole idea is that you learn to identify with God and His agenda. It sounds slavish to our Western ears, but this is how reality actually works. Satan is no legalist, either, but he does like making us think legalistically. That’s where he makes the most profit from us. Anything different from what God revealed will do the trick, so he offers all different flavors of deception to appeal to every perverted taste. And his lawful dominance in our lives operates on a sliding scale; the more we violate the Covenant, the more authority we give Satan.
But God also has a right-hand man: His Son. And for every worry we might have about Satan, we have even bigger joy at walking in fellowship with Christ. The whole point is to be more than friends — a genuine adopted brother or sister of Jesus. Biblical Law is making yourself hard to distinguish from Him. That’s what it means to do things “in His name.” We are all handed feudal missions of service, feudal domains under the Father’s authority. We are His vassals, His loyal family. We don’t seek fairness, but privilege. Yet our greatest benefit is when those privileges are shared with others. We want the whole thing to grow; it is not a limited supply. Rather, it amplifies exponentially as it is shared with others. So we aren’t competitive against each other, but against the Devil.
And Creation is our ally. It cries out longingly for us to recognize our divine heritage and seize the privileges of the Kingdom. That’s what Biblical Law is all about.