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Cast Out The Slave Woman and Her Son!
Morning light was filtering through my kitchen curtains, bread warming in the toaster and the coffee maker gurgling to life while my oldest son and I were discussing the recent developments in his film career. We were marveling at the continued divine favor that is resting on his life and looking at a current situation. Though the situation on the surface looked like a missed opportunity, Ben was expressing complete peace and confidence in the sovereignty of God. He was marveling at the difference between himself and others in his sphere who were bound by anxiety, trying to impress people, frantically trying to “be in the right place at the right time”.

“You know, Mom,” he said cheerfully, “sometimes I think I don’t worry enough.” We chuckled together. “It’s because you don’t have the pressure of the ‘self made life’, son.” I replied, “You are receiving a career from heaven out of relationship with your Father.”

And because you are sons, God has sent the Sprit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir. Gal. 4: 6-7 (RSV)

Because we have been crucified with Christ and are living a life of “no longer I, but Christ, living in us” we have to reorient our understanding of how to live. It is no longer by our works, trying hard, achieving by natural means. We are no longer supplying God with use of our natural gifting, asking Him to bless our striving for success. We are no longer trying to curry favor with Him by the performance of “godly Christian disciplines”.

I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose. Gal. 2:21 (RSV)

No, we have been place within the body of Jesus Christ in His death and been completely judged and punished for all our sin and imperfections. Now, we are raised completely righteous, in total favor with our Father! Nothing, can cause me to gain MORE favor than the favor I have received on Christ’s behalf. Nothing. No fast, no hour in prayer, no quota of tracks handed out or verses memorized, no number of self inflicted stripes on the back. Nothing. Our favor does not come from the Cross + plus our good works. Our favor is complete. Our Lord said, “It is finished” as He absorbed the last of our judgement. Now, our job is to enjoy, explore, and worship with the whole of our beings as we enter into this complete unity - oneness with Christ. And as we enjoy knowing and experiencing Him to receive the life that our Father has prepared before hand that we would walk in.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God- not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:8-10 (RSV)

This way of “receiving our life” rather than “making something of ourselves” is foreign to the world, to most of Christendom and to many of us. But now that we are New Creations (2 Cor. 5:17) we need to learn the new and living way to walk. Most of us have been raised in a world which teaches “the Lord helps those who help themselves” and the power of the “seven habits of a highly successful person”. From here many of us were saved into a mixture of “do-it-yourself”, self help and trusting God. What does that make? Look around. How much of your thinking about your life is balanced on what you can do for God with your skill-set, gift-mix, education or passion of devotion? I fasted and prayed for years for God to open the heavens in our region, only to find out Jesus opened the heavens 2000 years ago, and that there is no barrier in our region to the risen Christ. What I was doing was the equivolent to 2nd grade “busy work”. Now I am entering into what He has already done. Now, any open door before me relationally, I walk through --- both “spiritual doors” and “natural doors” as I receive my life from Him, in the meantime, I enjoy, experience and worship my Lord.

I want to take a moment and emphasize that this is not just about “praying for people in the market place”. This is about how to live life in its totality. All of life from when, where and how to turn in your lease car to healing the woman ahead of you in the line at the grocery store, to making vital career connections, to disciplining your children is a whole. Life is a whole. Our spiritual life not separate from our natural.

But . . . but does this really work?


But only if you get rid of the slave woman and her son!


How do we receive our life from heaven?

How do received our inheritance as sons?

This is what Paul is making every effort to teach the Galatian church who had begun so well, but got muddled up, confused, bewitched, bothered and bewildered and who in effort to fix the situation entered into MORE and MORE performance behavior. Have you ever been there? I have. Here is what Paul says to them.

“Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman.” (Gal. 4:22)

What happened here? Abraham had a desire and a calling to have children. This was natural. Then God came along and added a supernatural promise to this natural desire. He showed Abraham that not only would he have children but as many as the stars of the sky and sand of the sea! With this prophetic word he defined Abraham and opened up the deep recesses of the natural longing in his heart, coupling it with divine destiny. Then nothing happened. Nothing at all, for years! Finally Abraham decided to use his “skill-set” with another woman to bring about the promised life and destiny of being a father. I believe he did this with all sincerity. Though we look at it through the lense of history as an act of ignorance think about this: how many times have we tried to figure a way out or fix our own situation and asked God to bless our plan? Let’s look some more at what Paul is saying:

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. Now this is an allegory; these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, is bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one that dost not bear; break forth and shout (or cry), thou who art not in travail; for the desolate hath more children than she who hath a husband.: Galatians 4:22-27 (RSV)

Under the old covenant (Hagar) the way to live was to work hard according to the flesh. Under the new covenant (Sarah) the way to live is to receive the promise. Look at that phrase, “Jerusalem above is free, she is our mother. . .” As one under the new covenant you no longer strive but you receive your life of promise from above, from heaven. This is the way the free woman lives she receives her life and provision from heaven, from the unseen. One minute she doesn’t show any signs of being pregnant and suddenly she cries out in the last stages of transition and pushes out the child of promise, the life of promise, the career of promise, the car of promise, the transformed teen of promise, the miraculous provision of promise. But there is a catch:

But what does the scripture say? “Cast out the slave and her son; for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman” So, brethren, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. Gal. 4:30-31 (RSV)

For the new creation, the old system no longer works well. It doesn’t produce a harvest of blessing. You might say, I’ve tried trusting before and God didn’t come through. Well, if we have a mixture of Hagar and Sarah no one gets nothing. Why? Why not just let them all live together and give special favor to Issac? Because if you are relying on your own “do-it-yourself” methods you actually enter into the curse (Gal. 3:10). God is not going to bless that. He wants you to rest, delight in Him and receive from heaven all that He has promised you. What is this received from heaven bit? Look at this scripture:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God . . . and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear . . . (Rev. 21:1-4, RSV)

Why must the slave woman and her son be cast out? Because God wants to dwell with us. That is the point. That’s what He’s always wanted. That’s why He created mankind and you in particular, to dwell with you! That’s why Jesus came to break down every barrier to that happening. Now, God wants to settle down over our lives with a heavenly city of promise which is comprised of all provision in every way primarily because He is dwelling in our homes, our lives. He wants us to receive from His open hand the gift of our day to day. He wants to be trusted and known in the process. This is the way the free woman lives! Receiving from the unseen realm through the veil into this realm with our tangible senses. So today, whatever your need large or small --- cast out the slave woman and her son, so that you can receive your inheritance for this day and know your Lord in the process.