I love the person of Abraham. I mean everything about him – from the dark side (i.e., his willingness to lie about who his wife was to protect his own hide), to the light (his belief and trust in his own inner knowing despite the overwhelming lack of physical evidence). There’s a story about Abraham (then called Abram) nestled in the Genesis account that paints one of the most powerful pictures in all of the Sacred writings – to miss it is to miss the core message of Spirit.
I encourage you to read Genesis Chapter 15, verses 1-21, including a few chapters before and after, to get the full context. In a nutshell, Abram is exploring his dreams as relate to his life’s purpose for the third time, and he’s asking for a sign.
Thus the first came into being. Source
According to the story, Abram cut up some animals, went to sleep, and had a dream. In his dream, Abram witnessed a smoking fire pass between the pieces of the animals he had cut up and heard Spirit promise that his family would become a great nation.
The story itself describes a common practice in those days called ‘cutting a covenant.’ Basically, when two people wanted to make a pact, a deal, or a bargain with each other, they would cut some animals into pieces and lay them apart on the ground with space between them forming a sort of aisle. Each party would then state their oath(s) aloud as they walked between the pieces. The meaning of the ritual was simple: ‘May I be cut into pieces like these animals if I don’t keep my promise(s) as I’ve stated in this agreement (covenant).’ Normally there were commitments made on both sides, but not in Genesis 15. Did you catch it?
The covenant was between Abram’s god and his descendants, but only Spirit made the commitment to suffer the consequences in case of a breach of contract. Because Spirit never breaks a promise.
The story of a pot of fire moving through the torn carcasses of animals is a strange one, no doubt. But it speaks a beautiful truth: We can rely on the fact that our visions and goals have the power to become reality, if we will only trust in Spirit to bring them to pass. Abram did not need to walk through the pieces because his part was to dream the dream of his future joy. Spirit (the subconscious, the powers that be in the metaphysical realm, the unseen Divine nature) is always the one responsible for making those dreams into a reality.
Let’s look at this a little more closely. In verses one thru five Abram reviewed his desire for an heir. In verse six we find that he already trusted in this eventuality coming to pass. Faith, rightly placed, produces results. But Abram’s belief played absolutely no part in the cutting of the covenant about to take place. In other words, nothing Abram did or believed in any way impacted the reality of gaining the Land. This is important.
The Land was a separate issue from the heir because the land represented the presence of Spirit with the people. But consider why Spirit called Abraham in the first place:
I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” (emphases mine)
Genesis 18:18, 22:18, and 26:4 comprise Spirit’s promise to all mankind: The world blessed by experiencing intimacy with the Divine.
In other words, the land – and by implication, intimacy with Spirit in loving relationship – was not for Abram’s descendents (Israel) alone. Not by a long shot.
Spirit’s end game has always been global.
On the heels of the covenant regarding the land, note that we are not told that Abram believed, but instead that he asked a question: “How will I know that it will one day be mine?” Sounds like Abram was looking for proof, a sign. In fact, unlike Abram’s faith in a coming heir (though he was childless), this time he did not believe. Little did Abram know he was asking the one question that concerns all of humanity. How do we know that Spirit has a plan to bless us, to renew us – that there truly is no separation between us?
I know because some 4,000 years ago Spirit cut a covenant with me.
No, that’s not a typo. Shadows and types and representatives, oh my! The Bible is full of them. Abram was my – your, our – representative, cutting the covenant of grace, securing the promise of Spirit to fill the earth.
Now it is time to consider the position of this story within a greater historical context. Abram was an ancestor of Moses through whom the Law came. As a reminder, we are not told that Abram did anything to earn results, only that he believed. The covenant was purely an act of grace. Think about it. If the covenant of grace had come after the Law, we would have reason to think that there is something we must do for Spirit to keep the bargain (like pray a prayer or believe a certain way). This story puts it out there on display: there is nothing for us (the EGO) to do, and in this case, not even for the mind to believe. Why? Because if we have a part now in keeping this covenant, then Abram would have believed and been required to walk through the pieces as our representative back then.
I don’t have to do anything to be a part of it, but the invitation to participate stands.
None of us as the EGO will ever be able to keep covenant with Spirit. We can’t even keep covenant with each other – or ourselves, for that matter! Romans 3 is the clearest picture of the internal war we all wage between Spirit and the Ego. If there was any covenant to be made with mankind, it had to be on Spirit’s side only – outside of the realm of the flesh. Works of the flesh and the mind’s beliefs have nothing to do with Spirit’s love for the creation or the absolute and unwavering commitment to make all things new. Spirit has always been and will always be pure positive energy, love. Nothing about my ego self can change that, nor does the ego have much of a part in it.
One day it hit me what the pieces of those animals really were:
The broken body of Jesus – my flesh in submission to the higher purposes of Spirit.
Spirit walked through the pieces of those animals knowing full well that we – mankind consumed by the ego sense – must one day – by virtue of the natural result of the evolution of the ego – make a sacrifice of the person of Jesus. “This is My body, broken for you…” Who cut the animals up? Abram did – in my place. I did it, through Abram. We did it, through the Romans. We cut up the sacrifice. The Romans stood for me, for you, for us, crucifying Jesus on a cross – putting to death the Ego self, the flesh – in all its grim, gory detail. Jesus’ refusal to fight back was a demonstrative shout to the cosmos that love, not violence, trumps all. Now we know that nothing – not even murder – can ever defeat love. We also know that death will not have the final say in anything.
The Bible is a collection of stories written to teach and inspire us to go deeper than what our natural mind can comprehend – indeed, to delve into the heart. The writers of the Old Testament would often take a common practice in the ancient world and turn it on its head in order to teach people how Spirit operates. It is very dangerous to take the Biblical texts and stories literally – they are not meant to be historical, but more along the lines of philosophical – fictional stories revealing spiritual truths. The Jews understood this because this was exactly how they taught. Our modern mindset, born and bred under the shadow of the Enlightenment looks at a text for study rather than for inner inspiration, contemplation, and spiritual growth. Sad, really.
But bringing ancient practices into today’s world to live by them as if they were law is worse than sad, it actually leads to lawlessness: bigotry, ego-centricity, hatred, war, oppression, slavery, and the like. The sole purpose of Scripture is to teach us our relationship to and with Spirit – my chosen name for the quantum world that exists outside of our physical senses.
The Ego (flesh) cannot inherit what Spirit is offering to bring to earth anymore than I can overcome the law of gravity. Yet what is for now unknown but revealed and believed in within the Field of infinite possibility, must come to pass by virtue of the law of attraction. The Universe is built on the premise that we reap what we sow and that what we focus on becomes our reality. The one requirement is that we learn to bypass the Ego.
I pray that you understand – really understand – that Spirit has no expectations of you as regards relationship. You are the Divine spark in human flesh. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. You are love incarnate. And you have the choice to walk in that or not. It is up to you whether or not you will continue to allow the Ego – violence, destruction, and death – to reign in your life, but please know that there is another way. It’s time to dream a dream of something much, much better.