There was a time when you could shake someone’s hand and say, “My word is my bond” and there was no doubt that the promise of whatever was spoken would be fulfilled. As you and I both know, those times have long come and gone. I recently signed a lease agreement for a house I rented for my family here in Galveston. Page after page was every possible situation and stipulation written out for me to sign to protect the management company from any type of loss or lawsuit due to disagreement. This is why we have no concept naturally of what it means to make covenant with someone, besides, even a contract can be broken, right?
Last month I encouraged you with the Four Will’s that God spoke to Abram in Genesis 12. I want to take this idea a step further and look at this ongoing conversation that God had with Abram. First, I want to ask a few questions for you to ponder before you answer. What obligation does God have where your healing is concerned, or your financial increase? What really binds Him to your overall wellbeing and quality of life? Don’t just toss out a cliché answer or verse without probing your heart to see what you actually believe. If I can be so bold, I want to make this statement. If you and I sincerely believe and understand biblical covenant then there will be no hesitation or reservation concerning the outcome of the opposition we face.
Abram found himself in a situation where God’s “Will” was not manifesting according to his timeline. Abram said things like, “Seeing I go childless.” and “Look, You have given me no offspring.” Abram was letting God know that there were questions in his heart concerning the promise of making him a great nation. In short Abram was saying, “I made the step, I took your “My word is my bond” speech from chapter 12 and things are seemingly not adding up. I love Abram’s honesty in this conversation. We might as well be open with God, because He already knows anyway. God then begins to walk Abram through the process of covenant by saying, “Look up! The first step in understanding covenant is getting your eyes off the trial or unfulfilled promise and onto the Almighty God who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
There are three reasons to cut a covenant, 1) To love 2) To partner and 3) To preserve. I want to expound briefly on these three reasons. Take them and begin to meditate on them allowing each one to bring boldness and confidence to your heart concerning God’s unnatural and eternal commitment to you and all that concerns your life.
Love, biblical love, will always be the priority and foundation of any covenant. Its purpose is to provide peace and loving-kindness to two parties. God sent Jesus Christ His only Son to end the enmity between God and man, and bring wholeness to our lives. This peace and loving-kindness means nothing missing and nothing broken. Satan has attacked this example by placing an all out siege on marriages. God chose the marriage of a man and women to be the physical example of covenant between Christ and the church. A biblical marriage is a ceremony based on covenant rituals that bind two individuals as one. We have been made one with Christ and should ever be in remembrance of His unfailing and never-ending commitment to us.
When two parties join forces, combining their influences, abilities and wealth along with their weaknesses and shortcomings, they become partners. The wild thing about our covenant with God is that it was made between the Man Jesus Christ and Himself. There is no weakness or shortcomings in Jesus. He is the perfect and spotless Lamb of God who is our forever substitute and advocate. This partnership is all about increasing us, exalting us to God’s level as we are seated with Him in heavenly places in Christ. Partnership is a selfish act of assisting another for the accomplishment of a common goal. Through Christ, God the Father has made us a new creation and empowered us to live a life that is above the reproach of the enemy. In this covenant, it is all of Him and none of us.
The last reason is preservation. This is God’s desire to see to it that you and I are free from decay and death. When God in Christ handled the sin issue, it by consequence removed all sickness and disease from our lives. Health and healing are not the coming attractions of God but the benefits of being in covenant with Him. Psalms 103:2b-4 says, “Forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction and crowns your life with loving-kindness and tender mercies.” This is a verse based on covenant, not wishful thinking — a bond of eternal commitment.
So, to answer our earlier question of what obligates God where your life is concerned? The answer is covenant! The more we renew our mind to what it means to be in covenant with God the more we will become bold to lay hold and live on the level of life God has planned and purchased for us in Christ.