Covenant is a word that we are not often accustomed to these days, but it's a word which we must recover for the good of all. Covenant lies central to reality and true living. We do not conceive of this very much. Most of us conduct our lives in such a way that though we do not perceive this, because it lies at the fundamental level of our being and as such is in the subconscious since most of us are not sensitive to the level out of which we "be" in life. But, at this fundamental level for most of us is selfishness and really for all of us this is true, though a few find the way out of this destructive mode of living which is based on a fundamental lie. We live for our happiness and we arrogantly think that we are good and therefore somebody owes us something in life. Most of us go through our lives trying to get what we are "owed" whether we pursue it from God or from other people. Some of us pursue it by doing lots of good things for the world to better humanity and make a difference, but this selfishness still lies at the base of it, undetected by the common man.
In reality, life is a gift to us to enjoy, yes, but it's a TRUST. This life is a trust. We are owed nothing and actually we are all born into a great debt that we can never possibly pay back. The fact remains that this life is a trust. The hand of God is extended to all with a covenant, a contract of sorts that we can choose to take or not. This life is a trust, to see what we'll do with it. This is humbling and sucks the life out of our selfishness when it goes beyond just a good idea that I'm blogging about right now and becomes that foundational thing that actually sinks in to the level of my being. It enters my spirit and becomes that foundational truth that I must live by. This is when we know that God's truth has become our truth; it's when we can say that it's the imperceptible foundational truth that we literally find our "being" in. That's when the word has become flesh in the manner that the word became flesh in Jesus and continue to become flesh in Jesus (see the gospel of John, chapter 1).
See, thinking of Jesus as our Savior exclusively is dangerous. It's true that He is, but that is not the entire gospel of God. Jesus in the intermediary of a covenant and trust that God extends, and when we willingly come into that covenant, there are terms.
I came to realize this last night, when I came home after a meeting with the two I often talk about whom God has called me into covenant with. Through covenant with them, God teaches me about covenant with Him. I was feeling begrudging about the meeting because of the plans I had for last night and this weekend, but the meeting was of greater necessity. I caught myself at the door of the house I was staying at and realized, "Nathan, you have made a covenant. How dare you begrudge in this situation, when you voluntarily made a covenant to these two people and all that you are called to together." And in that moment, God taught me about covenant with Him and entering into all that I am called to enter into in the Scripture. If I have chosen covenant with God, then I am coming to Him on His terms, laid out in Scripture. Perhaps one way to voice the essence of God's terms is thus, at least as I understand them right now: In My [God's] covenant (trust, or contract), you are called in this life to be holy and perfect as I am holy and perfect by My ability, strength and grace and not by your own ability [because it's impossible] through your exercise of faith. That is one way to voice the essence of God's call to us, though it is not comprehensive or complete and it's not the only way to voice it. God calls us to faith in Christ as our savior and what is He saving us to? A life where we become like God in the context of relationship with God through God's ability alone as we live by faith alone. God is just asking for us to say yes to His ways and His plan and His terms. He provides the energy and ability to do it and the means is our faith in Him, which we can only get from Him too!
Covenant needs to come not only into our vocabulary, but into our experience, our being and our spirits again. We need to feel covenant in our bones and we need to choose covenant with God again.