We live in a time of never ending change in culture. These shifts and changing world views have entered into every realm of influence in society but especially the church and family. These two realms of influence are important because God first established covenant there. Principles and truths that were once a given are now being challenged on a whole new level and we must fight to keep truth and righteousness alive. We must have eyes to see this as it strives to gain access to each of us on different levels, and at an given time. Anytime we allow our hearts to wander from truth, covenant is in jeopardy of being breached. Our ways are not like God’s ways, and keeping covenant with him first and foremost is the best way we can stay aligned properly in truth so as to not fall prey to deception. Covenant is the safest place in the world to be, because it is a place that God ordained.
Covenant: agreement, partnership, union, pledge, promise, vow and legally binding contract.
Covenant is literally a contract. We understand this in the marriage contract/covenant but do we understand this concept in our relationship with God and with his people? This is why we MUST BE BORN AGAIN. God established covenant-not man. It originated in the heart of God, and Jesus sealed it with his blood, therefore the purposes that are birthed through covenant relationships, must be looked at differently than non-covenant relationships. We aren’t to be in covenant with everyone, and all relationships aren’t equal, so we must first place a value on covenant and not enter into relationships lightly.
GOD FIRST ESTABLISHES COVENANTS IN OUR LIVES-THEN PURPOSES ARE BIRTHED FROM THOSE COVENANTS. ETERNAL PURPOSES HAVE AN ORDER.
When we enter into relationships prematurely and outside of covenant, not properly discerning them, the effects are damaging because unrighteousness and rebellion are birthed. I’ve learned that non-covenant relationships produce Ishmaels’. We see this best exemplified with Abraham and Sarah when she sent her handmaiden (Hagar) in to fulfill a covenant promise of God through a non-covenant relationship- instead of waiting on God’s timing. Everything has a time and season attached to it and when we move ahead and birth things out of our flesh we can experience the same heartache Sarah did with Ishmael and his mother's-reproach. As a matter of fact we are still experiencing this breach of covenant today thousands of years later.
Now I know we’ve all produced some type of Ishamel in our lives, and we can’t change the past-but we can certainly change the present and the future generations as we place a value on legitimate covenants.
Covenant relationships were meant to bless us-not harm us, so we must not enter into them lightly. We see here in scripture what the intended result of covenant was meant to produce:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves upon the ground.“ When Abraham was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said-“I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” Genesis 17:1-2
Fruitfulness, blessing and increase is to be our portion in covenant.
I believe God established covenant so we would understand his commitment to us and what true communion and fellowship look like. Covenant should reveal God’s value on a person and their unique purpose in our lives. It should exhibit partnership traits where both sides are committed to the purposes of God and each other. Covenant is not one sided-it is to be experienced together.
This understanding of true covenant will revolutionize the way you view your relationships; they will no longer be random but specific for the kingdom of God. Each of us hold the capacity to establish and birth the purposes of God in the earth, through the establishment of covenant, especially for the generations after us. God thinks not only about you and me-but also about the generations after us-our children, and grandchildren etc…. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so we too must think generational. If one generation is skipped it will send a ripple effect across the family culture, church culture and every other culture in society. We must keep covenant alive.
I know this may seem heavy and it is. I know too that this brief look at covenant only scratches the surface, but I believe it to be a good place to begin.
Be intentional to activate this revelation by asking the Lord about your current relationships. Take time and prayerfully look at the people you currently consider partners in your life and from that perspective begin looking at the areas where you are not seeing yourself being valued or being fruitful. Covenant should always produce value and purpose-that’s the heart of God.