It is a near to an impossible task for you, a living, breathing human on planet earth, to escape being in numerous covenant relationships consisting of varying levels of commitment. Covenants are so common they are barely noticed and paid little if any attention. Not only that, but blood covenant, which is the highest order of covenant, is hidden, first by God to be found only by those who have turned their hearts to Him, but also by Satan and his minions in an effort to prevent you from ever suspecting the existence of this important covenant.
Two important questions need to be asked:
- Why does blood covenant demand so much attention in the spiritual realm?
- How can you learn more about blood covenant and why it is important for you?
The Lone Ranger Effect
You’ve been there … feeling like the Lone Ranger … as if the world is a tuxedo and you are a pair of brown shoes. God must know that feeling, too. How many times and in how many places must He feel like He is the only one who sees things the way He does. And yet He will often put you in just that position. Though you do not realize it at the time, going through an experience like that is definitely a character builder.
There were many times when I felt more alone than the Lone Ranger (at least he had Tonto). Of course, God was always with me, but it seemed awfully easy for me to overlook that reality when I was in what I thought was an uncomfortable place. It wasn’t even a bad place. God was force feeding me covenant knowledge. He was jamming the concepts and principles of covenant into my heart and mind. He had to force them in because I was a rather new believer and the Bible truths I had at that time were held on to with strong convictions. My Bible knowledge was limited, and I feared I might lose what little I had if I entertained new ideas. I felt alone even though I was reading the Bible every day, and my wife and I were going to church every Sunday (and any other time we could). We were also listening to as many preachers on the radio as possible, and reading as many books as we could, and yet with all that, we were not reading or hearing anything about blood covenant. Even a mature Christian might feel like the odd man out in a situation like that.
Since those early days I have found a scant few books on the subject, but the instruction of Biblical covenant, especially blood covenant, continued as I studied the Bible under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit. Biblical covenant was not a subject I initially sought. But with time I became so intrigued with the topic that I wanted to know as much as God would be gracious enough to show me. And I’m happy to say that as my knowledge base increased, my feelings of being like the Lone Ranger decreased.
The Covenant Lens
Coming to a knowledge and understanding of Biblical covenant took time. And patience. It is true that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So while God was showing covenant to me in the Bible, He was at the same time putting a damper on my enthusiasm, unfounded as it was, to tell the whole world what they had been missing. My enthusiasm was fostered by the realization that Biblical covenant was a huge subject. I came to understand that it was bigger than a doctrine of the Bible. In fact, I now believe covenant is what I call an overriding theme of the Bible. Everything in the Bible can be viewed through the covenant lens. It is why covenant is given such a great amount of attention in the spiritual realm.
This was big. And I was blown away. I couldn’t believe that God was showing me something of this magnitude. It wasn’t that I thought I was the only one to receive insight into covenant. I believed there certainly were others, but I surely felt that I was the least qualified. I remember saying that God could have told someone else, like someone on TV who could broadcast this important message to millions of people. Nonetheless, God continued to show me, while at the same time constraining me from sharing it until I was ready.
I am sharing this with you because there is a message for all of you in my experience. It is simply this:
“There is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:11)
That simple revelation of God’s character, which is unchanging, means that He will reveal His most deeply hidden secrets to you without prejudice or hesitation. That means you, and all you believers, can and should see big and mighty things in the Bible by means of revelation from the Holy Spirit. This is the one sure way of learning more and more about the Bible and the nature and ways of God.
The Sabbath Rest
Revelations of covenant in the Bible have shaped the way I view the Bible. Once I saw it as merely a manual and a rule book. If I would just learn and follow the rules and instructions, I would do well. But even from my earliest experiences, there was tension within me about that point of view. Keeping the rules was the Old Covenant way, and Jesus was the mediator of a new and better covenant. By implication, that means the New Covenant was not about a focus on rule keeping. The new covenant is not about whether you do or don’t, instead it is about whether you will or whether you won’t. In other words, it depends on the position of your heart. To do a good work just to keep a commandment is the way of the Israelites. On the other hand, doing the same good work because you want to, because your heart is in agreement with God’s will and His ways, is faith. Putting your belief in God into action can move mountains.
The New Covenant is a better covenant because it is not adhered to by your effort. Instead, it is kept by God Himself working obedience in you through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Paul said it this way:
3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4)
Your job as a believer is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. When you choose to live your life in that manner, you get to rest. No longer must you work to be right in God’s eyes by keeping the Commandments. The writer of Hebrews said:
9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (Hebrews 4:9-10)
Earlier in the same chapter of Hebrews the Holy Spirit proclaims, “For we who have believed enter that rest.” (Hebrews 4:3a) And what is this rest of God’s? The writer of Hebrews tells us that God rested because “His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:3) Entering God’s rest is part of your heritage as a believer. As a believer your works are finished just as His were. And you enter that same Sabbath rest, not on a particular day of the week, but every single day of every single week for the remainder of your life on earth and for all eternity in heaven.
How Does The World Look To You?
When I realized that I was connected to God in a covenant way, and that all of the work that was ever going to be required for me to keep the covenant had been and was being done by Him, and that all I had to do was rest, the way I viewed the whole idea of Christianity changed. His rest sets you free to remove the focus from yourself. You can quit striving to be good enough to be saved or strong enough to actually live as the Bible describes. He has given you His Spirit to lead you to fulfill the requirement of the whole Law. For what reason do you continue striving? Rather than seeking something for yourself, why not set out to do the good works God gives you to do? Why not look at the world around you and say, “Isn’t it time to do something to help those who need my help so desperately?” Isn’t it time to not only rest as God did, but also to adopt His same attitude? Since you who believe are free from having to earn your salvation, remember Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world, that He gave [He stopped working and started giving] His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God’s covenant rest is a supernatural gift to all believers. It sets you free from striving and positions you to love, i.e., to give, in a way only God can accomplish. This is a totally new way of viewing the Bible, the world and your place in it. It is a covenant paradigm.