Those Who Make A Covenant With God

By Francis Frangipane

The Covenant- Keeping God
Throughout the history of God's dealings with man, He has revealed Himself as a covenant-making God. The Almighty covenanted with Noah, Abraham, Moses and David; He renewed His Abrahamic covenant in His call to Isaac and Jacob. Each covenant initiated a new wave of redemptive power into the world and forever impacted the human condition.

The word covenant means "to fetter" or chain together. It was the highest form of commitment that two individuals could share. Any of several rituals were employed to express the covenant partners’ unity: A sword might be passed, signifying that the two would be united against the enemy as one. They might pass a sandal between themselves, which symbolized they would travel any distance to be at one another's side. Or, they might cut an animal in two and pass between its halves. Just as the two halves, though separated, were still one animal, so the two covenant partners would become as one individual.

When the Lord initiated His covenant with a man, He did so as an extension of His eternal purpose; the man was a component in a series of divine initiatives. Contained within the Lord's covenant was His divine intervention, His supernatural wisdom and strategies, and His provisions.

Thus, if we look at the Lord's call to Noah, we see that it was not the ark, but the covenant of God, that preserved Noah and his family during worldwide judgment. Noah was a component, a factor in a series of divine initiatives, which accomplished the Lord's predetermined plans. God established the covenant, designed the ark and brought the animals. The Lord even shut the door after Noah entered the ark.

When the Lord established His covenant with Abraham, twice a flaming torch passed through the halves of the animals Abraham offered in sacrifice. The two passes signified that God would keep His part of the covenant and He would keep Abraham's part of the covenant as well! Today, a restored Israel testifies to God's faithfulness in His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And it is God's covenant with Abraham, not merely the Jewish military, which preserves Israel in our times.

When the Lord entered into covenant with man, God promised that the covenant conditions and possibilities would not only apply to His servant, but His servant's descendants as well. Noah and his family, Abraham and his seed, and David and his family were all united as beneficiaries of God's covenant relationship. Similarly, we are saved and sustained through life's battles by Christ's covenant with the Father.

Payment And Pattern
Our salvation has been secured, not only because Jesus died for our sins, but because His death was part of a covenant He had with the Father. The fact that Jesus suffered on my behalf is staggering, but His crucifixion was a component of an even more powerful reality: His covenant with the Father.

The terms of Christ's covenant were such that, if He would live His life blamelessly and offer that holy life upon the cross for sins, everyone who looked to the Son of God would be granted forgiveness. The Father would look to Christ's sacrifice and see justice; and sinners would look to Jesus and find mercy. Yet, as maturing disciples, we find in Christ's covenant-mission not only our peace, but also a pattern Christ calls us to follow. He told His disciples, "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21). Having laid down His life in covenant surrender, He now bids us, "Take up [your] cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24). Of course, our cross does not replace His cross nor do the sub-covenants we make with God supersede Christ's covenant. The truth is, our cross extends the power of Christ's cross into our world and times, and our sub-covenant with God finds its backing because of Christ's covenant with God.

Thus, the Lord calls us to follow Him in personal covenants for our homes, cities and nations. The covenant we embrace is nothing less than the expression of Christ's nature, revealed again through us for our families, cities and nation.

The Harvest and Covenant Power
To many Christians, the idea of making a special covenant with God is unfamiliar. Yet, I believe that many have already felt the Holy Spirit speaking, urging them to deepen their commitment to Christ. Even so, covenants and our obedience to them must come from our hearts in response to the Lord's initiative. You will know the extent of your covenant by the measure of vision and faith, which also come from God.

Especially in the last days, we need to become a people who know the truth given us through Christ's covenant. And, in following Him, we should also know the unique endowment of grace He brings in making special covenants with us.

Indeed, Daniel 11:28-32 warns that the last days will be a time of unprecedented deception and spiritual intrigue. According to this text, Satan's rage will be hurled uniquely against "the holy covenant"! (v. 28a). Yet, in this same chapter we read, "But the people who know their God will display strength and take action. And those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many" (Dan. 11:32-33a).

The prophecy continues, "And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever" (Dan. 12:3). In the midst of great deception there will be a time and a people who know their God, have great insight, do exploits and lead many to righteousness. They will receive a new and powerful endorsement of God's Spirit.

Additionally, if the enemy will be warring specifically against the holy covenant, we can assume there is something of unparalleled power that Christ's covenant provides against Satan! A new authority is coming to those who desire full conformity to Christ. For a great harvest is indeed prophesied for the end of this age, and those leading the way will be individuals who understand Christ's covenant and have themselves covenanted with God for their land.

God's Unalterable Commitment
It is right to pray for the Lord to bless our lives. However, praying for the blessing and provision of God is not the same as covenanting with Him. A covenant is an altar upon which the Lord and His covenant partner give themselves fully to each other. The quality of a covenant relationship with God does not cease once prayers have been answered. For, in covenant love we mature from simply being "believers" to becoming living sacrifices, given to God's highest plans. By so yielding, He creates within us a life that He can use extraordinarily in the process of divine redemption.

Covenant power is greater than that which comes through prayer alone. The effects of a covenant reach far beyond simple faith. Prayer and faith are essentials; they are prerequisites, but not substitutes, for covenant power. The covenant relationship is a lifelong pledge, an unbreakable oath that God Himself initiates and promises to sustain. Contained within His promise is His unalterable commitment, not only to satisfy His redemptive purposes, but also to supply grace and faith to His human counterpart. Together, the all-sufficient God and a believing man accomplish the impossible through their covenant relationship.

The Power Released in a Covenant

A covenant with God accomplishes two interconnected goals. It thrusts us beyond "subjective prayer" (prayer made primarily for our personal needs), and it brings us into a deeper commitment to God. Out of greater commitment comes greater grace to accomplish God's redemptive work in the world. An example of covenant power is seen in ancient Israel during the revival that occurred after Athaliah, an idolatrous Judean queen, was dethroned. Jehoiada, the high priest, looked to God in covenant prayer. We read, "Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord's people" (2 Kings 11:17).

The result of his covenant was that grace came upon the people and they cleansed the land of idolatry. We read, "So all the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet" (v. 20). Jehoiada's covenant brought the nation back to God and ended violence in Jerusalem!

Consider also the power released in Hezekiah's covenant with God. The nation of Judah had been fully corrupted by Ahaz, the preceding king. However, Hezekiah began his reign by seeking God's highest favor. He opened the doors of the temple and reconsecrated the priests.

Yet, the purification of priests and buildings by themselves would not have brought about revival had not Hezekiah taken one further step. He said, "Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us" (2 Chr. 29:10).

Just eight days after the king made a covenant with the Lord, we read, "Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly" (v. 36). The difference between a long-term struggle and a speedy turning of the nation was, I believe, in the power that was released when the king covenanted with the Almighty.

It is vital that we who are Americans remember that our spiritual forefathers were people who knew and exercised principles of covenant sacrifice. When they came to this country, they knelt on its shores and covenanted with God for this land, dedicating the "new world" to Christ and His kingdom. It is unlikely that the revival of our nation will come without local and national church leaders covenanting together with God for their land.

Making A Covenant With God
A personal covenant with God is a serious commitment, worthy of extended prayer and focused waiting before God. I have covenanted with the Lord to see the body of Christ delivered of carnal divisions and racism; my covenant goal is that Christ's prayer of John 17 be answered.

I have also united my life and faith with the covenants of our Pilgrim forefathers. Together with other brethren, both locally and nationally, we have covenanted with God to see this land restored according to 2 Chronicles 7:14.

I believe there will be a time when this nation, like all nations, will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev 11:15). Until then, whether revival comes quickly or we pass through the fires of divine judgments, our lives belong to Christ-not simply to be blessed or prosperous, but to see His highest purposes accomplished in our land.

However, not all of us will covenant with God for the nation. According to their faith, some will make covenants with Him for their families. Others will covenant to see abortion ended in their cities. While still others will covenant with God for the church--to see unity established in the citywide church in their cities.

Making a covenant with God takes us further into our goal of Christlikeness. It is the highest relationship we can enjoy with God and it is the most deeply surrendered. It is, in truth, that which brings Him the most pleasure. To those who covenant with God, He says, "Gather My godly ones to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice" (Ps 50:5). Today, as this nation stands at the threshold of two realities, let us take time in contemplative prayer and kneel before the Almighty Father. In Christlike, focused surrender, as Christ was a living sacrifice for our sins, so let us become living sacrifices to God for those we love. Let us embrace covenant oneness with God that His purpose and passions be fulfilled in our lives and in our times.


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "The Power of Covenant Prayer" available at www.arrowbookstore.com.

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