Notice: this post is part of the “A Personal Call” series, and is intended to be read after my “A Personal Call (Part 2)” post. Thank you.
The Covenant Life
If we say that we are a follower of God, then we have to show it through our actions, attitude, and thoughts. Saying that you’re a follower of the Lord is like handing someone a Bible and saying that you are committed to obeying all God’s commands written in it. That is a huge commitment! In this post, I will be presenting Eric Ludy’s summarization of The Covenant Life. What is The Covenant Life? It’s a life not our own, but Christ’s life within us. It’s complete devotion to our Lord and Savior without compromise. It’s a commitment to God, telling Him that we will strive to follow Him for the rest of our lives. Of course, we will always be sinners, but that doesn’t mean we have to let ourselves be overcome by sin. We can strive to be something better than mere sin-conquered beings. In fact, we can strive for perfection. It’s true, we will never really attain perfection on this earth, but if we don’t try to be the best we can be for our Lord, then why call ourselves Christians at all? Why do we even try to follow God if we aren’t willing to give it everything we’ve got? Like one of my friends said, “If you’re not striving for perfection, then what are you striving for?” There are thousands of people who would say they’re Christians. Maybe you’re one of them. But let me ask you a question; be honest to yourself about the answer. Where is God in your life? Is He where He should be, at the front and center of it all? In my opinion, it’s utterly hypocritical to call yourself a Christian if you aren’t either 1. Perfect in every area of your life (Impossible, I know) or 2. Striving every day to grow in your relationship with God and follow Him more completely. Unfortunately, many, MANY people try to “gain access” into Heaven, but at the same time hold on to as much of this sinful world as possible. I myself tried this method, but let me tell you, it does not work! Yes, God will always love you, but He’s not looking for lukewarm, sin-conquered wimps to be the messengers for His amazing Truth. He wants champions of the Faith! Those who are willing to die for God’s cause! Those who would walk up to the base of the Cross and, while thousands around mock and yell at them, would point upward to Jesus hanging there and say, “I’m with Him!” Are you one of these champions?
The first step to truly following God and becoming a champion of the Faith is to commit our life to Him. You might have already done this with your parents or at AWANA, but I’m not asking you to “re-commit” your life to Jesus. If you’re a Christian, then all I’m asking you to do is remind yourself of that commitment. To keep in mind what you agreed to do when you committed yourself to the Creator of the universe. You agreed to follow and obey God with all your HEART, SOUL, and MIND. In order to truly be champions of the Faith, we must let God have our sinful life. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and offer us His life to dwell inside us. It is then our choice to accept and follow Him consistently for the rest of our days, or reject Him. This beautiful vow to God is a very sincere thing to commit to, and requires constant attention on God and His interests in us and our world around us. But let me tell you, it’s the very best way to live, and you will never regret committing to it. Here’s the entire commitment as written in Eric Ludy’s amazing book, “God’s Gift to Women.”
Here’s something Eric Ludy says in the book shortly before presenting his summarization of the Covenant.
“God desires us to find completeness in Christ Jesus. He wants us to walk with Him daily, moment by moment, and be transformed into His likeness. But He warns us that we will never find this life unless we really want it. We will never gain it unless we are prepared to receive it.
How do we know that we are ready to turn our inner command center completely over to Christ? Here are some questions we must ask ourselves:
1. Am I ready to have my life invaded by a foreign Power?
2. Am I prepared to have every outpost within my inner terrain taken over?
3. Am I willing to let go of my agenda, my way, and my will, once and for all?” – Eric Ludy
And here’s the section with the Covenant:
“Jesus Christ yearns for soldiers of the Cross to rise up. He’s longing to have warrior poets trek this earth again, men with the very Life of God beating within their chests. But true warrior poets are shaped in the flame of surrender.
To enter into this sacred bond with our King, we must come humbly to the covenant alter and say “I do” to these four questions.
1. Do I choose to forgo my reputation, my image, and forget what others may think of me? Do I choose to make the opinion of my King the only opinion that matters? Do I choose to lose my identity in Jesus Christ and risk appearing the way He appears to this world – as a fool or a fanatic?
2. Do I choose to make my life, my abilities, and my resources available to my King, for Him to use in whatever manner He may see fit? Do I choose to make the minutes and hours within my day completely and unreservedly available to my King, for Him to define and structure in whatever manner that pleases Him? Do I choose to make my physical body a tool in the hand of my King – allowing Him to send suffering or pain or pleasure, according to His good plan?
3. Do I determine to make the pursuit, service, protection, and enjoyment of the Life of my King my primary focus for each and every day for the rest of my life? Do I choose to remove anything that would stand in the way of cultivating that life? Do I choose to give up even “good” things if they hinder my love relationship with the Lord or hinder others from finding His life?
4. Whether living in plenty or in want, in sickness or in health, do I choose to faithfully serve and love my King? And do I choose to trust Him no matter what difficulties I may face or hardships He may choose to bring my way?
The covenant with our King is a solemn vow. It’s a covenant that reaches into eternity. We remember it every time we take communion (the Lord’s Supper). By taking the bread and the wine, we are saying, “I remember, cherish, and praise You, Jesus Christ, for the Life You have given me. And today I also remember that I am Yours, completely and unreservedly. My body is for You to break, and my blood is for You to pour out as You see fit. I am Your man, and this is Your Life!”” – Eric Ludy
I invite you today to enter into this covenant with our Lord. To really and truly say, “I do,” to the questions of commitment outlined above. To remember this agreement with your God and challenge yourself daily to take up your cross and follow Him. This is the commitment of a true believer in Christ Jesus. This is complete and unreserved devotion to our Creator. This is what should be evident in the life of every person who calls himself a Christian. This is The Covenant Life.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20