The key to leading a victorious life is first to be in covenant and the second is to be in position. Every spiritual relationship is covenantal in nature, It is a pre-determined relationship which assigns each party predetermined rights and responsibilities and must be voluntarily entered into and acknowledged by both parties. The rules, terms, conditions, responsibilities and benefits are non-negotiable. You cannot expect to experience the benefits of a covenant you are not a party to or do not operate in.
Kingdom relationships move based on covenant not charity. These covenantal relationships govern all human relationships and are the basis of all social order even among those who profess not to know God the most common covenantal relationships are :
1 Lord and servant
2 Husband and wife
3 Parent and Child
4 Employer and employee
5 Leader and member
6 Friend and Friend
7 Teacher and Disciple
Each of these relationships are found in scripture and each party to these covenants has been proscribed both responsibilities and benefits by God. To be in covenant means to have been assigned a specific role in one or more of these covenantal relationships, (i.e. Husband, Parent, Teacher, or disciple), to acknowledge the assignment by God and to have that assignment acknowledged by the other party to the covenant. There cannot be a covenant established by unilateral action, no covenant established by accident or by force. The greatest example of this truth lies in the fact that in order to receive the benefit of the covenant established through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we must each acknowledge Him as our Lord, which in turn positions us as His servants. The fact that Christ died to redeem us from the death and condemnation earned by our sin provides no benefit unless we acknowledge His covenantal position as Lord and ours as servants. Likewise no martial covenant can be established unless both the intended husband and the intended wife acknowledge both their respective positions and the role of the other party. However, acknowledging the respective roles of the covenant is not enough if we do not actually honor and operate in the positions we acknowledge.
In each of the covenantal relationships established by God each party to the relationship has been given a prescribed series of obligations and a series of intended benefits with the understanding that each party to the relationship should have as their primary focus the fulfillment of their obligations under the terms of the covenant, not the receipt of the intended benefits or the imposition of their will on the other party so that the ultimate and divine purpose of the covenant is fulfilled. If we are going to be able to fulfill the responsibilities proscribed for our role in any covenantal relationship we must first understand their purpose, this is equally true regardless of which covenantal relationship we are in. What is often not understood is that the purpose of each relationship and each position is the same and that is to produce Christ-likeness in us and in so doing glorify God.
Many, even some in the body of Christ, believe that the ultimate purpose of all social relationships is the personal satisfaction of the parties and as a result have adopted a “if it feels good do it” mentality when it comes to the choices they make for themselves and advocate for others, even much of the psychological and spiritual communities have adopted the view that the determination of right relationships is based on how the relationship makes you feel rather than what it ultimately produces in you. However it should be evident by now that this point of view as well as the relationship models that it produces is not only non-covenantal but destructive to the parties involved and what is worse society as a whole. What should be equally evident to each of us is that at the basis of all human emotional and spiritual need is confidence in who we are and how we establish our position and value in the world. Our need for attention, love, friendship, affection and even sex are rooted in our need to answer these questions. However, in a world with no uniform standards, with no clearly articulated rules of conduct, no pre-determined roles, or requirements finding the answers to these questions is simply not possible. What is even worse is that fact that where there is no order there can be no certainty and with out certainty there can be no peace and with out peace there can be no growth (transformation) and with no growth God will not receive Glory.
The order that God has established through these covenantal relationships provides the basis for stable social relationships which in turn provides each of us the peace we need to develop into who God has ordained. Each of these covenantal relationships are designed by God to intersect our lives at differing points and bring different dimensions or facets of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, each relationship is designed to demonstrate the difference between what God intended in His act of creation and what our bondage to the god’s of this world produced in us. This can only be accomplished through covenant and position. For example entering into the covenantal relationship as a parent, (whether natural or spiritual, by birth or engrafting) requires the parent to emulate the sacrificial role of Christ as priest, prophet and Sheppard while at the same time requiring the child to recognize Christ, (through the parent) as the source of both love and direction and require the child to emulate the submission that Christ demonstrated to the Father. Once again with out entering into covenant and operating in position these goals cannot be realized and God will not be glorified. This is equally true of each covenantal relationship whether the covenant is between two individuals or between God and the Church. The greatest example of the necessity of operating in covenant and position is found in the examination of the nation of Israel. Each of us are familiar with the basic terms of the covenant that God established between Himself and the nation of Israel which in its most basic terms established God as their God and the nation of Israel as His people. Based on that covenant the nation of Israel was required to operate under certain terms, the most well known of which are the Ten Commandments, these commandments along with a series of additions laws and precepts ( some 614 in total) established the boundaries of their social relationships with one another and with God himself, all of which were designed to create a distinct culture which would serve to draw a contract between the original intent of God and the culture the gods of this world created. This produced a people set apart for God who served only God and would prosper accordingly. In response to their operating in the position required under the terms of the covenant God assured them that He and He alone would serve as their source of everything they needed. Further those things that He chose to provided also provided guidance in their understanding what God judged to be good, helpful and proper. However, despite God’s desire that they prosper their continued victory against both natural and spiritual forces around them was conditioned upon their continued operation as God’s people, which in turn required them to abide by God’s instructions for their relationship with Him, with one another and with those around them and their failure to do so resulted in their victory giving way to defeat and bondage. If we acknowledge, as we generally do that the nation of Israel is a natural picture of the of the Churches spiritual reality then we must also recognize the lessons that the picture painted by the nation of Israel have to teach us and the lesson that screams most loudly is that out victory lies in our being in covenant and in position.
For many who read this the issue of being in covenant is not a new one, in fact many will correctly say that they recognize most of the covenantal relationships described in here are present in their lives. They will point to the fact that they are a member of a Church that they are or at least desire to be married, that they are or will become parents and that at least on some level have relationship with those who played parental roles in their natural lives. They will with great assurance profess that they understand that these relationships are covenantal. However being in covenant is not enough if you are not also in position, and that is the real issue. For example it is one thing to be in the covenantal relationship of marriage, it is quite another to earnestly proclaim that you are operating in that covenant as God intended, or to proclaim that one is a parent but another to parent as God requires. In other words it is one thing to do it, doing it according to God’s word is quite another. If we are honest with ourselves we would acknowledge that many of our covenantal relationships are operated based on instructions which we derive from the culture we live in and as such do not truly reflect what God intended, likewise many of us if responding honestly would confess that the peace and certainty, the acceptance and security that we desire and more importantly need from these covenantal relationships is missing as well. However I wonder how many see the correlation between not operating these relationships as God instructed and not receive what God intended. This is the challenge of this generation to recognize the between our abandonment of the instructions of God that the deteriorating condition of our society and our lives because if we do not fully recognize the cause we will never fully embrace the cure and we will continue to posses keys to a victorious life that we will never use.
****This Article is written by Dr. D. L. Wallace. You may Connect with him at www.dlwallaceministries.com