Covenant Understanding vs Contract Thinking
Looking around you today it's easy to see that few people understand what they are doing when they enter into 'Marriage'!
Today marriages are built on contractual thinking and performance, if you love me, treat me right and make me happy then I'll stay married to you; but if you don't I'll look for someone who will! These conditions are unspoken but attached to many of our vows none the less. This kind of thinking gives us a back door escape route for a quick get away when things really get tough!
Pastors and leaders have lost the understanding that it was God who made marriage a 'covenant until death' not man, and if you were to ask those sitting in our pews today they couldn't even tell you what the word 'covenant' really means let alone the power that backs it up!
Ignorance or lack of knowledge have caused Christian to become covenant breakers!
Our children and society are paying a devastatingly high price because of our ignorance. The Church today no longer consider God's power, His character, or His nature is to reconcile and restore all things, especially broken families!
God is willing and able to raise the dead, especially dead marriages because marriage was designed by God to represent His image to our children. All He asks is for just one person in that marriage that has stumbled to humble themselves before Him, and be available and willing to stand in the gap for the other, so He can bring the other who has gone astray back to their senses. He is able to turn them from their wicked ways and back into rightstanding with Him and the Father again in answer to a praying spouse crying out to God on their behalf. Someone willing to fight the good fight for their sons or daughters, wives or husbands who has been taken captive by the enemy.
God is able and wants to come in and restore our families, our homes, and our land back into His pristine order again. This battle belongs to the Lord. He is calling His church to come stand in the gap with Him, to pray and proclaim what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to His people today because the enemy has come in like a flood to destroy us.
Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethern, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses"
And in Hosea 4:6-10 Hosea warns us that ignorance will destroy us.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because they rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being a priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God I also will forget your children.
So what does entering into Covenant with God mean then?
It means God will never leave you or forsake you no matter what trials or tribulations you go throught on your journey through life if you make Him your God! He desires to help His people be strong so that we can endure to the end and grow in wisdom and understanding in who He is that dwells in us.
Now what is entering into a "Contract" mean?
It means that as a man or a woman you are both legally bound to each other until one of you breaks the legal contract you made in front of men by what someone does or doesn't do, it all depends on your preformance.
Contracts are made out of fear that the other person might not be trusted to fulfil their promises they made to you. The promise you precieve in your mind more than likly that they are expected to keep.
They are to please you, comfort you, protect you, and not harm you, they must do right by these standards, so you can stay with them forever. But if they fail to keep these standards, they are toast. God's standards and desires are not necessarily involved!
Moses gave man a loop hole called divorce, but he gave it only to those who turned away in rebellion after hardening their hearts towards God and His way of doing things, choosing a way that seemed right in their own eyes instead.
An example of a man made "contract"
If I sell you my car for $5,000. and you default on the agreement you made with me by paying me only $2,000. I now have a loop hole in this legal contract to make it null and void. I can divorce myself from this broken contract. I give you back your $2,000. I'm now free to make a new contract with someone else if I so choose, or make a brand new contract with you.
An example of a God made "Covenant"
(using the same car for this example as well)
I make a Promise to you to give you my car because I love you so very much, but later I find out you said or did something that hurt me so deeply that I feared ever recovering, but being a person of integrity who loves the Lord I'm now obliged to keep my promise to you, and give you my car because of what I said, my promise wasn't on what you said, or did, but on what I said.
I will keep my word to you even to my own hurt, even though I'm extremely unhappy with how I was treated by you.
As a Christ follower, my word is my bond. God's ways are higher than ours. I freely make the choice to forgive you from my heart, by choosing not to take on an offence against you out of my love for God and you. I'll do what is right because I love God, and you. I want no conditions attached to my love, but of course I will cry out to God in my hurt and anger seeking desperately for His help to do this because on my own I would never do it. I need God's suppernatural strength to overcome my fleshly desire to get even with you for hurting me and betraying me!
God's strength is what we receive when we enter into a covenant with Him.