In my last blog, we looked at faith as a requirement to enter the salvation covenant. Only if you had enough faith, you could be drawn in to begin a revolutionary relationship with God.
But the proper attitude and understanding must accompany our faith so we can have success in living inside of His covenant? This is the topic of this blog.
The right attitude
It is not easy to keep the salvation covenant. But, if it is a matter of believing in the true God of Israel, we do it with gratitude and the expectancy of standing before Him when we die.
Yes, it can be difficult to have a relationship with Someone you can’t see, but when He is controlling your life that relationship will naturally develop.
With time, we receive an understanding of what it is to live within His covenant. So it is with this mix of faith, attitude, and understanding that we find the correct approach to serving God and living in His covenant.
What is this approach that we need to properly keep His covenant?
1. We need to trust God that He knows better than we do how to live.
2. We need to understand that death is a requirement to live.
3. God has a place for His people.
4. All of us will one day, be judged.
1. God knows best
On the surface, this requirement looks easy. But, if you start delving, it gets more complicated.
Stop trusting ourselves
Most of us live our lives according to things that bring us peace or happiness.
God tells us to stop trusting our feelings and desires and to follow His covenant instructions instead. For some people, their faith is challenged right there.
In Acts 9:16, Jesus tells Ananias about Paul and says: “…for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
This is also true for us. It is hard to follow God, if it means laying down our own wants and desires. We are no longer to be directed by our own desires, but by God’s will for our lives. It will cost us.
Each of us must answer the question: “Do I have enough faith in God that I would be willing to do whatever He asks of me?”
‘Follow your heart!’ people say. Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” You can’t follow your heart.
‘Trust your mind,’ people say. Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” We must put aside the things we think we know and follow His word instead.
Psalm 119:133 says: “Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.”
Our first step of faith is to lay down our feelings and desires and trust God that He knows better than we do how to live.
2. We must die to live
Once we believe that God knows best, we need to start killing off our selfish wants that leads us away from God. There are two ways that we might die for our faith.
We must be prepared to die for our faith.
It is interesting that ever since Jesus died on the cross, people have been killed for following Him. In many intervals in history, if you decided to follow Jesus, you knew beforehand that you would most likely be tortured and killed along with your whole family.
We must understand that we become genuine followers of Jesus on the understanding that the world wants us dead. It is happening in many parts of the world today if you proclaim your faith in Jesus.
How would our churches look today in America if every member knew they would be put to death for following Jesus? How many would stand and how many would turn their backs and walk away?
Death is the most accurate test of our faith. Followers of His priesthood are people whose faith in Him would cause them to lay their lives down for His namesake unhesitatingly.
Only when we are prepared to physically die for our faith in God we are ready to die spiritually for God.
We must be prepared to lay down our lives at Jesus’s feet even while we are still living. We must die a spiritual death: die to our selfish needs, feelings, and desires.
We must even be prepared to sacrifice our own happiness even if we found it previously outside of His covenant.
It is by laying down our lives that Satan is defeated
We are called to defeat Satan. He is defeated by the new covenant of Jesus, His sacrifice and His priesthood, His people who lay down their lives for Him.
Revelation 12:10-11: “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.’”
3. The world is not our home
This is one of the pillars of our faith
Once you understand that this world is only temporary, you’ll look at it differently. Life as it is here on earth is not something to be held onto.
2 Corinthians 4:18 says we must focus on the unseen things – the eternal things. This world as we know it, will pass away. Hebrews 1:10-12 states it beautifully:
“And, ‘You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will become old like a garment, and like a mantle You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.’”
We should not cling to this life. It is only temporary. We should focus on God and our relationship with Him. He will tell us how to serve others in the process.
4. Justice will be done
‘One day I will stand before Jesus’
Everyone will be held accountable for their deeds. Although it might seem that there is little justice in the world, this too is only temporary.
The Bible says that all of us will one day stand before Jesus. We can find solace in this. Those who’ve hurt us, abused us, robbed us or killed: none of them can escape having to stand before the great Judge of all. He will penalize everyone according to their deeds or reward those who lived inside of the salvation covenant.
Revelation 20:12-13 states: “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which was in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.”
You can see that there are several books. We have the book of life, but also books for the judgment of our deeds.
I can only imagine what is in store for the abusers, the cons, and the unrepentant. All will be judged according to their deeds in front of everyone and all the witnesses including the victims themselves will be present ready to testify against them.
God is fair
It must be noted that God is righteous and fair. He will judge each of us, but He is the only one who knows us completely. He will put the intentions of our heart on display for everyone to see.
Restitution is a command in the body of the Book of the Covenant. If we’ve done wrong, we must go and try to make it right. If not, we might not be denied eternal life, but we will carry the consequences of our deeds.
I find it amusing that some Christians like to use Luke 6:38 for messages on giving when it is actually about justice “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
We will all receive what we deserve, nothing more and nothing less, on Judgment Day.
By faith, understanding, and attitude
It is by faith that we enter the salvation covenant with God. With an attitude of gratefulness, we should serve Him. He loves us very much. He helps us in return through His remarkable covenant.
The elements of faith discussed here gives us the proper attitude to commit, and to endure to the end. If we forget these, it will be challenging to keep the salvation covenant. Trying times will come, but if we hold on to these four statements of how to live in His promise, we can overcome.
Next week we will discuss how to serve in our covenant relationship with God properly.