Conviction: Allowing Covenant to Guide us from Life in the Present Towards Life Eternal
During my freshman year of college, a group of us piled in to a friend’s car and headed downtown to the only tattoo parlor we were familiar with (and by familiar, I mean that we passed by it before). Half of us entered the doors to get a tattoo while the other half was there for the excitement, thrill, and moral support of it.
I was one of the three actually getting a tattoo, and hours later, I walked out with the image I’d long dreamt about: a dove with an olive branch. Simple, yes, but the meaning was just as significant to me then as it is now: God’s promises made and God’s promises delivered. Covenant. God’s history of covenant making is life-giving. He says and He does, and because He did, therefore we can trust He will. In the highs, lows, and ordinary moments of life, the significance of covenant, whether I realize it in real-time or not, serves to provide purpose, hope, and security.
Purpose and direction are two things that without which, life would lose meaning. It’s the reason why so many go to great lengths to discover their life’s purpose, and many still fail to be content in their discoveries. Because of God’s covenant, I’m excused from the searching and wandering. I know that ultimately, I live and breathe to glorify my Creator, while pointing others back to He who saved all who acknowledge and believe in Him. The sacrifice of the covenant was Jesus’ life, with the promise that his body and blood are the atonement that sets me, and us, free. The anticipation of Jesus’ glorious return to claim all of God’s children is the motivation to keep speaking, sharing, and loving in hopes that others may also join in the covenant.
The world and its antics can truly be horrific – some days worse than others. It’s in the moments I read of another black life unnecessarily taken, a van plowing in to a crowd of people, and the violent death of innocent peacemakers that I throw up my hands and audibly question, “God, why? When will you bring your justice? When will you return?” I cling to the hope that just as He’d proven his trustworthiness in the past – despite the cyclical rebellious nature of His chosen people – He will continue to deliver on His word. He will bring His people through to victory and paradise. Justice will come and peace will indeed reign, just as He’s promised it will happen.
Inevitably, there have and will continue to be many moments of doubt and questioning. Moments where my words and actions don’t measure up to the perfection God seeks. There will be days yet to come where doctrine is tested by the way in which the world serves up justice, causing me to second guess what I thought I knew. There will be days of wondering and wandering, and days of anger. It is for these moments that I rejoice in knowing that, by the covenant of the blood, my salvation rests secure in God’s arms – and nothing can separate that. I am not called to execute life unquestionably perfect, rather, to place all belief and hope in the perfect One – and there lies my security: in the covenant that tells me it is indeed finished, just as the dove carrying an olive branch back to Noah let him know God’s word had been delivered.