The security of belonging
Bible verses are full of hopeful statements, but how do I know if they apply to me?
How can I feel safe?
For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then My faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken," says the LORD, who has mercy on you. -- Isaiah 54:10 NLT
It’s a good promise. “Bible verses are full of these hopeful statements -- but look at the world, listen to the news, talk to the neighbours: it’s a different story,” I hear you saying.
If you or a friend have lost your job, you know a business which is struggling or a family that doesn’t know how to get through this, those are real situations. They do not seem to check out with the “faithful love” and “covenant of blessing” in the verse.
The key is in the word "covenant". That is a "belonging" word, meaning that the Lord is committed to us, whatever we are going through. It is not a blanket insurance. We live in a world where our original ancestor, Adam, basically invited the devil to come in and spoil it, and we see his handiwork at every turn. He works by fear and confusion and discouragement, so this present Covid pandemic has all the hallmarks of his latest ploy, and everyone feels the pains and experiences the setback, either directly or indirectly.
The verse speaks of "My faithful love for you" and "the LORD who has mercy on you". How do we know whether that applies?
A covenant is basically a two-way commitment. One of the earliest covenants in the Bible, God's covenant with Abraham, appeared to be one-sided and a matter of God's choice — but Abraham still had to respond. There is the sense of a spiritual contract drawn up in heaven. And if we have looked up to God, if we have in any way sought a relationship with Him, that spiritual contract is there for us to take hold of. We look to Him, and He looks out for us.
These promises apply to us in a relationship with the One making the promise. And that is a simple choice for us: to turn from our independence, our self-sufficient "I don't need help", and our sense of being masters of our own destiny, to allow that relationship. To begin to belong in a new way. There is a cost — our pride and independence. That has to be set against the promises and assurances that are part of that belonging, and it’s no contest.
Fear, confusion and evil interference is going to stalk you. That is the world we live in. But we have a choice to tackle it, not alone, but together with Jesus, the Lord of lords, the One who has been given all authority everywhere. We have a completely free choice to continue in independence and anxiety, or to know God's faithful love and mercy. Yes, He allows things to be stolen from our lives — but now we have a powerful way to get them back, to move from victim to victory, by appealing to the merciful, loving God we are in covenant with, and trusting in His answer.
Thank You so much, Lord, God and Father, that I can live in Your faithful love because Jesus has given me that privilege.
Thank You for Your faithfulness that never varies, unlike mine which flourishes and then falters — but Your love for me remains the same.
May Your kingdom be over my life and Your deliverance from evil active in my life, while I see things around being shaken and the author of fear is active.
But as for me, I pledge my life to You, Jesus, as You have sacrificed Your life and reputation for me on the Cross, and I receive the blessing and peace that comes with being covenanted to You. Amen.