Covenant. It’s such a religious word!
Not lightly dropped into a conversation. Yet, we instinctively know it has heft, something deep and unshakeable, and we’re mysteriously drawn to that.
A covenant is decidedly not a contract. It is much more substantive, such as the trust between a parent and child.
So, how does this apply to a Salvation Army covenant for soldier and officer?
First, the initiative for covenant always comes from God. It’s His idea. He is a covenant–keeping God. He’s not up and down, hot and cold, off and on. He is reliable and trustworthy. We value that in a friend. We want to be like that.
So, Salvation Army soldiers often talk about being “called by God.” Many are surprised. It wasn’t their idea. It’s often rewarding and challenging, all at the same time.
Secondly, covenant is not a membership, where you can join for a while and then leave when you get bored or when it’s all become rather inconvenient. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for everyone. But, when God calls, and unmistakably so, nothing else can substitute for it.
Finally, covenant is not intended to be burdensome. There is a paradox in the Kingdom of God that when we die to self, we find life. When we humble ourselves, we are exalted. When we lose our life for the Gospel, we find our life.
In lashing ourselves to covenant, we are set free. Covenanted people may be the freest people on the earth.
Show up, step up, sign up.
by Colonel Richard Munn