Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Covenant

Back in July of last year, I went to FUEL. For anyone who doesn't know, this is the national youth gathering every year for the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith. This past year, I took a class called "Overcoming the Darkness" which was taught by an amazing couple from Kokomo, IN named Dale & Julie Bliss. Dale is the pastor at the church their in Kokomo, and Julie is deeply involved with the ministry.

These two never beat around the bush.

This particular class was about addictions and overcoming addictive behaviors. It was all about owning up to what is going on in your life, facing those demons, and learning how to overcome them. At the beginning of the week, Dale gave us a sheet of paper outlining a covenant. He told us to seriously consider what the paper said, and then, if we felt we were truly committed to this change in our lives, that we should sign it. He also said we should only do this after a serious amount of consideration and prayer.

Do you know what a covenant truly is? It isn't a contract. Contracts are made so that there is an out clause. A way to escape the promise you've made, contracts are not necessarily permanent. Covenants are different. In biblical times, if you entered into a covenant, you entered into it with your life as forfeit. Covenants were made in blood. They were permanent. Death was the only out to a covenant. That's why marriages are supposed to be covenant relationships. (That's why part of the marriage ceremony includes the words "till death do us part.")

The following is the Covenant that Dale gave us to consider:

The Overcomer's Covenant in Christ
I place all my trust and confidence in the Lord and I put no confidence in the flesh.
I know that I cannot save myself, nor set myself free. God has provided a way of escape.
I consciously and deliberately choose to submit to God and resist the devil.
I choose to humble myself before the mighty hand of God that He may exalt me at the proper time.
I declare the truth that I am dead to sin, freed from it and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
I gladly embrace the truth that I am now a child of God--unconditionally loved and accepted.
I reject the lies of the enemy and seek the truth that has the power to set me free.
I declare that sin shall no longer be master over me; and there is no more guilt or condemnation.
I renounce every unrighteous cry of my body.
I declare that I am no longer conformed to this world; I am transformed by the renewing of my mind.
I commit myself to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
I commit myself to God's great goal for my life to conform to His image in Christ Jesus.
I know that I will face many trials, but God has given me the victory.
I am not a victim--I am an overcomer in Christ.
I, Jaymin Louise (not Louise) Cheatwood, signed this covenant on July 31, 2008. Tonight I am recommitting to it's words and meaning. Fully. I am not perfect, and I will screw up, but I am going to do my best to live up to the words of this covenant. Not contract, covenant. This is binding. This is permanent. This is in blood. Please help me with this. Please pray that I will make the best decisions, not just the ones I feel are easy. I want to live up to this.
Beyond this, today has been wonderful. The weather was gorgeous, and it found me walking to the grocery store first thing this morning to get myself some caffeine. I got my homework done, did Pilate's, got some laundry and chores taken care of, and I worked on some reading and letters I've been meaning to do. I even got to talk to Nikky and draw with the sidewalk chalk she gave me when she was here visiting. All I can do is ask for more days like today. Days where I get up with the right attitude, and do my best to behave and stand by my promises.
I can do this, but it's going to be rough.
As I'm doing this, the next question is this: What can I do for you? Can I help you somehow? How can I encourage you?
Lastly tonight, I've been forgetting the most important part of my posts a lot lately: the favorite's list, so let's make up for that, eh?
My Favorite Things of This Very Moment (10:01 pm CST):
  • Sidewalk chalk (Thank you, Nikky!)
  • Good memories
  • Being able to walk around outside without my shoes
  • A&W Cream Soda
  • Sunshine
  • A working vehicle
  • Being able to type this entire post while sitting in the comfort of my burnt orange overstuffed arm chair in my bedroom from the new laptop (woohoo! Nik, this thing is fantastical...honestly, wireless being picked up in my bedroom? Who doesn't love that?)
  • David Crowder
  • Borrowed books

Good night, my friends. I hope you have a fantastic night and that you find all the strength and joy you need to face tomorrow and live it to the very best, I mean, it's a Friday, what's lovelier than that?

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