(Excerpt from the book by David Cerullo)
Friend, this book describes a powerful revelation from God – a message central to everything He says or does in the pages of Scripture. Those who understand this principle are able to believe the Lord for supernatural breakthroughs in their life, for they know what it means to walk in a covenant relationship with Him.
- Those facing sickness can call upon their covenant God as Jehovah Rapha, “The Lord who heals” (Exodus 15:26).
- Those who need a financial breakthrough can trust Him as Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14).
- Those dealing with emotional distress can draw near to Him as Jehovah Shalom, “The Lord is peace” (Judges 6:24).
- Those who are feeling lonely can experience the loving embrace of Jehovah Shammah, “The Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).
- Those struggling to break free from enemy strongholds and addictions can cry out to Him as Jehovah Tsidkenu, “The Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16) and Jehovah M’Kaddesh: “The Lord who sanctifies [makes holy]” (Leviticus 20:8).
- Those desiring a more victorious Christian life can get to know God as Jehovah Nissi, “The Lord is my banner” (Exodus 17:15) and Jehovah Sabaoth, “The Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 1:24, Psalm 46:7), meaning that He’s the God of mighty angelic armies that are available to come to our aid in times of need. (Also see Jehovah Tsaba, denoting that God is a warrior on our behalf, 1 Samuel 17:45.)
You see, a covenant relationship with your Heavenly Father can change EVERYTHING in your life. Your health. Your financial outlook. Your peace of mind. Your relationships. Your victory over sin and Satan. And every other area of your life as well!
When you understand your privileges as God’s covenant partner, you will enter into the fabulous blessings of a Great Exchange:
- You’ll trade your sins for His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- You’ll trade your sickness for His health (1 Peter 2:24).
- You’ll trade your poverty for His wealth (2 Corinthians 8:9).
- You’ll trade your weakness for His strength (Joel 3:10).
- You’ll trade your sadness for His joy (Isaiah 61:3).
- You’ll trade your weariness for His rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
At the cross of Jesus, He took upon Himself all of your sins, fears, diseases, and liabilities. In exchange, He gave you a whole new life. In Him you’re a “new creation,” and that means “old things have passed away…ALL things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Instead of having to rely upon your own human strength and ingenuity, you’re empowered by the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead! (Romans 8:11).
Banding Together to Pray
While this book focuses primarily on your awesome privileges as a covenant partner with Almighty God, the Bible also describes another kind of covenant relationship: Tremendous power is unleashed when you join forces with other believers to pray and to fulfill the Great Commission.
The covenant principle begins with our individual devotion to the Lord, but it doesn’t end there (2 Corinthians 8:5). When we as individuals enter into a covenant with God and then band together with each other, the impact of our prayers and our witness grows exponentially.
This is demonstrated in Acts 2:1-4, where the church experienced a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit when they gathered in unity to pray. A similar event happened in Acts 4:31 NASB, after a powerful time of intercession:
When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Jesus’ disciples shouldn’t have been surprised by this. He had described this synergy when He promised to be in the midst of two or three people who gathered in His name:
If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matthew 18:19-20).
The message is clear: When we’re united in prayer and purpose, He always shows up and hears our prayers!
Stanley Discovers the Power of Covenant
Perhaps you’re still wondering, “What does all this ‘covenant’ stuff really have to do with ME? Are there truly any practical applications to my life today?”
Perhaps a few illustrations will help…
In 1869, the New York Herald newspaper sent their overseas correspondent, Henry Morton Stanley, on a special assignment. His mission was to find Scottish missionary and explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who had disappeared six years earlier during an expedition to Africa. Stanley finally located Livingstone in 1871, greeting him with the now famous salutation, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
But along the way, Stanley had learned some important lessons about blood covenants.
In the course of his search for Livingstone, Stanley encountered a hostile tribe in the Congo, which he and his men were in no condition to fight. His interpreter understood the local customs and suggested that Stanley enter into a blood covenant with the chieftain.
“What would the outcome of such a covenant be?” Stanley asked him. “And how would I benefit?”
“After you become his covenant partner, everything that belongs to the chief will be yours if you need it,” the interpreter replied.
“That sounds too good to be true,” Stanley said. “Is there anything else I should know?”
The interpreter then explained that his belongings would all belong to the chief. But since Stanley had very little with him at the time, he decided he had no objection to saying, “Everything I have is yours.”
However, when the procedures for a blood covenant were explained, Stanley found them repulsive. He and the chief would have to make incisions on their wrists, and drops of blood from each man would then be mixed in wine. Both men would drink from the cup and clasp their hands together in a handshake signifying that they were now blood brothers. This covenant was sealed by applying gunpowder to the wounds to create a permanent mark on each man.
Although Stanley didn’t like the sound of this, he wasn’t in a very good bargaining position.
Next, he learned that the covenant required an exchange of gifts, and this was an unpleasant experience as well. The tribal chief wanted Stanley’s new white goat, and that was a problem. It would be agonizing to give up his goat, since Stanley was in poor health and relied upon the goat’s milk for his daily nourishment.
As negotiations proceeded, the chief insisted on receiving the goat, and nothing less. In exchange, he would give his seven-foot copper-wound spear.
Stanley thought this was a horrible deal. He treasured the goat and couldn’t imagine what he would ever do with a seven-foot spear. Yet he had little choice but to go along with the chief’s terms.
To Stanley’s surprise, however, the spear turned out to be much more beneficial than he could have imagined. Everywhere he went throughout Africa, when people saw him with the chief’s spear, they immediately bowed to him in honor and respect. The other tribes recognized the spear as a symbol of the chief’s authority – and now it was held by his blood brother, Henry Morton Stanley.
From the moment he entered into the blood covenant, no one dared to stand against Stanley. They knew that attacking him would mean dealing with the chief. As his explorations continued, Stanley “cut covenant” with as many as 50 different African chieftains. Even though he himself was a rather sickly, unimpressive physical specimen, the scars on his arm testified that powerful covenant partners would come to his aid if he ever was attacked.
Hopefully you can now see what it means when God promises to be “an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” (Exodus 23:22). He has given us the “spear” of His authority and the permanent mark of our covenant relationship with Him.
Young David understood this when he courageously faced the Philistine giant, Goliath. His brothers and everyone else in the Israelite army was terrified of Goliath, but not David. Why? The giant was nearly 10 feet tall. He was well-armed and full of threats to anyone who would oppose him. Yet David was not intimidated.
The secret of this young shepherd boy was in realizing he had a covenant partner – Almighty God! Yes, Goliath was a huge foe, but the Lord was infinitely BIGGER. And David was so confident the Lord was on his side that he boldly declared to the giant:
You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
You see, David’s confidence wasn’t in his own strength or ability. He didn’t have any illusions that he was stronger than Goliath or had better weapons. He made it known to the giant that the Lord – His powerful covenant partner – was going to fight this battle on his behalf!
Take a moment to consider any “giants” that you might be facing today. Instead of being a Philistine soldier, your Goliath might be a health challenge, a financial crisis, or a broken relationship. But whatever the situation may be, I encourage you today to put David’s secret into operation. Instead of fighting the battle on your own, call upon the Lord to be an adversary to your adversaries!
Order your copy of Covenant: The One thing that Changes Everything by David Cerullo.
David Cerullo is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Inspiration Ministries, located in Indian Land, South Carolina – a ministry dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media. The son of international evangelist Morris Cerullo, David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He has authored over 20 books, and operates a global media ministry that powerfully impacts the world for Christ. More from David on Inspiration.org.