This week will be sharing on the importance of keeping covenant by integrity of heart. We will be sharing this in the light of the fact that God is a doing a work of reformation or renovation (just like you renovate an old building) in the church.
Renovation of the Church
In this renovation a great shaking will be taking place in the church and it is only those Christians who keep their part of their covenant with God that will, as it were, survive the renovation.
When you are renovating a physical house some of the blocks of the original house are broken down and removed completely. Others are refurbished and used again sometimes in different positions.
So it is with the renovation or reformation of God’s house the church in this 3rd. day. Some of the living stones will be shaken or broken down and removed completely:
Hebrews 12:25-29 (KJV) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.
Zechariah 13:7-9 (KJV) Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
Others will be refurbished and used again in the reformed or renovated church:
Verse 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
The purpose of God in this reformation is to transform the church from its present state of spiritual dilapidation to God’s intended state of a “glorious church not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;” (Eph. 5:27). See the prophecy on Refining the Church and Nigeria.
To be a living stone that will not be shaken in this present reformation you must keep your covenant with God.
Keeping Covenant by Integrity of heart
We do this by walking before God with all of our hearts in integrity, sincerity and diligence.
Nehemiah 1:5 (KJV) And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
IKings 8:23 (KJV) And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:
An excellent example of how integrity of heart will help us keep covenant and preserve us from destruction in found in:
Genesis 20:2-7 (KJV) And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
Here Abimelech who was even a heathen King was preserved by God and kept from sinning because of the integrity of his heart.
Integrity of heart is honesty, reliability and consistency.
To develop integrity of heart, practice honesty, reliability and consistency
with God and men in all your dealings especially in keeping your word.
Do this by the power of the Holy Spirit with a daily background of prayer in the spirit and confession, meditation and practice of the Word and you will find God will keep covenant and mercy for you and so preserve you in the present reformation of the Church.
IKings 9:4-5 (KJV) And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
On His part God will keep covenant and mercy for us. It is the fulfillment of the covenant in addition to God’s mercy that will preserve us during this renovation.
Breaking covenant by following after gods
IKings 9:6-9 (KJV) But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.
If we follow after other gods like the children of Israel then we would have broken covenant and will be destroyed in the present renovation. This does not necessarily mean one will go to hell, but it does mean at best premature physical death and loss of reward and inheritance and at worst going to hell.
1 Corinthians 3:13-17 (KJV) Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1 Corinthians 5:5 (KJV) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Matthew 10:28 (KJV) And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
We are to avoid this by making sure we do not follow after other gods. What are the gods we can follow after in the New Testament?
Colossians 3:5 (KJV) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Philippians 3:19 (KJV) Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Christians that are covetous and are always craving to fulfill their natural appetites and ambitions, without regard for the will of God, are following after the gods of covetousness and the belly.
The present overemphasis on using faith for material and physical desires is a tragic case of the church following after the gods of covetousness and the belly. If it is not genuinely repented of and forsaken will lead to destruction. Avoid it by “seeking first the kingdom“ (Matt. 6: 33) and knowing that all these physical and material things will be added unto you progressively and in due season. God knows you need these things so having food and raiment therewith be content. Covetousness according to the scripture (Heb. 13:5) can be defined as a lack of contentment with what God has given you at your present level of spiritual development (remember God will only prosper you to the degree your soul is prospering (3 Jn. 2)). Watch out for it and avoid it by integrity of heart and a diligent walk in the spirit.