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The Everlasting Covenant

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10 NLT

 
At the altar, the groom (bridegroom) awaits his future wife. We’ve all seen him - standing with anticipation, excitement, and perhaps, some nervousness. And then the melody changes. We’re asked to stand and all heads turn to the back of the room prepared to be in awe of the bride making her entrance. The beautiful white gown transforms her into a fairy tale princess. He takes her hand and they become one; united as husband and wife.

This is the traditional picture we get in our mind when we think of a wedding. Join me while I paint another picture of a wedding, and this time, you are the bride.

Instead of an elegant, white bridal gown, your attire is dirty, torn, and stained. You are wearing the stains of our sin and the fragrance of false beliefs. Your jewelry isn’t the diamonds and pearls you dream of. Instead, iron chains and steel shackles are the accessories binding you to transgressions, iniquity, and brokenness. The veil we wear over your face is no longer a contemporary bridal tradition. You use it to hide your shame, wounds, grief, and despair.

Can you see it? This is an image of us walking down the aisle toward Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom. The man in front of you is not your current partner, it’s not Prince Charming, nor is it your celebrity crush. It’s the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. In front of you stands a Man who has the best news and an abundance of blessings just for you!

He’s come to comfort you after that guy broke your heart. He’s come to adopt you after you were abandoned by your mother and father. He’s come to remove the veil of mourning and replace it with a crown of beauty after having to bury a loved one. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, has come to anoint you with joy, gladness, and praise instead of suicidal ideation, depression, and shame.
What a faithful God we serve that He would give away His one and only son to deliver us and heal us from the devastation of this world!
How marvelous it is for Him to choose you and I as His bride; stains and all. This is why the prophet Isaiah rejoiced in chapter 61 saying, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!” Jesus saw us covered in our sin, shame, brokenness, and poor choices; and He still reached out, took our hand, and held it in His. What a beautiful moment. Can you see yourself?

But wait; there’s more!

Jesus is our Husband and Maker (Isaiah 54:5-8)! With your hand in His, the perfect Groom blesses you. His grace and mercy destroyed your old clothes, and covered you with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness. Your iron shackles were exchanged for iron nails in His hands – setting you free from bondage. Your covenant with Christ was sealed with a kiss of love upon your cheek. Can you hear melodies from the angels above rejoicing?I can! Heaven celebrates your victories in Christ. And it sounds beautiful, my friend!

For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5 (NIV)


My prayer is for the bound, the ashamed, the guilty, the unrighteousness, the weak, the unwise, the wounded, the forgotten, the barren, the hopeless, the robber, the liar, the adulterer, the dishonorable, the faithless, and the one who’s ready to give up – remember, God forgives you, Jesus favors you, and the Holy Spirit fills you. In fact, you are filled with the same spirit Jesus refers to in Isaiah 61, verse 1: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me.”

No matter what you’ve experienced in your life, God is on your side. His word says He will never leave you nor abandon you. Your healing, comfort, renewal, and breakthrough is in His hands. So, I pray you will walk toward Jesus as if it’s your wedding day; knowing that in the end, He will always choose you no matter how broken you are.
When you make a covenant with Jesus, the beauty of healing, restoration, and freedom are what follows.

Prayer:

Father God, I thank you for your unconditional love and for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for me. I thank you for forgiving me of my sin and I ask that you help me to repent and turn away from anything that is not pleasing in your sight. Help me to flee from the enemy and run toward Jesus; my Bridegroom. I leave my old garments of shame and guilt, and I pick up my royal robe that I need not earn, nor deserve. I declare that you are Lord, I believe my sins have been cleansed by your blood, and I choose to walk in the freedom you’ve won for me. May your everlasting joy follow me all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by: Ashley K. Stovall



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