Leaving the Covenant Life


Hebrews 3:7-12 says:  “So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice,  8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,  9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.  10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.”  11 So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”’  12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” (NIV 1984).

Covenant living is hard.

If you are not familiar with the word “covenant,” it is a binding agreement between two parties.  A covenant only ends in death.  Marriage is a covenant.  That is why a man and a woman who marry each other say, “Til death do us part.”  You are married until one of you dies or you kill the other person.  That is what makes marriage unique among all relationships.

Covenant living is hard.

The other relationship that is marked by a covenant is our relationship with God Almighty.  God wants to be in a personal intimate covenant relationship with each person He has created.  You and I need to understand that though God commands us to be in covenant with Him, He does not force us to be in covenant.  In that sense, we have the opportunity to leave our covenant relationship with God if we so choose.

I guess my question of the day is: What does it take to leave covenant life?

Hebrews 3 seems to pinpoint that leaving covenant life with God is definitely a “heart matter.”  The writer of Hebrews points out hardening of hearts and going astray in the passage.  When our heart is not right, we will stray.  That is what Hebrews 3 says.

Based on that, what dangerous heart issues should we be aware of so that we do not leave covenant life with God?  What attitudes should we be scared of when we find ourselves believing them or acting upon them?


#1 “I can live faithfully to God without reading the Bible or praying or all that church stuff.”  You may not say this to yourself exactly, but there is no such thing ever ever ever as a lone ranger Christian.  No effort means disaster for a believer.  A believer in Christ is rooted in the Scriptures, speaks to the Lord often, and is connected in the Body of Believers.

#2 “I can’t believe God did…” In Hebrews 3 above, it mentions “testing.”  Life is full of junk.  Sometimes we mess up our own lives.  Sometimes awful things just happen.  Cultivating the blame game with God only distances us from Him instead of refining our faith in Him.  Yes He let it happen!  Lean into Him to find out why!

#3 “I’m fine just the way I am.”  At the core of the Christian life is the constant process of sanctification.  Sanctification means the exact opposite of “I’m OK and you’re OK.”  Sanctification means “I’m messed up, but I am less messed up today than I was yesterday because of Christ Who lives in me.”  Never settle for less than all of what God has for you.


We are in danger when we take a haphazard faithless attitude.  We are told this very thing in Hebrews 3:7-12 when we are warned not to be like the people of Israel in the past.  They did not live out their covenant relationship with God either.  We must take the warning from Hebrews 3 to heart in that we need to take our sin seriously, commit our whole selves to an authentic covenant relationship with God, and not allow sin to make us fools.




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