The Rainbow and the Call

rainbowThere is a stirring in the air. Do you sense it? Can you feel it? It’s infectious, exciting, dynamic, authentic and God-ordained. His Spirit is moving among us. He has something wonderful in store for this

In seeking to understand the Spirit’s leading, the term “covenant” keeps penetrating my mind and heart. The word is based on the love relationship God has established with us. Our salvation experience is founded on and supported by the spiritual covenant we have with the Almighty.

What Does Covenant Mean?
The Hebrew word berit, translated “covenant,” occurs 272 times in the Old Testament. The word is used extensively and denotes a binding contract between two people. In the New Testament, the Greek word diatheke, also translated “covenant,” refers to the spiritual implications of the binding contract between God and individuals, meditated by Christ. As the writer of Hebrews clarifies, “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:15).

God’s covenants are centred in his promises. His covenants are secure. We can anchor ourselves in them. Our spirits, souls and bodies become rooted in God’s covenant with us, through the blood of Christ. It is not through individual effort or human works, but through God alone. His covenant is foundational for our faith.

What About the Rainbow?
God said, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant …” (Genesis 9:16). The account of Noah’s life grips the heart. It reveals God’s love in action. Following the flood, God promises never again to destroy the world with water. He signs and seals his covenant with an iridescent rainbow that he streaked across the sky.

Nothing compares to the magnificent kaleidoscope of colours uncovered in a rainbow. The rainbow is a significant symbol for believers. Each time we gaze at its often abrupt and unexpected appearance, we are reminded that we are covenanted people. We are in covenant with God himself.

Covenant and the Call
God’s covenant reminds us that he calls his followers to an intimate, personal relationship with him. His two-fold calling is to salvation first and then to service. He continues to call people to the Army—to be junior soldiers, senior soldiers, local officers and officers engaged in full-time ministry. God’s covenant includes a calling to service.

Today, more than ever before, we need quality people, called by God, who are passionate, ready and willing to covenant with him. It is about surrender of our wills to his perfect will.

In his famed tome, Confessions, the 5th-century theologian and church leader, St. Augustine, candidly wrote about his personal struggle between his will and God’s. “All these different desires,” Augustine confessed, “are good [in themselves], yet they are in conflict with each other until [one] chooses a single course…. [God], at last you converted me to yourself.” Augustine came to the logical conclusion that to align his will with God’s will was the only reasonable, valid choice to be made in life.

Writing in 1883, Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army, implored her followers with these words: “[God] wants you. He wants your gifts. He wants your influence. He wants all you have, but he wants most of all you! You! Every bit of you! I don’t know where you sit, and I don’t know to what he calls you; but the question to settle is, Will you obey? Will you rise and follow? Will you face whatever it is he calls you to face? Shut your eyes; look inside. Listen to the voice within. Face God and say, Yes! (or No!) Face him!”

Can We “Covenant Together”?
Are you willing to covenant together? Will you join in praying that people will respond to the call of God upon their lives and follow wherever the call leads?

Yes, indeed. I do sense the power of the Holy Spirit moving and stirring the hearts of God’s people. He loves his people. He loves his Army! He loves, and has magnificent plans for, the Canada and Bermuda Territory. I confess to being excited for what lies just around the corner. Are you? Let’s covenant together—to see his perfect will being fulfilled!

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always … [for] he remembers his covenant forever ….” (1 Chronicles 16:11, 15).

francis_william_cmsr_smlCommissioner William W. Francis is the Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory. His wife, Commissioner Marilyn Francis, is the Territorial President for Women’s Ministries. Commissioners Francis have two adult children, Captain William Marshall and Susan Marjorie, plus six grandchildren.

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