COVENANT OF THE BAND OF BROTHERS
“Make vows to the Lord your God, and fulfill them.” (Psalm 76:11)
The Covenant of the Band of Brothers is only a suggestion of the type of prayer and commitment you can make with Christ your King to express your decision to be His disciple and brother. As you consider your own story, there may be other prayer/commitments that you desire to express to God. However, in order to become a brother and disciple of Christ, all prayers should include a covenant about one’s desire for absolute surrender to God – no matter the cost. (see Luke 14:25-35, “don’t begin until you count the cost… But no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.”) Please don’t take this “no matter the cost” commitment lightly. God will hold us to it – He will hold us accountable to our pledge to Him! There will be times when the cost and burden of such a covenant feels too much to bear. But it is a noble purpose for which you were uniquely created – and you do not want to miss out! Second, it is important to remember that we cannot fight the battles alone. Committing to unite with other “sold-out” disciples for Kingdom causes is essential to be victorious in the battles that we will face. Jesus modeled brotherhood by surrounding Himself with 12 other men. David had Jonathan, Moses had Aaron, Paul never traveled without a companion, and Jesus sent his disciples out in “pairs.” So if you do not unite with other brothers in Christ – you will fail! For “all of us together are Christ body, and each one of us is a separate and necessary part of it… but no part is important on its own.” (1 Cor. 12 Msg.)
Covenants and Monuments
God teaches us throughout Scripture to remember significant events and promises by making a monument. Jacob made a covenant with God that he would serve Him – be a true follower. As a reminder of this decision, Jacob anointed a pillar of stone as a monument. (see Gen. 31:13)
Monument of Our Covenant with God
The Band of Brothers’ Ring Serves as a Monument of our Covenant with God. Just like a wedding band symbolizes our commitment and vow to our spouse, the Band of Brothers’ Ring can serve as a monument and reminder of one’s prayer and covenant to be a brother and disciple of Christ – no matter the cost – and to battle for the lives and legacies of others. As God said to Jeremiah, “Remind the people … about the terms of their covenant with me.” (Jer. 11:2) When the battle gets bloody and the truth gets foggy – which it will – the Band of Brothers’ Ring on our finger is used as a monument to remind us of times when God’s truth, our purpose, and our desire to follow our King were certain. God says, “Bring my faithful people to me – those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.” (Psalm 50:5) And the greatest sacrifice we can make is to fully give our lives to him. “Make vows to the Lord your God, and fulfill them.” (Psalm 76:11)
The journey of Sanctification – becoming holy. Once the decision of surrender to our King is made, over time God will change our hearts and take us through the often-times painful and confusing (but good) journey of becoming more like Christ – becoming holy – a true disciple and saint – a person worthy of being called a brother of Christ.
This process of becoming more of a true brother of Christ is called sanctification. The good news is that if we surrender to God – “at all costs” – then God Himself will orchestrate our lives to achieve this goal – “He will do this!” And to have a “right relationship with God,” which is the ultimate goal, we must “seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14) So if we want to know God and “see” Him more clearly, we must battle against sin and learn to obey our King. Yes, sin separates us from a pure and holy God. So God’s desire is that we become holy as He is holy, then our “right relationship” with Him is not compromised and we can reside “with Him.” And in the last battles, it will be necessary that our God be “with us” so that we can be victorious. So we need to accept unconditionally the God who will make us holy so that we can prevail and be overcomers. And “everyone who is victorious will eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7 NLT)
Of course this side of heaven we will never live in absolute purity, obedience, and surrender – that’s why we always need the blood and grace of the cross of Jesus. Yet even when we fail our King, it helps to have a true north and reminder to lead us back in the good direction and noble purpose for which we are created. “We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” (2 Cor. 4:9) When we can’t get up by ourselves, we will depend on other brothers to pick us up, encourage us, and send us back into the battle!
Outside of our decision to receive the gift of salvation by believing in Jesus (see John 3:16), the covenant to surrender unconditionally to God is the most important decision we will ever make. And it is essential if we desire to live out our God anointed legacy – the glorious life for which we were created! Yes, even Jesus was willing to suffer in order to fulfill his legacy: “He was willing to die a shameful death of the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.” (Heb. 12:2) Likewise, the rewards for the decision to follow Him unconditionally are abundant in this life – and eternal! So you will not want to miss out: “For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb. She is permitted to wear the finest white linen. (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.) Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” (Rev. 19:7-9)
We recommend printing out the covenant and prayer that you decide to make to God and put it in a prominent place as a constant reminder of your specific covenant with God. When the Band of Brothers’ Ring is turned out on one’s finger, facing the world, it serves as a symbol and monument of your allegiance to God and your covenant to be a disciple and brother of Christ – no matter the cost!
We learn much of this type of God-honoring commitment from the story of Joshua. (Joshua 24:14-28) Speaking to the people of Israel, Joshua said: “So honor the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly…. Serve the Lord alone. But if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve…. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
But the people answered Joshua saying, “No, we are determined to serve the Lord!”
“You are accountable for this decision,” Joshua said. “You have chosen to serve the Lord.”
“Yes,” they replied, “we are accountable….” “We will serve the Lord our God. We will obey him alone.”
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day…, committing them to a permanent and binding contract between themselves and the Lord… As a reminder of their agreement, he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the oak tree beside the Tabernacle of the Lord.
Joshua said to all the people, “This stone has heard everything the Lord said to us. It will be a witness to testify against you if you go back on your word to God.” Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.
“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God, who calls you, is faithful; He will do this.” (1 Thess. 5:23-24)
“The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make them holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God…. God has only one intended destiny for mankind – holiness. His only goal is to produce saints.” (Oswald, My Utmost, Sept. 1)
God says, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16) “Keep all of my laws and obey them, for I am the Lord, who makes you holy.” (Lev. 20:8)