Christmas is my favorite season. It is a time to have our hearts (and tummies) filled to overflowing with love and all things good & beautiful. It is also a time to slow down from the busy, busy, busyness of the year – to let the wheels slowly come to a gentle halt, let the engines cool, and get a new commission for a new destination for the year to come. Exciting, beautiful, wonderful time of year. So I am taking time to unplug and fully immerse myself in this season, being fully present and clearing my soul for space for God to pour His plans for 2015. Meanwhile, I want to give another moment of glory to a few favorite posts and share them with you through the month of December. Have a very merry Christmas, and I’ll see you again in the new year!
A few nights ago I had a dream. I felt God speaking to me through the dream about His bride and the heart of Jesus our Bridegroom, as well as the times we are living in. I want to share it with you.
I was in a familiar place; somewhere that felt comfortable and familiar. I saw many familiar faces; people I knew well.
Suddenly, one of them came to me and said, “Hurry get ready, your wedding is in a few hours!” I was paralyzed with shock. “I’m only getting married in June next year, we’re still one year away! I haven’t done any planning, I’m not prepared!!” This couldn’t be happening – I decided to investigate.
As I walked around the corner, I saw that the adjoining room was a large hall filled with people decorating & preparing for the wedding ceremony… and my Bridegroom was already fully dressed and standing at the altar, waiting for me.
As my mind reeled and raced to come to terms with the situation, a bustling group of people came around me to do my hair and make-up. One of them held up a magnificent, beautiful, emerald lace gown and told me to “put on your wedding gown.” Ok… I thought I was getting married in a white gown. Never mind that people are fixing my hair, make-up, and wedding date without asking me; now I don’t get even get to choose the color of my gown? Great.
Oh well, at least the dress is pretty. Still in a daze, I put on my wedding gown… and saw to my horror that I had a paunch right where my flat belly used to be!! “How did I get so out of shape?” and other thoughts of similar nature swirled round my already spinning head. As I stared in the mirror, all I could think of was how beautiful the gown was and how my body wasn’t befitting the occasion and the dress.
As if that wasn’t enough, the realization that I couldn’t remember my vows hit me. I was about to walk down the aisle without knowing my vows! That threw me into a frenzy and the rest of my dream was spent trying to remember the vows I was supposed to make.
Matthew 24: 36-39 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
We, the bride of Jesus, need to get prepared.
We need to get out of our comfort zones, get off our laurels. Many of us are comfortable where we are with the people we are with – TOO comfortable to realize that the time is drawing near when Jesus is going to return. In fact, Jesus is already waiting and yearning for His bride… but He will delay His return so that His bride can get ready and prepare herself, that she may be presented to Him as a pure and spotless bride.
Ephesians 5:27 says that Jesus is working in the Church “to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” He has chosen the dress that we will wear, but will we be in good shape when the time come for us to put on our wedding garments? Laziness and complacency need to go! The Church, the Beloved, needs to understand the urgency of the hour and the intense desire of her Bridegroom for her. He is waiting for her, longing to finally be one with her – He cannot bear the distance that has been there since Genesis, and He cannot wait for the nearness and oneness that will come in revelations.
The significance of the vows is three-fold:
1. A time is coming when the Bride will have to acknowledge Jesus publicly. That is where wedding vows are said, aren’t they, publicly? I felt God say to me that the day is coming when the Church will be made to stand in public and speak about God. This will happen in 2 ways –
- Sharing publicly about God through media. This is a social media generation, and so much negativity is going around the world wide web. But we are living in a time where the power of God is going to work in and through us to show the world the glory and the greatness of God. Then we need to make a choice – acknowledge God publicly, or not? To do so would welcome mockery, cynicism, rejection from our friends… to not do so is to reject the Bridegroom standing before us at the altar.
- Persecution, where our allegiance will be tested. Will we choose to publicly acknowledge Jesus, even when it gets dangerous to do so? If the Bride is still in her comfort zone and wallowing in complacency, it is going to be very hard for her to stand in the face of trials.
Luke 12: 8-11 says, “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
These circumstances sound bleak, but Jesus tells us not to worry! At that time, Holy Spirit will tell us what to say. He is our guide, teacher, comforter, and helper – He will never leave us nor forsake us!
Read more about Holy Spirit’s role in preparing the Bride here.
2. Remember the promises made to God. Many of us have made promises to God – be it in a moment of passion, a moment of need, or a promise we truly intend to keep – and NOW is the time to make good on those promises. Don’t delay any longer, for the time we have left is very, very short.
“When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it” Ecclesiastes 5:4
3. Many in the Church have forgotten their first love. We need to go back to the love we once had, do the things we did at first. Too many of us have gotten caught up either in complacency or busyness – in the process of serving God, let us not forget God. He loves it when we want to serve Him, but what He looks for at the end of the day is our heart – He wants intimacy, love, communion. He is not coming back for a servant; He is coming back for a Bride.
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4
“”This is what the LORD says: ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.'” Jeremiah 2:2
Jesus is coming back soon… for us, His bride. He is so in love, and what a joyous day it will be for all who have been preparing & waiting for it. We need to get ready.