Recently I heard a song that deeply touched my spirit. The words of the song, speaking of the bride of Christ, were awe-inspiring. “This is the story of the Son of God hanging on a cross for me, BUT it ends with a bride and groom and a wedding by a glassy sea. Oh death where is your sting cause we will be there singing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.”
What love the Lord demonstrated by laying down His life for us, enduring the beatings and mocking of the people and bearing the wrath of God that we deserve. The Lord will receive His reward; He will be presented with a Bride that has been made ready for the marriage of the Lamb.
The preparation of the Bride of Christ has been heavy on my heart lately. What does she look like, what will it take for her to rise up and come into her fullness, to become the image of the Almighty? Here are a few truths the Holy Spirit has quickened to me in this regard.
A. Discovering our identity in Christ
Our identity is Christ. He is what we are called to be; His ways, thoughts, desires, and actions. We are to become like Him, He is our inheritance. As it says in Galatians 2:20:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
We live so that the Lord can use us as living vessels that manifest His Kingdom on earth. The Lord’s desire is that we do the greater works promised in John 14:12. If we could come to the realization of the power we have in Him, we would never fall into the lies of the enemy.
The enemy sees what we will be when we step into the fullness of the Lord, and he will try and delay that as long as we allow him to. It is time for us to see as Jesus sees, and allow Him to step into us.
B. We must allow the Lord to cleanse us
We can do that in part by fellowship with Him through extended times of communion. Sometimes sacrificing our time for Him is a big part. By limiting media an hour so we can spend that hour in His word and in prayer produces great dividends.
2 Timothy 2:21 states, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.’’
How does a husband get to know his wife? By taking time away from the things around him and spending it with her to get to know her heart, her desires, and her passions. Our intimacy with the Lord must increase.
The hour has come when things are going to get very dark, but we must be strong in the Lord so that nothing around us will shake us, but that we, the Bride of Christ, will rise up and shine as it says in Isaiah 60:1-2. The Lord needs a remnant of His people who will just be who we are in Him and allow Him to use us. It is time for us to step aside and let God step in.
C. We must separate ourselves from the spirit of this world
The Bride of Christ will be set apart from this world and become the light of the world. It is not about what we say or preach, it is about how much of Christ is formed in us. When you carry a light into a dark room, that light overcomes the darkness and allows you to see. It is time for the church to overcome the darkness covering the world.
The Lord is greater than all darkness put together, so imagine how bright things would be if we as the Body of Christ began to shine like Him. We must first seek the face of the Lord; to see him and become radiant.
D. Become sensitive to His voice
My prayer each day is that I would hear His voice like I hear my own natural father speaking to me. We need to know when He speaks, to know His thoughts and desires. We must love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. Proverbs 6:16-19 says:
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
E. The Body of Christ must be the ones who love those who are still in darkness
I once heard someone say, why are we surprised when sinners sin! Of course they are going to sin, because they do not know Christ and have the relationship with the Lord that creates a different nature from the spirit of this world.
Society today thinks of the church as a critical and judgmental people. It is not our place to judge those around us; it is our job to love them through it as it says in Romans 2.
We are to see them as the Lord sees them; to see what they are called to be not how they are living at the time. When I was living in darkness my family and friends loved me through it. They accepted me with open arms when I was ready to let go of all the sin I was living in. They helped me through the pain and lies I was living in. That is what the Bride of Christ is called to do; to love our brothers and sisters in Christ as they are, and help them come into their identity in Christ.
When a bride walks into the room on her wedding day the people gathered together gaze at her beauty in awe, the bride shining with love as if she was glowing knowing that her beloved awaits her at the end of the aisle. That is what the Bride of Christ is to be. She will be radiant with God’s glory, stepping into a room shining brightly.
With every step she takes the atmosphere changes and darkness flees. As people say about a girl in love, she glows as though she is in love. We are to be so in love with Jesus that we shine from the light that has formed in us.
F. When people ask what the Bride of Christ look likes, I think of many characteristics
- My perspective of the Bride is that we will provide the needs for those around us. Whether it is healing, deliverance, or discipleship; we are to provide forevery need.
- The body of Christ must be living testimonies of the spoken Word.
- A remnant of people who are full of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness as it is written in Galatians 5:22.
- We are to be overcomers. The bride will be victorious over the things of this world.
- When I think of the Bride of Christ I think of a warrior who is covered in courage and boldness. Who trembles at nothing, who laughs at fear, a bride that is pure and spotless, and who walks in humility!
G. When asked about the Sons of the Kingdom, I think of these attributes
- The Sons of God are to be anointed with the 7 spirits of God as it says in Isaiah 11:2, “And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.”
- Our inheritance is to become a Son of the Kingdom. Romans 8:14-15 declares, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
It is time to cry out to our Abba, Father for Him to pour out His presence upon us. Oh what the day will look like when the body of Christ steps into the fullness of God; what light will begin to shine. It is the heart of the Lord to see His Bride being a reflection of Him.
He does not desire for us to live in fear, hopelessness, or sickness. He defeated those things when He overcame the grave. What is it going take for us to apprehend the victory that is ours? We are the victorious ones; we are to live with the Kingdom mindset here on earth as it is in Heaven. The Lord wants us to have that now, not wait until we get to Heaven. Imagine the harvest we will bring in just by becoming the Bride of Christ. Awake, Awake O Bride.
H. When I think of the marriage between the Bride and Bridegroom, I think of a marriage between a husband and wife
The beauty in a marriage is so powerful. The bride on her wedding day making herself ready for her beloved, dressed in pure white and jewels. She is ready to become one with her beloved. The joining together of a man and woman before God and all to see; making covenant with each other. Having one heart, one life; the power of two joining together in union as one; The wife receiving the name of her beloved. She will stand strong with Him, trusting in Him.
Ephesians 5:22-30 declares, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.”
I. One Body; One Flesh
Just as the husband and wife are to be of one flesh, so is the Bride to be one flesh with Christ. As Paul Keith says, “Bone of His Bone and Flesh of His flesh.” The beauty of the lasting love between a husband and wife is such a reflection of the perfect love Christ has for His Bride. There is no greater love story than on the day Jesus died for us and rose again so that we could have a life free from sin, sickness, death, regret, shame, hopelessness, freedom from the lies of the enemy.
He loves us so much that He took it all for us so that we could have a life of freedom. In Him we are free, no matter how hard things get or how dark the world may be, He is our safe haven. We are free in Him, and there is no darkness in all the earth that comes near to how great He is.
It is my prayer and hope that I will live a life that is pleasing to Him. That I am able to complete every purpose He has for me. To be made ready as His bride. To know who I am in Christ, to know my position and to stand strong in it. To walk in strength and courage; to laugh at fear; To be a reflection of His character, power, image, and His love. To just BE; to be a living vessel so that His kingdom can be manifested through me and to know Him through communion and intimacy with Him!
How my heart longs for the day to come that is explained in Revelation 19:7, “ Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”
But I know the Lord has a harvest to receive and a Bride to be made ready. It is our destiny to see that harvest brought in, so that Christ will receive the full reward for His sufferings. He will have it; He will have His Bride that is pure and spotless. Awake, Awake O Bride.