(Recently, Stephanie Shott asked me to be a guest poster on her blog. This is the post that I share with you today. I hope you will hop over and visit her wonderful blog.)
From the opening pages of the Bible, God relates to His people in a closeness of companionship so intimate that He compares it to a marriage relationship, as He said to Israel, “For your Maker is your Husband.” (Isa. 54:5a Amp)
In the closing pages, this relationship remains paramount, for the Father sent His Son as the heavenly Bridegroom to woo the heart of the perfect Bride into holy oneness with Him. The chosen companion suited for the heavenly Bridegroom as Peter says, “for you have been chosen by God Himself…you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own.” (1 Peter 2:9 TLB)
The Bride’s Preparation
In the ancient, Hebrew betrothal tradition, the groom departed from his bride-to-be to build the couple’s new home, which took approximately one year. During this time, the bride prepared her bridal necessities and equipped herself for her new life. All her wedding finery had to be ready at a moment’s notice, for she never knew when her bridegroom would come to snatch her away.
When the time came, the bride wanted not only to look her very best for the one she loved but also to be the very best for him, to be a good reflection on his name and his character. You see, the betrothed couple was considered married, yet they were not allowed to live together. Therefore, her behavior reflected on him.
How is Christ’s Bride living?
How is the Bride of Christ spending Her time while waiting for Her Beloved Bridegroom to snatch Her away? Is She preparing those things necessary for Her nuptials?
Does She love Him with all Her heart and soul, or does She entertain other loves? Is She doing the things the Holy Spirit leads Her to do? Is She studying the Word? Does She rearrange Her schedule to make prayer time a priority? Is She a good reflection on Her Beloved’s Name and character? Just what exactly is She doing to make Herself ready?
How does She look? How is She dressed?
Would a bride go to her wedding naked? Would you consider her appropriately dressed for her grand day of aisle-walking if her beautiful, bridal gown was covered in mud or big blotches of stains? Would she want to greet her beloved in that condition? No, of course not! A bride is immaculately dressed in her pristine, wedding attire, looking her absolute best for her bridegroom on their wedding day.
Likewise, is the Bride of Christ dressed in her pristine, bridal finery and ready for Her day of divine marriage? Or is Her garment dirtied with the stains of the world? Things like doubt, worry, unforgiveness, complaining, judging, gossip, lying, adultery, pride, impure thoughts, busyness, internet porn, other addictions, or anything else that grieves the Holy Spirit?
Have these mud-slings diverted Her focus from Her Bridegroom? Has She forgotten that Her behavior reflects on His Name and character?
Jesus asks His Bride, “Do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15 NKJV)
James tells us of the one who remains true to Her Beloved, “The Christian who is pure and without fault, from God the Father’s point of view, is the one who…remains true to the Lord-not soiled and dirtied by his contacts with the world.” (James 1:27 TLB)
Is the Bride ready?
Is Christ’s Bride ready for Her day of snatching away? When the heavenly Bridegroom arrives, will He find us with a mopey face, hair covered in the ashes of doubt and worry, breath smelling of negative words, and dressed in a ratty, old rag of self-pity, ripped and spotted with worldly residue?
Or will He find us as “a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev. 21:2 NIV), adorned with a smile on Her face, joy in Her heart, songs of praise on Her lips, and be dressed in a pure, spotless gown of holiness?
Oh, sweet believers, may our lives be so holy and our readiness so complete that we shall have no sorrow when the Bridegroom comes calling for us, His beloved Bride.
“Behold, the bridegroom cometh!” (Matt. 25:6b KJV)
Are you ready?