Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Prepared Bride

lily bridal bouquet
There are so many signs lately of Jesus’s return for His bride. And lately, He’s been reminding me we need to be ready. We can’t rely on anything we’ve done in the past to prepare us for today. No, we need current revelation, current fellowship with the Holy Spirit, current encounters with Jesus. Visitation.

So, how do we get (and stay) prepared?

· Oil of the Holy Spirit – (read: Matthew 25:1-13) Believers mustn't be caught without oil in our vessels. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. The foolish think that just because they “used to” walk in anointing that they’ll be able to live distant lives (from God) and when/if they are called upon to serve or pray or lead worship they’ll have the anointing they need. But if you don’t have oil, you can only burn so long. There may be a touch of oil in the wick. Once that’s gone, it’s gone. People are creatures of confidence. If we lack it, we move cautiously, slowly. If we have confidence, because we’ve been with God and are prepared, we move boldly. We know we have oil. If you’re unsure, begin seeking God in a determined way. He’ll show you and while He does, He’ll fill you up with oil.

· White garments of righteous acts – (read: Revelation 19:8) – Believers are called to behave in a holy way before God. Serve others. Care for others. We “prepare” ourselves. The “bride has made herself ready.” White linens represent purity. We served from a pure heart, a willing heart, a compassionate spirit. We had mercy on someone else when we could. God honors those who help the poor. By serving others, we stay prepared. We understand God’s system of reward. Only what we do for Him or with Him will matter in eternity. So, serve others as unto God. Love others. Let them see God in you. 

· Holiness in order to see God – the pure in heart shall see God. (read: Matthew 5:8). One of the drains of our oil is unholy behavior. We can go straight from a powerful church service into a place of sin in our hearts. Oil leaks out. But if we choose a holy lifestyle and abandon unholy behaviors and choices (by the grace of God, which really takes hold once you fall in love with God), you will more easily approach God. You’ll be living a holy life. And the “pure in heart shall see God.”
What a promise!

· Keep short accounts
don’t harbor sin in your heart (read: Psalm 66:18) Every single item above pointed us here to this one. We must keep short accounts. We must not willingly tolerate sin in our hearts. If we regard sin in our hearts (tolerate it, justify it, and dwell with it), we are distancing ourselves from God. Instead, we must search our hearts. Ask God for grace to see and grace to respond to His mercy by evicting sin from our hearts. Otherwise, God will not hear. Wow. That’s as serious as the admonition to husbands to treat their wives well or God will not hear their prayers. (read 1 Peter 3:7) Yikes. I want God to hear my prayers. I want God’s grace. So, we have a choice. We must confess (tell God) and repent from (abandon) sin.

The best way to be a prepared bride is to be a person of God’s presence. Spend time with Him. Even remember He’s with you throughout your day. No matter where you are, engage with Him in the secret place of your heart. Share gratitude and prayer and communion with Him.

I’m convicted by the items on this list. How about you? What will you do differently this year so that you may be a more prepared Bride of the Bridegroom, King Jesus? 

Photo credit: from Photo by: Sharron Goodyear

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