Friday, January 25, 2013

What is Bridal Understanding?

a bride

Are you looking for bridal revelation, in terms of the kingdom of God? It’s such a mystery, isn’t it?

This morning, during worship (when God so often speaks to me—prophetic time!), it occurred to me that Net’s Bridal Notes blog has been geared toward those who may already have a bridal understanding. So, let’s back up a bit, and start at the beginning.

What is Bridal Understanding?

In the context of this blog, and in the context of all eternity, a bridal understanding relates with knowing Jesus as the Bridegroom God, for whom the universe was created, and people were created to become His bride. In other words, God the Father wanted to give His Son a bride, so He created people through Jesus (the Word) for that purpose. But He’s God, so His limitations aren’t like ours. So, we’re talking a spiritual bride made up of all believers. With me so far?

What About Romance with God?

I can’t remember when I first heard about the idea that believers are the bride of Christ. Or perhaps I read it in the Bible. But I didn’t hear teaching on it. Not right away. In fact, not for a while. In fact, I was so unsure about this idea that when God specifically led me to a book on this romance that God wants to have with believers (a spiritual romance, remember), I couldn’t embrace it. (pun intended) I opened the book He led me to and read about a passionate God who loves us in a way I had never imagined. Yes, I knew about salvation. Yes, I knew about the cross, the astonishing price Jesus paid to redeem His people so we could become the bride. But seeing those truths through the lens of romance? Wow.

Some phrase in this book, some idea, some new concept made me close the book. I couldn’t keep reading. I set it aside. I went to bed, praying, asking, seeking. I didn’t want to be led astray. Remember, I didn’t have anyone to teach me these things. Scratch that. I did have Someone. The Holy Spirit. And He’s an awesome teacher.

That night’s prayer was different than anything of my past. Different than the usual. My mind had been opened and my heart was about to be awakened in a way I had never known. Married over a decade by then, I could draw parallels and God began to do just that. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, the next day, as I was still pondering the strange and wonderful and strange book sitting closed in the spare room (where I spent my reading time the night before), I was searching for a specific Scripture. I was in the middle of a Bible study or some such and could not remember the reference for the verse I wanted. I didn’t pull out a concordance, and back then we didn’t have, so I just opened my Bible. I knew I could find this verse if I searched for it. Armed with one or two words, I flipped pages and scanned my highlights.

The Moment Everything Changed!

And slammed heart-first into a passage of Scripture so astonishing, so amazing, so un-doing, I couldn’t breathe.

Here was my prayer that day, before I found the Scripture that changed everything: Lord, I don’t know if it’s real. I don’t know what to think about what I read last night. I do not want to be led astray. So if it’s off, don’t let me go there. But if it’s real, show me!

Part of me really wanted the doctrine to be real. I wanted this passionate love to capture me.

And that’s when I found it. In the afterglow of that prayer, God showed me this:

“And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the Lord,
“That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’
And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’”

(Hosea 2:16 NKJV)

My God just got personal.

In that day… you shall call Me Husband.

Wow. That’s bridal! Still sets my spirit on fire.

I went back into my spare room, picked up the book, devoured the entire thing, and I’ve never looked back since.

Next time, I’ll share how my prayer life changed in light of the lens of this Bridal Understanding.

For now, a prayer for you, dear beloved of God:

Oh, Father, only You can draw people to Jesus. So, draw me to You. Open my eyes. Awaken my heart to love. And teach me what it means that I am part of the bride of Christ. And Jesus, Lover of my soul, have Your way in my heart. Show me Your passionate love. Help me experience Your love at a deeper level. A fresh revelation of Your love this week. Amen.

So, what was the book? This little gem:

(paperback)       (e-book)

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