It was a lovely wedding. Held outdoors on one of many hills overlooking vineyards in the valley below, the groom stood, best man by his side, along with the officiating cleric, and waited for the bridesmaids to approach ahead of the bride. The music rose and all eyes turned to gaze upon the beautiful bride dressed in white, coming down the aisle on the arm of her father, who then presented his daughter to the bridegroom. The traditional wedding ceremony had begun.
An earthly wedding, as lovely as it is, pales in comparison to what we know will be the marriage of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, to His chosen bride, the Church. We read in the Bible of the need for believers to prepare to meet the Lord in the air at His second coming. (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17)
How do we ready ourselves to meet the Bridegroom? Jesus' parable of the "wise and foolish virgins" gives us a clue. (Matthew 25:1-13) The five wise virgins had prepared lamps with extra oil, the symbol of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
First then, we ask for the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us, "And I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. …If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:9,10,13)
We thus will be able to not only know more about Jesus, but to experience Him. We do this by repenting of our sins against God, as He purifies our hearts by faith that Jesus is the Messiah, Lord and Savior. (Acts 15:9)
Secondly, we present ourselves to the Lord, that He might set us apart for His purposes. The properly prepared bride are those "…who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy." (Revelation 3:4) The church is presented to Christ "not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:26,27)
All this to say we are to continue being led by the Holy Spirit to be the perfected bride, all the Bridegroom wants us to be and the desire of His heart.
Are you prepared for the wedding? Let His words speak to you today:
PREPARE MY BRIDE
Prepare your heart
for the day of My coming.
Do not be like the five maidens
who neglected to include
the oil for their lamps.
For I come at a time
when you are least aware.
I come to snatch away My bride
from among the evil in the world.
I seek My pure virgin bride,
untouched by human defilement,
prepared only for Me.
I need a bride completely surrendered
to Me with no other lover at her side,
but with a heart that beats
for Me alone.
8 October 2001