Watching the world burn this year has been devastating. The unprecedented attack on relationships by the forces of evil has been heartbreaking to witness. Yet in this destruction is a seed. By attacking the very core of our being satan is causing many to rethink their relationship with Jesus. Seated at the right hand of God our Lord is allowing the blunt hate of evil to burn away the dead wood from our lives so the green shoots of life can return. This is His love song to His Bride.
The Bride's beginning
Many years ago, when we first arrived on PEI, I held this precious puppy in my arms. I still remember the day I met him and how excited he was just to meet people. As I cradled him in my arms I felt a connection, as I always do, with the spirit God gave this little one. Hopefully, he is an old dog now with a long history, having lived a life filled with love and play.
I am struck by the imagery of how much we were like that puppy when we first entered the wilderness. We were young and naïve, excited for the new life God was leading our family in. It is natural to start life with enthusiasm and naivete, for we lack experience of what the earth is actually like. But as we grow, we discover that the world is dangerous. Evil and ‘self’ grow like a malignant cancer, threatening our very existence. The illusion of safety we have as children gets ripped away as we face the storms of life. Floundering on the breakers we cry out to God begging Him to deliver us from the tempest. Where is the Savior?
Our Groom calls to us from the right hand of the Father
Our Savior is at the right hand of God. Having lived a life of humility and sacrifice, our example on earth ascended to God after His resurrection. He remains there still interceding for His own while His Spirit walks with us continually. Jesus is not a distant God but through His Spirit is actively pursuing and leading those that follow Him. His purpose is to prepare a Bride for Himself that will dwell with Him for eternity. The Father, however, will not allow His Son to marry a child, therefore the Bride must be prepared and made ready.
Maturity and character are foundational to Jesus. He knows that He can only be intimate with those that share in His nature. The Spirit of Jesus then must lead us on a path where maturity can flourish. The route through the wilderness, however, is not an easy one. It is dangerous and slippery, filled with pitfalls that can derail us from His goal. As believers we are called to trust in the One we follow with uncompromising faith as we navigate the desolate terrain. Somehow, as we progress, we are changed. As we breathe in Jesus His passion becomes our own.
The song of the Bride
We start life as believers, naïve and inexperienced. Our sole focus is on the benefit Jesus brings to our world. Like in Song of Songs 2:16, “My beloved is mine and I am his!” we are beguiled by how Jesus makes all things new and blesses us. However, as in all relationships, our inherent selfishness will destroy the budding romance if we do not mature. No healthy relationship can tolerate ‘self’ and survive.
To eradicate our love affair with ‘self’ our Groom leads us to the wilderness where the cold north winds will buffet our barren soil. The gale blows away our fig leaves of deception and exposes the malodorous tumor of ‘self’ that lies beneath. Here we lie naked and ashamed before our God, having nothing left to hide behind.
Yet this is the very place Jesus wants us to be. Real and raw before Him, unhindered by any falsehood, only then can we finally become like Him in character. By repenting of ‘self’ we are able to grow into the Bride He desires. A Bride who cares nothing for herself and lives only for Him. She has awakened to the realization “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me!” Song of Songs 7:10.
In the wilderness is the path to the right hand of God
The path to the right hand of God leads straight through the wilderness. It is only in the place of desolation where we lose ‘self’, and gain Christ. This is the path to our Beloved. Only when we learn to call Him “Ishi, my Husband”, putting all thought of ‘self’ far from who we are, will we be able to join Him at the right hand of the Father.
In today’s podcast we discuss the spirit core within us and how God calls us to the wilderness. Our focus is to reveal the inner machinations of ‘self’ with its bent towards doing and gifts juxtaposed against the nature of spirit with its focus on character and being in God. We hope you join us.
Homer and Wanda