June 25, 2020 Ashley Steelman

The Bride

The Bride

For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of armies is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth shall He be called. ISAIAH 54:5


All we see portrayed in the media right now is hate and division. But existence is a love story ...or it was meant to be a love story. We are called the Bride of Christ in Scripture (men don’t check out- this is for y’all too). 


The bride is a picture of what we each were created to be. That's why we can never be complete in ourselves. That's why, deep down in the middle of us, in the deepest part of our heart, we seek to be filled. For the bride is made to be married. 


Song of Solomon 2:16 My beloved is mine and I am his.


Have you ever felt that there was something more out there for you? Have you ever felt like there was a big ol’ hole runnin’ in the middle of you- an emptiness that sometimes seems to burn? Why do we go to such extremes to find meaning in life? Why is there such confusion on who we are? Why do we take gap years to go “find ourselves”? Why do so many turn to drugs and alcohol and prescriptions to dull that ache? 


Only to find nothing works.


That emptiness, that hole- ain’t never gonna be filled outside of God. We can never find our completion until we are joined to the one we were created for. And that is why we go through our lives trying to join ourselves… to whatever we think will fill the longing of our hearts- to people, stuff, money, beauty, power, a movement, or whatever. 


The bride was created to be married, and she can never rest until she is. None of those things ever work because NONE of those things are the Bridegroom.


 The Bridegroom of our souls is God, we were created for Him.  It's not enough to find God. You’ve gotta join every part of your life -your heart, your soul, your hurts, your dreams, everything- to God. 


When we think of weddings, proposals, and brides, we have a kind of standard image in our minds of what those things look like. But for just a minute I want to shift our perspective.


 As little girls most of us dream of our wedding day and all that it entails. We even have an idea of how our fella will propose to us… maybe over a candle lit dinner, or down on one knee in a field full of wildflowers- or on a beach…  


The one place you wouldn’t think of would be at a public execution. There’s just something about that setting that doesn’t seem to jive with asking somebody to marry you. But that is exactly the setting God used to propose to us. God chose to show us the true nature of his heart, and the love that he has for us, when he proposed his intentions to having a lasting relationship with us at the cross.


Instead of getting down on one knee, he was raised up on a cross. Instead of a wedding band made of gold, he had cruel iron spikes that they drove into his hands and feet. Instead of a wedding party, He had an angry mob and fair weather friends ready to mock him and abandon him. 


But that was our Dowry Price and He willingly paid. 


Now think about this. When the pressures of courting with all that goes with growing up are over and it is time for the bride to present herself to her groom, she doesn’t come a-hobblin’ down the aisle in a dirty pajama top, missing the heel off her right shoe, with bed head, smeared lipstick, and mascara runnin’. No way! She is breathtaking. She spent the extra time to make sure every hair was in place, and her dress was gorgeous. She pulled out all the stops to prove that her groom is getting a prize- that she is a treasure. 


So much emphasis has been put on the stuff that we face, that the beauty of the bride has been muted in our minds' eye. Solomon's temple, the law, the children of Israel all were glorious. I think if we were able to see the awesomeness of the temple of that day we would be amazed. But Haggai 2:9 talks about how when Jesus comes the Glory of the latter house will be greater than the former. 


Jesus brought the church to manifest in us, and He said it’s more glorious than the first temple. 


We gotta change our perspectives… You are far more than some wobegon, shotgun bride. You are a prize. The body of Christ (the bride) should and will be a matchless gift to the King of Kings. 


We gotta live up to the honor that has been given us. In this moment, we need to live in such a way that people actually want what we have. Instead of just going around telling people what life should be- we gotta get outta our comfort zones and actually model what it is -we gotta love one another with so much compelling persuasiveness that people are drawn to who we are because of Jesus. 


But we also gotta LOVE God. We gotta do the work he has called us to. We have to repent and strive for obedience. We have to connect and abide in Him. 


This week Pastor asked the question, “How bad do you want it?” We say we want revival but do we want HIM? He wants all of us. Do we want all of Him?


I know we all know this. But it don’t hurt to say it again.  We are his bride and he promised he is coming back for us. Are we gonna be ready?