Monday, August 29, 2011

Preparation

(Relationships pt. 2)
So, continuing with the Relationship theme, God has brought me to talk about preparation.  This part is such an important part of a relationship.  Before I get into the “meat and taters” I want to put out my own personal disclaimer. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am and will be writing frankly because that’s how Jesus was.  He didn’t sugar coat anything because it is not easy to be a Christian.  The truth (ALL OF IT) will set you free to be who God created us to be!  With that said, I will touch on very real topics and areas that have gone overlooked for some time by some of the more “prudish” Christians out there.  BUT if you open your heart and allow God to reveal His word to you, I promise you that He will open His word up to your understanding just as He did with me.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now that we have that out of the way, I want us to see how the most controversial relationship in life is also the most pertinent in Christian life.  Why?  Because, Jesus likens our relationship with Him to a relationship between husband and wife the most in the Bible (at least 14 times that I could count off the top of my head).  The biggest controversy in the world is sexuality.  With whom, when, where, how, and on and on and on.  Now, I am not here to argue this but my question is this… WHY would Jesus talk about the bride and groom, the wedding night, the relationship between the bride and groom, if he wasn’t trying to get us to see the intense relationship He was longing to have with us as ‘the church’/’the bride of Christ’?  What is this relationship that we and Jesus are so longing for?  Intimacy!
I have often been taken to that place of intimacy, once I understood what God was trying to teach me, and realized it was my God-lover, Jesus taking me to the secret place to talk to me and be with me and show me things that I have never seen before. 
In life, just as in the spirit, God wanted us to experience this type of relationship in a real way!  However, how many times have we been intimate or even wanted to be intimate having not taken a shower, stinking like a wet dog, hair looks like a hot mess, wearing sweats and loafing on the sofa, eating popcorn?  It’s not very attractive is it?  Or, we walk into the bedroom, the secret place, and the sheets are soiled, the gym socks and shorts on the floor from last week reek, there’s something in the trash can that would offend even the strongest nasal passages, and there’s barely even a trail to get to the bed!
I say all this to have us take a hard look at how we woo Jesus, the lover of our soul.  I have seen some Christians come into praise and worship on Sunday mornings, expecting an intimacy, but not prepared to receive Jesus.  God has shown me these people spiritually as laying there on the bed, stinky, hair a mess, in the baggy sweats and expecting God to minister to them as their lover!  As repulsive as this sounds to us, how much more do we think God is willing to take us?  See, I believe Isaiah had it right. 
Isaiah writes, in Isaiah 61:10-11,
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
My sould shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the rove of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

Isaiah talked about how God prepares us for intimacy with Him.  We are not only to prepare to be with Him but also to recieve Him.  Even back in Isaiah 6, He acknowledges that he is not prepared to be in the presence of God because he is “unclean”.  But God provided the cleansing! 

Before I leave you with a dream God gave me some months ago, I want to challenge you to look at yourself in the mirror.  Whether you are contemplating a relationship with another human, or a going into a time of intimacy with God, are you ready?  Are you taking in baggage, stinky gym socks from months ago?  Or have you allowed God to cleanse you and prepare you for your relationship?

Preparation
by Mary Runion
written 8/18/2010

Sitting and waiting.  I have envisioned this moment since departing from our last moment together.  Parting is sorrow but reuniting is such sweet relief.  I want the world to fall lifeless at my feet, for in this moment, there is only you.  I sit in excitement at the thought of you approaching me.  I can see you in the distance, and though you have not yet arrived, I have the reassurance that you are on your way to me.  There are no other stops, no detours, no prior obligations standing in our way.  There is only you and me.
I can feel you drawing nearer.  I have prepared our quiet place…our secret place.  The room is made, the linen fresh, the sweet smell of perfume lingers in the air.  The ambience is set and I am waiting.  I knew just how you like it set, so I prepared our hiding place.  The windows are drawn closed for there can be no interruptions tonight.  It’s just my love and me.  The music is playing softly.  The music he loves to hear playing quietly so that I can hear his every word set to the sounds of his praises!  He loves to hear the music as much as I love to hear him speak to me!
Once I have prepared our secret place and every minute detail is set, I turn my attentions to myself.  I will go to the cleansing place and wash from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.  My love is looking for a lover without spot or wrinkle and I will not be passed over tonight!  I will bathe in the scent he loves to smell and once I am clean I begin to plan what I will wear.  My clothing must be free and light for I long to dance with my lover tonight!  My feet will go bare because I love to feel him touch them and anoint them with oils from faraway lands.  My hands are weary from the day’s work but I am refreshed by the washing!  The jewels I bare are simple representations of his love for me for he sees even the silliest of desires and loves to provide them.
I have prepared our secret place, I have made myself ready and presentable for my love and am waiting in anticipation.  Come quickly my love, my savior, my Jesus!

No comments:

Post a Comment