Dear Bride of Christ,
I write this today in brokenness and any bit of humility or ounce of grace I possess; in all the loud of the crowd reaching a fever pitch; in all the doom and the gloom, the upheaval and unhinged alive in our midst; in all the who-even-knows-what-anymore and all the who’s who, who-think-they-know-it-all; and in all honestly, in the simply unknown of every moment we find ourselves living in: I implore you, on this day and in all days from here on out, make time to get all alone with your Groom.
All alone in His Word. All alone in His presence. All alone, away from the world and in His throne room. Get alone and seek to know Who He fully and truly is. Seek to know His face and the wonder of His grace. Seek to know His justice, righteousness, and power. Seek to know His character, His shekinah glory. Seek to know every bit of His unending and unwavering, undeserving and upending, gloriously perfect ways.
Get alone and get to know how He endlessly intercedes and defends His own. How He defends His own cause, for His own name’s sake, and not ours. Get to know that this life we live is not only what we see. Get to know for yourself the Jesus that saved you and me. Not who others claim Him to be. Not even those you love and believe love Him truly.
Because He seeks an audience of one, daily. He seeks to show you – alone, personally and wholly, that He is for you and the only true source of life you ever need.
Simply put, He’s pursued you so you’ll pursue His presence. Pursue His purpose. Pursue His very life. Which was laid bare, by the way. To ensure your debt of sin was covered over and paid for all the way.
Get all alone and get to know there is no right and left in His Kingdom purpose. No nation set above. No tribe or tongue or human below. Only His beloved, His Church, growing both globally and individually closer in communion and community. Get to know the God Who is only about His One and Only Kingdom Coming. Advancing. Approaching. Expanding and enlarging. Marching forward in unity and truth to a final ending, yet only the beginning.
Down an isle, where the Groom breathlessly and adoringly awaits to take the hand. Speak the promise. Kiss the shameless and fearless face of His Bride. Then lead her after into a banquet hall to rejoice forever. Fully covered over with banners of love and overflowing with tables full up of the finest fare. Where, surrounded by all the saints, bridal voices are raised, renewed and redeemed, falling forevermore in love with their Renowned.
Finally at home in our home in Forever. Free of tears and fears and broken down bodies and lives. Void of all sounds hounding, all crying and shouting and spewing threats of death. Gone altogether are the vile and vitriolic and violent, any selfish agendas and self-serving apologists, all habitual misdeeds and maniacal counterfeits. No more sight of rusting, fading, rotting, self-made idols, promising us life while plotting our ruin.
Get all alone and get to know the real Jesus. The only One Who Knows the needs of this whole, wild, wide ranging world.
Because, Bride of Christ, there’s no excuse any longer. If 2020 taught us anything at all worthwhile, it taught us we have time. So leave all reason behind and carve out every bit of it you need to get to know your Groom. Who He is to you. Who He is in you and wants to do through you. Get alone with Him so He can enable you to be what He’s calling you alone to be in this whole, wild and wide world.
Every single day, just go ahead and process all that is wild and wrong and wounding and wonderful in His presence and through His Word. Take every question and heartache, any thought and belief and opinion, all cares, desires, and dreams and place them square at His feet, then seek His face and wait. Wait for His leading. Wait for His answer. Wait upon His promises. Wait on His Word. Practice patience and wait some more. Then be at rest and take your place in the procession of saints, marching towards His Kingdom come and will be done.
Marching towards your Groom.
Because His foundation is steady. His arms are open and strong. His eyes glow with both a fire and love that are all-consuming. And He is in full control. No shaky knees or trembling or wringing of hands, because nothing – like, no thing whatsoever, is overwhelming your Groom. Nothing that is overthrown, overblown, or seems to be over completely. No thing has ever come about that wasn’t first filtered through His firm, steady, everlasting, and loving hands.
Only because, The Groom’s glory is His Bride. And seeing Her walk towards Him fills His heart.
So, of course, seeing her walk away fills Him with grief. And I’m afraid that’s exactly what we’re all doing… collectively walking away. All the while grieving our Groom.
And while Jesus may certainly be grieving alongside us over both individual and collective sins leading to lives both broken and broken down, He doesn’t grieve as we do.
Jesus’ heart breaks over any and all death. Death of the faith-filled and the faithless. Death of the voiceless and the breathless. Death of both the innocent and the guilty. Death of any life at all who once lived and loved and was loved.
And our Groom also grieves sin. Both the sin of His Bride and those who don’t yet know it is for their sin He had to die. He grieves any who harm His beloved, but also all who seek our own vengeance and demand honor on His behalf. He grieves equally for the widow, orphan, alien and homeless, as well as, the selfish, the arrogant, the narcissist, the greedy, and the liar. He grieves for every have and have-not alike who seeks life apart from His best. He grieves when we use His name as a cover for our sin and bad behavior. He grieves when we justify any means to serve our own end. He grieves anything we cover over because He knows fear and not His perfect love resides there. Ultimately, He grieves most because He knows an end is near and sin always leads us away from His best end.
And He surely must grieve when we fail to see that nothing has ever caught Him by surprise. Or when we can’t seem to own that His grief over all of it is greater than our own. Or especially, that His answers are – always and in all ways – better than our own.
We long to see justice and mercy and people doing the right thing, yet He’s right here over it all, whispering for all people, but especially His Bride, to see Him first. See His face. See His grace. See His power and authority and sovereignty over all things. See His goodness on behalf of the least of these. His justice and mercy and sinlessness, because He’s The Only One that bore it all on that tree.
Yes, He surely grieves when we can’t see that the hatred and brokenness spilling out of you and me only speaks to the fact we haven’t truly allowed Him to love us the way He longs to… in words spoken tenderly and time spent at His feet, in correcting and convicting and wooing and singing over lovingly, yet truthfully.
Plainly put, our God has no need of more fighters to join a cause. His desire is for more burdened hearts that cause us each to lay bare all we are before Him. Hearts willing to admit that things may not be all they seem. Hearts that recognize something’s wrong with a faith that gets its own way all the time. Hearts willing to repent, reconcile, respect others, and remember where we have come from. Hearts willing to seek time on bare knees, in front of The True King, eyes opened to His Word and ears seeking to hear His words of love, but also truth that may sometimes be hard to hear.
Because when we resolve to only seek time with or love another person or cause more than we love The One Who holds us all together, we really only seek an idol, who will eventually all together dissolve us.
But, when we seek to know better The Only One who causes all things to work together for good on behalf of His own, that’s when His Kingdom comes and His Will is done. That’s when His Bride becomes adorned and enduringly irresistible. Irresistible to all those still apart from His will, seeking life saving truth amid the cries of this whole, wild and wide world.
All those yet to be found and left behind, marginalized and forgotten, unnoticed and unlovable. Only in the midst of a Bride adorned for her Groom, can a wondering and hopelessly lost soul find its way home. Find its way into the procession, marching towards the Groom and His Kingdom coming.
Therefore, Bride of Christ, may we never forget from where we have come. Also lost and rejected, covered over in sin and shame. We can never forget the pursuit of The One who took our blame. We can’t forget that but for His grace, we’d be in the exact place we seek to rescue. And we can no longer look at anyone else and not see ourselves; the mess we still can be and the choices we still can make and the life we could yet lead. That we still do not always see all things totally clear, nor have every answer, because all we really need and have unwaveringly is the love of and God-given faith in, The Only One Who does: The I Am over all our was and is and is still to come.
Sincerely, A Wounded and Redeemed Saint.