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A CMI Nugget
The Maturing Bride of Christ
The people of God are called to be the bride of Christ. We are called to live in that close relationship with Jesus as a bride does. As a bride we are to know intimately our Bridegroom. Jesus, as our Bridegroom, becomes our focus and the one responsible for our well being. In the book of Revelation, chapters 18 and 19, God calls and brings the bride out of Babylon so that she is matured and prepared to be victorious with the Bridegroom as He leads her into battle with the armies of the Antichrist.
In these days, God is maturing the bride of Christ and preparing her for the days ahead. SHE WILL BE VICTORIOUS.
The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament gives some insight into how God matures the Bride of Christ, bringing her into maturity. This book is, according to many Biblical Scholars, a story of the growing and maturing relationship between the bride of Christ and her Bridegroom. The story is presented as a series of conversations. The Bible translators have taken the liberty to highlight which of the characters is speaking. The characteristics of the mature bride are cited in the last chapters of this book. Some comments on each of the conversations, as recorded in the Song of Solomon 8:5-14, King James Version, follow.
This portion of the book begins with a close acquaintance of the bride observing her coming out of the wilderness, leaning on her beloved. God brings us out of the ways of the world, through the wilderness, and then into the place of maturity. In the story of the Israelites, God delivered them from their bondage in Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness, before bringing them into their destiny of possessing the promised land. He reveals His purpose in bringing them into and through the wilderness in Deuteronomy 8:2-3, where He tells them His purpose was to teach them their need to become entirely dependent on Him. He tells them of their need to become dependent on what He is continually speaking to them by saying "that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
Many of us, like the Israelites, expect God to deliver them from the kingdoms of this world so that they can enter into a joyful life in their promised land. We lose sight of the fact that God delivers us from Egypt, or Babylon, into the wilderness so He can prepare us to cleanse our promised land so then we can have peace. Our promised land is the land of our hearts, or our spirits. God delivers us, in the New Testament, out of the land of living for the pleasure of our bodies, out of the land of being dependent on our natural minds and worldly knowledge, into the promised land of living in the reality of His life dwelling in our spirits. God is preparing us, as the bride of Christ, to be a spiritual people, prepared for the spiritual battles ahead where the kingdoms of this world will seek to destroy His people. (Revelation 19:7; Revelation 17:12-14) His mature bride will be prepared for such a battle, and will be victorious so that the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ, and will be possessed by the people of the saints of God. (Revelation 11:15; Daniel 7:27)
The mature bride returns from the wilderness, according to the Song of Solomon, leaning on her beloved. She has been trained and prepared through her wilderness experiences to become totally dependent on Him. Earlier in the book the Bridegroom came to her where she was, brought to His place where He dwelt, and then He encouraged her to follow Him as He went into His vineyards. He is constantly maturing her and expanding her vision and realm of operation. She is aware of His everlasting presence with her as he reveals that he was with her even when she came forth from her mother’s womb. The conversation continues:
THE SHULAMITE TO HER BELOVED
The Shulamite is the bride, she is asking the bridegroom to keep her close, abiding in His love. She knows the fire of His jealousy, which removes from her everything which hinders love. She knows the fiery love of her bridegroom and seeks to abide in it. She has experienced the cleansing fire of God that purifies us. She has sought Him to come to His temple, in her and to purify her as He does with His priests. (Malachi 3:1-4). She knows this fire is our protective dwelling place. The prophet Isaiah speaks of God purifying His people with the spirit of burning and judgment so that the fire of His glory rests upon our assemblies and over our dwelling places. The fire of God’s love and judgments will cause the spirits of evil to fear the fire of God in us, and will enable our dwelling places to be shelters for others in the battles ahead. (Isaiah 4:2-6) She knows this cleansing, protective fire of God comes out of His heart of love for us. She may be recalling the words of her Beloved who has said He has a fiery zeal for God’s temple to be cleansed and that He desired the fire of God to be on the earth. (John 2:17: Luke 12:49) She like Paul desires to know the fullness of the love of Christ, which can bring her through all the floods of Satan’s ways of destroying her and the people of God. The conversation continues:
THE SHULAMITE'S BROTHERS
Now some of her brothers bring her an immature one. They are asking the bride, the mature one, what to do with the one who needs to be discipled into maturity. They are promising to provide things for her. They seem to take on themselves the responsibility to determine and to give the little sister what she needs. The conversation continues:
The bride responds to those who brought the immature one to her by saying I will be what my little sister needs. She says I only look at His eyes, and then I have peace. The mature bride knows she can be what the immature one needs, not because of her possessions, or because of her knowledge, but because she has the life of God within her. She didn’t say I will build a wall for my sister, she said, I am a wall. She knows that she can be a wall, because she has the fire of God within her. She knows that her breasts are mature, that she can let the word of God flow from within her. Her only focus was looking into the eyes of her beloved. She was not caught up in the overwhelming needs of the immature ones. She was not concerned about what she possessed or about how big her ministry was. Her only focus was to continuously behold the eyes of her beloved, knowing that He would impart into her all she needed to be for those He brings to her. She is not concerned about what others might think or say. She simply lives to behold the eyes of her beloved. She has learned this from her beloved who said, I can do only what I see my Father doing. (John 5:19)
The bride then reminds her brothers that her Bridegroom (Solomon) had been given a vineyard, and she was one of the caretakers. She knew that she was also accountable with what she did with the proceeds of the fruit that this vineyard brought forth. The conversation continues:
The mature bride speaks to her Bridegroom, in whose vineyard she is working, that she will return a substantial portion of wealth to Him and also give a portion of the wealth to the other laborers. God expects us to prosper in His kingdom, not just spiritually but also financially. We are to be prosperous in all things, according to Psalms 1:3. As we meditate on Him and know Him we will be given wisdom and revelation on how to be successful in His kingdom and how to receive and utilize the things of this world for the continuing advancement of His kingdom. Jesus said, But seek first his kingdom and His righteousness, AND all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) As we mature in Him, God will add to us so we can return a significant portion to Him and give the laborers with us their right wage. The conversation continues:
The Bridegroom now encourages the bride to speak to all those who dwell in the garden. The mature bride will now have her sphere of influence increased. She will be asked to share with all those who are in the gardens into which she has been brought. The bride has progressed through the book from one who only wants God to dwell with her in her place, into one who dwells with God in His heavenly place from where she receives a heavenly perspective. She then is brought back to the gardens of her beloved on earth, first into the garden of her family, and then ever increasingly into all of the gardens of her Beloved, wherever she sees Him laboring. Then she goes into places where He sends her, preparing a place for Him. All throughout she is being tried, corrected, cleansed, filled, expanded and encouraged. Now she hears Him saying, I want to hear you speaking in the places I have brought and sent you. I have prepared the ones in the places where I have sent you to want to hear what I have given you to say. The conversation continues:
The bride has matured. Earlier in the book she sees the Bridegroom moving over the mountains and wants Him to come back to the place of her comfort zone. She wants to remain where she is, how she is. The Bridegroom knows she has much more to fulfill for Him in His kingdom. He woos her out of her ways of tradition and out of her own expectation, into His ways. She has come out from saying ‘Lord, help me to do my work in my kingdom’, not ‘Lord, use me to do Your work in the portions of the kingdom you have for me.’ Now she rejoices as she sees Him moving into new places, knowing that she will be laboring there with Him in these new places also. She knows the battles to come, but also knows the eternal destiny of His kingdom coming through the saints of God.
John, in the book of Revelation has had a similar vision of the church as it is in chapters 1-3. He sees the church worshipping and living from a heavenly perspective in the later chapters. He sees Jesus bringing about the judgments of God and the devastations that will come. He sees the kingdoms of the world seeking to destroy the church. He concludes by seeing the bride victorious and the bride being a dwelling place of God. The end is certain. The days are becoming dark, but the light is becoming brighter. The bride in the Song of Solomon concludes by saying, ‘Make haste My beloved.’ (Song of Solomon 8:14) John in Revelation concludes the book by saying, "Even so come Lord Jesus." (Rev 22:20)
We have an eight tape series that covers the eight chapters of the Song of Solomon. Let us know if you desire them.
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