Posts Tagged ‘vows’

The Proposal

It had been one of those services that we Charismatic types like; everything was stirred up.  The preaching had been boisterous, with enthusiastic response from the congregation, and we were in the midst of finishing it off with lively praise and worship.  The Praise Team was in a flow, and the people were flowing right along with them.  As I basked in the wonderful atmosphere that accompanies such moments I thought I heard the Lord say, “Will you marry Me?” 

While I felt certain that it was “Him,” His voice sounded a little strange, and sort of distant, as though He wasn’t speaking directly to me.  I glanced across the front wave of worshippers, trying to discern to whom the Lord was speaking, when I heard it again, “Will you marry Me?”  In that instant I understood that He wasn’t speaking directly to any one person, but to the body of believers. 

It immediately occurred to me to shout, “Yes Lord,” but I sensed Him put His finger to my lips, as if to hush me.  I somehow understood that He was not looking for a quick answer, and that I had not been commissioned to speak for the group. 

I could feel the deep yearning in His heart, and I wanted to shout to the congregation, but again He hushed me.  There was a pulling in the pit of my stomach as the question just hung in the air.

After a few moments He slowly continued, “Will you love, honor, and cherish Me?”  The words resonated in the atmosphere, and I began to weep at the understanding that this has not been a priority for His bride; that she has been more interested in the pursuit of her own security, empowerment, and prosperity. 

I was reminded that the love He longs for is not self-seeking, or envious.  The kind that keeps no record of wrongdoing; that rejoices in the truth; that “always” trusts, “always” hopes and “always” perseveres.  I wondered if we could even offer such a thing. 

My tears became embittered as I recognized that we live in a time when what is honorable is disdained, and what is vulgar is esteemed.  I pondered what this generation might know of honor as to qualify it to make such a vow.  I also realized that without love and honor, there is little hope of truly cherishing anything. 

As I continued to pray, I heard Him say, “For richer or poorer”, “In sickness and in health?”  As I opened my eyes to view the jubilant gathering around me, I understood that the adoration being poured out was of little value if it would cease at the first sign of a struggle.

Finally, He said, “Forsaking all others.”  I immediately thought, “other Gods?”  To which He replied, “the world,” and after a short pause added, “yourself.”  This reminded me of a word He gave me a few years before, which was “What hinders the church from reaching its destiny is her unwillingness to forsake her friendship with the world.”  Like a teenager who hangs out with the wrong crowd, this relationship causes us to be constantly distracted from our purpose, and to miss our potential. 

Even more difficult than forsaking the world is forsaking ourselves.  Forfeiting our plans for His plan.  Forgoing our desires for His desire.  Forgiving others so that He can forgive us. Forsaking our self-righteousness for His righteousness.  Jesus told His disciples that no servant is greater than their master; but are we willing to endure the things that He endured?

As I’ve had some time to reflect on these things, I believe that I would call this a “heart check”.  I sense the Lord came in the midst of what appeared to be a celebration of Him, and challenged whether He was really at the heart of it.  There was nothing wrong with the preaching, or the praise that night, but ultimately God is only concerned about what is going on in our hearts. 

While we can be excited about “the Kingdom,” and the “anointing,” and our “calling,” and… that excitement should never become a substitute, or eclipse our excitement for Him.  If we are going to be “the Bride” worth coming back for, we must be willing to love Him like He loves us.   To honor Him in thought, word and deed.  To cherish, and nurture our relationship with Him.  To make straight pathways, and not forfeit our joy and peace at the first sign of a storm.  To forsake all others, including ourselves. 

Our Lord is worthy of no less.

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