Saturday, 9 July 2011
Introduction - Part 2
The term “Warrior Bride” has been coined around the Body of Christ for some time. There is no more apt description of the Church of Christ in the final days than this term. This picture phrase captures the essence of a Bride who will reign and war with her Bridegroom. What does it mean to become the “Warrior Bride” of the end time church? To merely provide definition of terms is not enough. As the Warrior Bride takes up her cross, the believer must understand the heart and soul of that one whom we wish to become. What does it mean to our family, church and business life? As I set out upon this quest myself, the remainder of life seems to be illuminated in the light of “Her” and her reflection of the Bridegroom. Her Groom stands waiting, ready – as she prepares herself for the battle and the intimacy yet to come.
Preparation is the filter through which our understanding of warrior and bride must come prior to coming to both the war and the wedding day. To prepare diligently is the role of the ones of the Church who wish to be a part of her activities. This corporate body combines with each other to blend and weave unique gifts and treasures. Walls crumble, barriers are broken down and territories unit to override the traditional structures men have set up for division instead of unity. This beautiful, glorious picture of what we are becoming aids us in our understanding of the past, present and future. As we submit to the leadership of our Commander/Bridegroom in both training for warfare and preparation for the intimacy of His Chamber, our hearts are made stronger and our spirits softer to His voice. We can recognize His whisper on the battlefield or in the Bridal Chamber. This dichotomy extends to virtually every aspect of which we are becoming.
Not all will take up this quest. It costs. For some, perhaps most, it will cost all that is dear. For others the price may be their very lives. Always though, the reward is great for those in pursuit of this vision.
Our understanding of this particular picture, that of Warrior Bride, relies heavily upon the term to which we naturally cling. The walls of our gender must also be brought down to gain insight into both sides of this standard. Just the term itself would imply a male/female blending towards a common attitude of the Commander/Bridegroom. Our present cultures would demand a male versus female outlook. What we fail to understand is that this Warrior Bride is made up of a marriage of male and female. A consummation if you will, of our inherently different qualities to help us become less ourselves and more a corporate body. “Neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female.” Our learning from each other demands the mutual respect required; acknowledging the qualities which must be present in each other.
In western culture, the engagement period between future bride and groom is a time of preparation. It is also a time to develop greater and deeper trust, respect and faith in each other. It would seem to be the crucible of the love, a testing ground to face issues at a deeper level in the light of upcoming commitment.
Of course, those issues can be ignored in giving priority only to the wedding day. Finances don’t have to be discussed, balancing a budget doesn’t have to be faced, and personal issues of discipline and character may be excused to be dealt with at a later time.
It has been my understanding that if you do not love, respect and honor your mate prior to marriage, the wedding day does little to enhance these qualities. The same is true for our Bridegroom and us. Trusting Him with our money, our future, our lives, doesn’t really have to happen in light of getting in to the Marriage Supper. Personal issues of character can be excused and ignored in the hopes that no one will notice them and we can slip on by. I believe, truly that all who name Jesus Christ as their Saviour will enter the gates of heaven. Of this fact, there is no dispute.
All of those who wish to make themselves ready for this Beloved Commander/Bridegroom must actively pursue those qualities, which may be foreign and uncomfortable. True intimacy can be very disconcerting to most of us. A warfare mentality could make the most intimate man or woman timid. If we are to complete the picture, however, we must gain the insight needed from both sides. Despairing not, we plunge ahead wanting to become all that we are to be. Even in the wanting of that completeness, there is an acknowledgement that we do not know what we ought, but we pray with Paul that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened.
The issue is one of relationship. Has trust developed between our Beloved and us? Have we in all our honesty cried with the Psalmist “Search me, Oh God” Again, I sense His mercy as we understand that it is not in the perfection of our lives, but the ‘trying’ of our lives that our Bridegroom can know that our love is sure. Second thoughts and holding back have no place in having our Beloved’s confidence. He has need of a Bride who is sure and has demonstrated where her loyalty, love and faith abide.