Monday, 11 July 2011
Warrior Bride - Part 1 - Conclusion
CONCLUSION OF PART I
As the time speeds closer to the fulfillment of our promise as the Warrior Bride, it becomes clear that the cost is greater and greater. Our commitment and faithfulness to our Beloved Commander comes at a higher price than ever before in our lives. The ironic thing about this cost is that it cannot be measured before it is required. You do not know what will be asked of you before it is asked.
As our Bridegroom/Commander begins the processes of cleansing and purifying, much of what we hold dear to us will be deemed a deterrent to our calling. For some it will be a larger than life step of faith into an unknown country following wherever the Commander leads. For others it will be the daily dying to many little areas that we thought were unimportant. What we have overlooked in the past is that both the giant leap of faith and the dying daily to the inconsistencies in our lives are what define us as the Warrior Bride. It is our level of awareness and our submitting at that level, which determines the depth of our commitment.
In looking back at great examples of faith in the past, many men and women of God were called to something greater than themselves. In each case the cost of that commitment was every area, shadow and corner of their hearts. It is interesting to note that even though great faith was required to give their all, at each step in their walk the price is paid again. A fresh surrender at each fork in the road is a hallmark of those who have truly understood the life of becoming the Warrior Bride.
The fire in the eyes of our Beloved now challenges little inconsistencies, which once were thought to be insignificant. Our wholehearted devotion with all its beauty and wonder, comes at a great price to us all.
Gone are the times of selfish prayer. Gone are the times of the vanity of our spirituality. No longer is there time or place for our own fulfillment and successes no matter how they are measured. The time is short. It is too short for petty self-indulgences, especially in the spiritual realm. Our thoughts, motives and actions can be and must start to be brought into alignment with our Bridegroom/Commander.
It is not enough to say the spiritual words. It is not enough to merely look at the Isaac’s in our lives and talk about the sacrifice and cost. To make that Abraham walk will cost a great deal almost daily. To lay those things on the alter of our faith requires great courage.
Another irony in it all is the only one who truly knows if this process of sacrifice is taking place is the One to whom we are sacrificing. Those around us, who we would impress with our jargon of the cost, really matter little to our own walk up the mountain. It is usually those areas people do not see which turn out to be the hardest and most costly to surrender.
As our humanity dictates, we spend a great deal of time and effort gaining the approval of others. This happens from the lowest persons of society right up to the spiritual echelons. As our focus becomes aligned with the Commander/Bridegroom, part of the cost of our submission will be bearing the reproach for our efforts. So many of us are motivated by our peers, spiritually and otherwise, that we ignore the inner whispers that call us o change.
Those who, in the past, have effected the greatest spiritual truths were those who were motivated solely by the inner prompting of the Commander. They knew His voice in intimacy and in warfare. Their lives were a picture of the cost of the commitment. The reproach most received was great. Family, friends and the church were against most of those great examples of faith.
Early Christians gave their lives. Pioneers of the early church also gave their lives to the spreading of the gospel. Today people are still giving their lives. It is difficult for some of us to understand why the Commander asks some to give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to prove their love. We seem to have it much easier we think to ourselves, living in relative freedom and peace. I would submit that the price is just as high for those of us called to make our living sacrifices.
Our Bridegroom/Commander demands everything from us – including the hard to reach areas, our motives and our responses. These two areas are the easiest to ignore, the hardest to see and the heaviest to carry. The definition of who we are is wrapped up in our motives and responses. As we are to die daily, both become the measuring sticks by which we can determine the depth of this calling. It is tricky, however, to accurately determine this from the outside. Spiritual words do nothing to help us hear the intimate call of our Bridegroom. Lofty ideals do little to bring the discipline so necessary for the preparation for battle.
Ours is a call to do away with the outer trappings and finery, and place the focus back on our Bridegroom. It is at that place of His intimate whispers, where we will find the courage to bear whatever reproach may come. It is in Boot Camp where we find the determination to lay aside the weights that bind us, to pay whatever price comes our way.
It doesn’t seem to be of much consequence where our walk of life finds us. Missionaries, teachers, factory workers, homemakers or pastors only serve to define where our preparation time must be spent. Preparing for battle and intimacy requires our faithfulness and loyalty in the ordinary situations our lives find us in. Temptations come, frustrations are great and our stamina gets tested to the breaking point to fulfill our calling.
Our Blessed Bridegroom has shown us how to refine some of the qualities necessary for our becoming the Warrior Bride. Our cry must be to become the reflection of our Lover. His Spirit and Life must be evident in each stride we take to becoming that intimate partner we so desire to be. His intimacy is gentle, whispered in our hearts. His war cry is great, resounding in our hearts.
How then can we better hear and know His gentle and urgent whispers? A great gift from the One who loves us is such a record of those who have gone before. By no means are these examples perfect people, neither is the following an exhaustive study. It is for our benefit that we can see the reflection of the Warrior Bride in preparation through the eyes of these valuable souls gone before. Being a Watchman through the eyes of Nehemiah, … An Intercessor seen in Abraham, … Prophetic eyes such as those found in Hosea, … Intimacy as taught us by Ruth, … and Worship as understood through the experience of David. All of these teachers reflect the heart of the Warrior Bride as we let the Commander/Bridegroom illuminate their example to our hearts.
As our eyes of understanding become more enlightened, we are quick to humbly submit ourselves to our Bridegroom’s revelation. We quiet our tongues and await our orders. We stand at the door or the Bridal Chamber awaiting the explanations of mysteries held within its walls
The call is one of intimacy and warfare. We must wear the veil and carry the sword as the Lover of our Soul leads us to do battle.
Allow us Oh Beloved One to grasp what is the breadth, depth and height of Your Love.