{Bridal Paradigm}

The following entry was written for internship class. Topic: Describe the Bridal Paradigm

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Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

{Ephesians 5:22-27}

The intention of marriage from the heart of God is to take two humans as two paintbrushes to paint a picture of what Love is. It is to symbolize the relationship between God and His people. Just as marriage requires a purity covenant/remaining faithful to their spouse, so God expects the same from His church which He refers to as His bride. In me saying YES to God He requires my allegiance to Him, to remain faithful to Him without any other lovers {Lovers in this context would refer to anything that hinders love} Many times the Body of Christ {His Bride} forget that Gods love is in the context of the bridal paradigm. The story of Jesus is not about some God who came down, gave up His life and now demands we listen to Him and do whatever He asks. In fact that couldn’t be farther from the truth. God came in flesh as love, with the desire to re-unite His people back to Himself. With a jealousy that even death could not quench.

The bridal paradigm is an invitation, a beckoning into the eternal love of God. To experience His desire and love for us just as a groom on earth so loves his bride so God loves His people. His love is an everlasting love that cannot and does not waver. It cannot waver even in the midst of trial and tribulation; when us humans would question love, loyalty, or desire it is Gods love that stands strong.

In the earthly view of a bride and groom, the engagement is the promise of whats to come. At this time a man places a ring on the woman’s finger as a promise that they will soon be together forever until death separates them. Then the wedding comes. In the wedding vows they state that the bride and groom will stand by each other for better or for worse, through sickness and health; and from that day forth they belong to each other and no other. Just how on earth as marriage is to be a sacred relationship between one man and one woman God uses this illustration to show His people what He has in store for us. In our own love story with Jesus, He came declaring His love to His bride, that He would lay His life down and then take it back up again so that His bride may live FOREVER with Him. This promise far surpasses what any earthly marriage can offer here on earth. Our hope lies in another age.

God created marriage here on earth as an example of His love for His people. Many people {myself included} have believed that marriage is the pinnacle of love. But the more I read scripture I see that marriage here on earth is merely a reminder of whats to come for ETERNITY between the King of Kings and His Bride. What Jesus promises to me and every believer is a dedication that no earthly man or woman can promise or accomplish.  Marriage on earth is not the crescendo of love. It is merely a glimpse into what eternity will be like. With that said let us not forget that God created man and woman for marriage, PRAISE GOD! And I am so excited for my day to come when marriage will become a reality for me.

Jesus is zealous for my love, for my unhindered attention and devotion just as He is devoted to me. He laid down His life for me {He did this knowing that I may not say yes, that some days I would doubt His love, and some days straight up deny His love}. Just as an earthly fiance would promise by a ring Jesus did this by His blood. I am sealed in His love, by His promise. That He will come for me. Every time I feel weak, or as though circumstances are crushing in around me I am reminded it is because my groom is not here. Life is not complete without the King of Kings reigning on earth.  Jesus’s promise to return to earth for His bride speaks of His dedication and loyalty to His people. This love no man can hinder, and Jesus himself will not relent until I surrender all. Marriage here on earth is a lot of times epitomised as the ultimate showing off that you are loved, but it is not the earthly marriage that gives one identity. It is the marriage to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords that grants me true identity. The bridal paradigm provides me a place of abiding in His love, resting in His promise that all will be made right. He is not one that would go back on His word, He will come back for me. He will make me brand new. This is what I live for to be loved by Him, and to love Him. The very one who thousands of years ago poured out His blood so that I would know who I am. I am loved by the very one who is love. There is no greater marriage/covenant I could desire to be in.

L.O.V.E.

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{Default Button}

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Our default button: the mindset/paradigm we have towards ourselves (especially in weakness)

A desire of Gods heart is that we would know His feelings toward us and stand firm in them rooted as tree {Psalm 1:3} no matter our life circumstances. There’s a little something I like to call our human default button, this is were our thoughts go to instantly after something happens in our lives especially in times of weakness and sin. Many times after we find ourselves compromising we flash to an image of an angry God, to feelings of shame, guilt, condemnation, denial, pride, the list could go on and on.
God however desires that our default button would be shaped not by circumstances but by how He see’s us. So how does He see us? Well Songs 4:9 paints a picture of our beloved (Jesus) declaring that we “have ravished His heart”. Later in Songs 6:5 he says “Turn your eyes away from me, For they have overcome me.”
Stop.
Dwell on that for a minute.
Whatever you have done today. Or maybe you haven’t done anything today, this is for YOU!
God is so overwhelmed in love for you, that with one look at Him He is undone. It sounds like something out of a fairytale, but this is better than a fairytale. THIS IS OUR REALITY. God has a Holy jealous love for us, He wants so badly for you and Him to be united in love as He had originally intended when He created Adam and Eve that He sent Jesus to bridge the gap. This is how we can stand in confidence that He see’s us as righteous. Jesus’ blood covers us. WE CANNOT DO A STINKING THING TO CHANGE HIS LOVE FOR US. Jesus did it all. He has reedemed those of us who have accepted this free gift called salvation.

His love is not and cannot be swayed by anything we do, meaning striving will get you no were but drained of energy and bitter. His love is not based on our performance. When I wake up; He is staring at me {whether I remember to say good morning to Him or not}, when I walk to class He is still staring at me waiting to see what I will do next, whenever I remember to say Hi to Him He gets so excited! And when I engage in conversation with Him, and worship Him it puts him over the moon so to speak. Think of it this way, imagine yourself standing on a busy street corner when you see a friend walking towards you, you expectantly begin waiting for them to see you, for that moment when there eyes to lock with yours. It does something in us when someone acknowledges our presence, it makes us feel desired/accepted/loved whether we admit it or not. Our eyes light up, a smile appears on our face, and somekind of physical touch/interaction is usually exchanged whether it be a high five, a hug, or a kiss.
Now replay that situation but imagine the person walking toward you is reading a book not paying attention to who is nearby and doesn’t see you. We can get kinda bummed that the person didn’t acknowledge us.
Here’s the crazy, amazing, beautiful news God doesn’t react like we do. He just keeps staring. He waits patiently until we remember to look up, whether it takes a minute, an hour, a month, a year, or a decade. He is there leaning over the balcony of heaven in love staring back at His creation waiting. To often a picture of an angry God just waiting for us to ‘mess up’ is all our imagination can comprehend. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In order to truly encounter God we must engage in long & loving meditation with a settled heart and mind. Reading the bible however is not merely something to fill us with knowledge, while that is the starting point it cannot and will not fill us. Mike Bickle say it a little something like this in regards to the Song of Songs “No one would go to a famous restraunt to merely study the menu. The menu is there to help them obtain a good meal. It is not enough to be a connoisseur of the Song of Songs, we must allow this book to fill our heart”. We are to fill ourselves with the truth of what Gods says, through that we will find our identity in Him and discover how He sees us, feels towards us is unshakeable.

Do you believe His heart is ravished by you?

Is LOVE your default button or is shame and self-preservation?

L.O.V.E.

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