Give Him glory for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready. (Rev 19:7)
LOVE THAT ENDURES
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)
Paul had concern for the honor and purity of the church. He looked at her like a Father looks at a daughter wanting purity and to prepare her for her bridegroom and that wedding day!
It takes real love to make it all the way to the Wedding Day! Not to be confused with a natural love or an emotion, this is a love that is stronger than the grave, stronger than any power in this age or the age to come. This love expressed in the heart of a Father, which never ends, never runs out, limitless, boundless and can’t be quenched by any flood. This love is stronger than any graves, death can’t hold it, and life can’t lessen it.
An emotional love is weak at its best; it comes from the seat of our emotions which is the soul. We can express love in our soul but real love comes from spirit. You can’t love God without God’s love and you spirit alive to His love.
If all we have is emotional love we will be taken out in the day of visitation, in the day of destruction that the book of Revelation tells us is coming. Three and half years of tribulation….we won’t make it on an emotion but the love of God will keep us steadfast and sure, unshakeable and unmovable and keep us from being offended.
LOVE AS A SEAL ON MY HEART
Set Me (Jesus) as a seal upon your heart…for love (God’s love in us) is as strong as death…its flames are flames of fire…7 Many waters (persecution, sin, condemnation, pressures, etc.) cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. (Song 8:6-7)
We haven’t even begun to tap into the love that dawns as a morning brighter as the day grows and causes darkness to flee
The heavens declare it….day unto day speaks it…there is no speech for it…not even the world can tabernacle it… it is expressed in a Bridegroom who coming out of his chamber goes forth from the end of heaven…nothing can hide from its heat. Psalm 19
Just as creation is the language of the creator, man is the language of a loving God. To look at man and God’s pursuit of man is to understand the expression of this kind of love.
The power of the word of God converts our understanding to see rightly, makes us wise beyond our soulish nature, our past experiences, our future encounters – the word is perfect and nothing in this world is perfect except God. (Psalms 19:7)
The word of God is like the pillars that hold up that which could possibly tabernacle the love to be seen. His words enlighten our eyes to see, without it we would be unable to focus and see clearly.(Psalms 19:8)
When we see rightly, reverence and esteem for Him fills our heart, we place the proper perspective and see Him as Holy, other than and transcendent. It is an eternal perspective that is not limited to what is in the now but includes all that is in the future.
The word fuels our faith and helps us to believe what God says.
His love and the fear of the Lord give us confidence.
FEAR OF THE LORD KEEPS ME CLEAN
Mosses said, “Fear not for God is come to prove you and that his fear may be before your faces that ye sin not” Exodus 20:20
The fear of the Lord makes us receptive to his wisdom and knowledge and makes the enticement of sin dull to our senses. (Proverbs 1:7-9) It causes our inward being to resist sin, constrains us from giving into temptation.
Not like we imagine clean. A.W. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy talks about how our white is dirty grey and no matter how white and clean we attempt to get something it is still dingy and grey compared to the whiteness and purity of His cleanliness.
All our attempts to be pure, acts of self-righteousness are but dirty rags…pale in the brightness of His Glory. We will never become pure and clean and right before God by doing…by all our works. It is a gift and when we see rightly we can receive this gift, have understanding of it, comprehend and convert our souls to it, our very nature receiving His nature, our way of thinking transformed by it and our actions following.
The purity of the Fear of the Lord, the cleanness of it separates from the unclean like a vast ocean from as far as the east is to the west there is a demarcation of separation when the fear of the Lord and purity of real love consumes a believer – you won’t have to ask – you will know they are different – unlike anything this world sets up as a standard – this love – this purity is like a judgment against sin – puts it under a magnifying glass and displays “that is ugly and not worthy of my time, attention or my life”
All throughout the ages the world, Babylon, the harlotries of evil and sin have loudly claimed a love that feeds soul and flesh but this is false, it is a mirage, it has no lasting effect, it is perpetuatated on the movie screens, in secret lustful pornographic messages that promise some kind of fulfillment and all its allure is false and untrue. Sinful lustful love in the frame of a body, in the enticement of secret and hidden sin is but a trap and a lie….leading you into union with darkness and satisfying feeling in sin. In actuality there is a dirty, unclean impurity imparted to your inner man and it eats away at your heart with guild and condemnation.
The beauty and fire that accompanies pure love that flows from your creator add to you, strengthens you and fills you with a fuel that endures until end. The love of God is purifying, it acts like an astringent in your heart removing impurities and false lies.
Have you ever had a wound and put astringent on it….it stings but it stings good and the cleansing agent of the astringent removes all that hinders the healing. Truly a wound can heal once it is cleaned. The world and its enticements would our heart and infect us with lies and false images that only the love of God can heal.
If you never encounter the Love of God then that wounding begins to poison and get infected and eventually left to it’s own…gangrene sets in and stops all flow of blood. Have you ever seen a war vet? After the war….blind with bitterness and filled with wounds and in some cases even had to have limbs amputated and plastic ones put on.
We can’t fight any battle, win any war, and conquer any enemy without love! Only love can guard our heart from bitterness and keep us flowing in the life flow and power of God’s anointing. To go into battle without the love of God and the fear of the Lord will lead to causalities and potential wounding that will not heal. (1 Kings 22:34; 2 Chronicles 18:33)
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded in me Psalms 109:22
LOVE THAT WINS BATTLES
When we look at the enemies of the cross and God’s jealous zeal for His bride we want to enter into the battle with Him but we must not go in unprepared.
We want to enter into the battle in total union with God. The love of God consummates a union; it draws our hearts together in perfect harmony.
That they all may be one as you Father are in me(Jesus) and I (Jesus) am in You (Father) that they (you and me) may also be one in us (Father, Son) so that the world may believe and know that you (Father) sent me (Jesus) John 17:21
To know Christ is to know the Father, to fall in love with Jesus is to fall in love with the Father – it is not separate because they are one. Our love for Jesus is the same love we love the Father. The same love the has for Jesus He has for us, He doesn’t love Jesus more, He doesn’t love us more – it is the same love…it is not measured.
We try to measure love but love can’t be measured
We try to measure love but love can’t be measured so really don’t try. We can express it though in measures…our desire is to express the Love of God in unlimited fashion of eternity; meaning it doesn’t end with the here and now but it is expressed as reaching into our future…meaning we live for another age. Our love is expressed by living now for eternity.
It’s like a fire that is consuming everything in its path and it moves, has movement, alive and moving…. traveling into eternity.
The world boasts of a love that lasts forever…if that was true why is there so many divorces? Because it’s not real love…..its superficial based on what you can do for me….what you can give me…what I can get from it. It has no lasting effect….not eternal significance. It’s based on emotions which go high and they go low affected by outward circumstances and outward affections. Where is the commitment in that?
Real love is commitment through eternity. When God set His love on man, He meant forever and ever and ever without end! You can’t see the end of this love because there isn’t one. It is the definition of forever! It will outlast humanity and this world and the solar system and every age. You mind can’t fathom the end of God’s love because there is no finding it.
God’s kingdom is established on this Love, it’s the boundaries of it, the pillars of it and there is no ceiling
We get to spend until eternity searching it out! Discovering this Love and becoming the expression of it in the earth – oh what a Glory to search it out – what a mystery – what beauty…how to express this love, how to communicate to a world that has nothing to compare it to…not baseline to measure it by …oh the joy of this our eternal purpose!
LOVE THAT OVERCOMES WEAKNESS
I am dark, but lovely, O you daughters of Jerusalem, the tents of Kedar as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because the sun has looked upon me, my mother’s children were angry with me they made me the keeper of the vineyard but my own have I not kept (Song 1:5-6)
Song of Solomon is the story of a bride searching out this love….she encounters it in her shepherd and it draws her into the encounter and she discovers her shortcomings, her darkness in comparison to the beauty of this love. She feel undeserving, unable to receive so He speaks to her. I am dark (in heart) but lovely (to God)…v6 my own vineyard (heart) I have not kept. Song of Solomon 1:5-6)
If we look in the natural we will measure our love in a natural way. We look at how we act and how we respond. We look at our failures, the times we miss it and shame, condemnation sets in and clouds our view.
The beauty of God’s love is He looks on our heart, the intention of our heart, the reach of our inner man, the desire to be aligned with Him and in complete obedience. We want to have a Yes in our heart but our weakness keeps us from reaching, shame condemns our mind and we think wrong thoughts.
We lean on our reasoning instead of our spirit leading us to truth. Our mind will lean on an outward expression; our nature is to relate based on outward natural signals while our spirit is made to rely on God’s word and who He is, the nature and character of God.
We must make a choice to live by our spirit not our natural man or by outward expressions but by the inner leadings of our spirit and His nature in us. Our spirit will reveal to us the truth if we ask the Holy Spirit to show us. The Holy Spirit shares God’s heart and thoughts towards us and reveals it to us by our spirit not our mind. Our mind will help us to interpret the spirit but if you don’t have the word of god in your mind you may lean to your natural man or past experiences.
The more word of God we meditate on, the more our mind can interpret the spirit and Holy Spirit correctly – this keeps us from error.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statues(word) of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments (principles and doctrine) of the Lord is pure, enlightening my eyes. Psalm 19:7-8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
Once we have a right perspective we see rightly, we are relying on our spirit our inner man and the communion with the Holy Spirit and the word of God we can enter into the battle knowing God will direct our steps and keep us protected.
Paul emphasizes the great love and privilege that we have received. He describes the Bride’s glory, greatness, status, position and function. This passage is the ultimate statement of our value and His desire for us. He wants you as His eternal partner. You are beautiful in His sight.
LOVE THAT HEALS AND MINISTERS
The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me (Song of Solomon 5:7)
There is a wounding sometimes that comes as a result of those we minister or run with and we can see the response of the Shulammite when the watchmen wounded her
The watchman…struck me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took my veil away from me (Song of Solomon 5:7)
Often because of the close proximity we work with someone spending in some cases more time with them than with our family we encounter wounds in others that have no healed. Often when we are hurt we protect ourselves by pushing away those who we find re-infect those wounds or bring a response we are unsure of how to handle.
Another scenario may be insecurities, and this will produce walls and even a pushing away because we have valued ourselves by our position or performance or how others receive our ministry or work.
It really all boils down to knowing what our Father thinks about us and build confidence in His love and what He thinks about us and from that perspective find our identity.
Anytime we live in the minds of others we will find we come short of our potential. We were made in the image of God not man so they can’t fully comprehend all that is in us but our creator can.
We are also fueled by past experiences and may assume a result because of our past experience with someone or in a similar situation and predict an outcome that is really not realistic.
Love, God’s Love, opens our spirit. We feel safe and comfortable to open ourselves because we can trust that He will not hurt us, knowing that His thoughts towards us are always good!.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
You have ravished My heart…My spouse… with one look of your eyes… How fair (beautiful) is your love…How much better than wine is your love…. Song of Solomon 4:9-10
It can hurt when you encounter a leader who is not interested in your success. We come into ministry expecting that everyone is going to want to benefit us but the truth is many people have their own agenda and are unable, because of immaturity or other issues, to work as a team.
If we see as God sees, even ask the Lord how He sees another person we are working with or ministering to than we will have more grace to understand why they respond to us a certain way.
The wound we experience can be a test from the Lord to release a greater measure of grace in loving Him. It also prepares us for the seasons He invites us to minister to our enemies.
We can learn to respond in a right heart and right attitude and when a real attack come we are unmoved, unshakable and not get offended.
When you understand God’s love for you then every trial and every temptation become a source to strengthen you and increase wisdom and revelation.
For the testing and trying of your faith works patience. James 1:3
We don’t go looking for test but we don’t back down from them either. We get tests to try our faith and perfect what is lacking. You won’t know what you are lacking if you never get tested. And you can’t test something you don’t have so know this
You have faith
He wants to strengthen you
He wants to strengthen you, add to you and bless you and this is one of the many processes. We want to know where we are weak so that we can aks the Lord for the supply, gifting, anointing revelation, wisdom or whatever we are lacking so that there is a greater measure and manifestation of His Glory released.
Oh the Love of a Father whose desire for us is that we would know Him fully and experience Him completely. He doesn’t want to hold back anything from us but He also knows us better than we know ourselves and some blessings can be more harmful than helpful so He prepares us line upon line and precept upon precept.
Mike Bickle has shared an encounter he had with the Lord that makes this so clear. During the encounter the Lord took him in the spirit of heaven, a power encounter in itself. How many of you have gone in the spirit to heaven? I have only had glimpses.
In this encounter the Lord thundered in Mike’s spirit “Young man, if you are impatient, you will cause great harm and much turmoil to many peoples” This reveals God’s heart towards us, He doesn’t want the blessing to bring harms rather He wants to prepare us for the blessing so that we can walk in it.
I think one of the greatest harms has come to the body of Christ during the dispensation of the Holy Spirit and Charismatic renewal is being slain in the spirit. Though I think this is a legitimate manifestation I think it has brought some harm because we neer really get the fullness of God’s impartation.
One thing my pastor taught me that I found to be helpful is to learn to “walk in the anointing”, when the Holy Spirit manifests to impart I want to be able to walk in it not just get thrown down on the ground. Though the power may do that, I have certainly experienced that in many way and I love when all my natural strength is drained from me but I really believe the Lord wants us to be able to “walk in it” so that it can benefit others. To me every manifestation is to be poured out on someone else, so I want to be able to “stand and minister” it not just get knocked down.
LOVE THAT GIVES EVERYTHING
Bottom line is God is for us, always! He desires to bless us and withholding doesn’t mean necessarily that we have done something wrong, it just may mean we aren’t ready or prepared so than we aks the Lord show me where my weakness is so I can walk in it and minister it to the body. The picture I keep in my mind is that weall have to go together. I can only go as far as you go so until you get it I am not going further – we have to go together.
I take that to mean locally and globally –which give me such a burden for the global church to experience all of God not just local or the body. I am connected to because until we all go He won’t come. This is what I am reaching for and I have great faith in God, not in my ability to pray that in but in His heart to bring it to pass.
I want not only personally to be one with the Lord but also with the body I want to be one. So my desire to remove everything that hinders love is not just between Him and I but between the body and myself. So I ask the Lord what in me hinders love with my brothers and sisters. I keep them in mind because we want to go together.
If something the Lord has given me liberty and it causes another to stumble than I evaluate the value of removing that so that my brother and I can fellowship and as a whole we are edifying
An example would be drinking. There is a lot of controversy over this issue but if it causes my brother to stumble than something that is just a pleasure for me and perhaps I can restrain myself, if my brother can’t than I am hindering him more than gaining something that benefits us both. I look at it like a pregnant woman; she has to restrict certain things that she eats and does in order for that baby to have the best chance of survival. I look at this generation like a child I am carrying in the womb of my spirit and if I have to lay down some things that cause them to gain all that is God’s intention for them, I love them so much I want that for them
It may be a sacrifice for me but God sees it as worship and an offering. I lay down the lesser so we can all gain the greater. He is worth it and this generation is worth it.
David is an example of someone who gave everything he had for this generation to experience God’s presence. He build the tabernacle as a place where God’s people could commune with Him. We want the presence of God to come in fullness to encounter a generation. We want to release the full manifestation of all the love of Go that is possible so they can see Him, understand Him and feel unashamed to give themselves to Him. The greatest expression of that is to love them enough to lay down anything and everything that would hinder them or us from entering into the fullness.
We can see the Shulammite wanted to come to the Lord even in her weakness to obey His beckoning. She didn’t want to miss his visitation, so even in weakness, keeping her eyes on His lovely face and remembering His kind words to her, she resisted the inclination to back down or to hide from Him because she knew He didn’t want to harm her, He wanted to love her.
She opens the door and says Yes to His visitation, His light, His purposes and surrenders herself to Him. She wanted more than just to watch from afar, she wanted to participate in all that He was doing. She wanted consummation, union to become One with Him, to marry Him. So she opens the door to her heart, to her soul, to her mind to her weakness, to the hidden places. She gives Him full access to all her knowing He may ask her to give some of it up but He is worth it.
I opened for my Beloved, but my Beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when He spoke. I sought Him, but I could not find Him…He gave me now answer. (Song of Solomon 5:6)
Search me O god and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24)
We have this hope set before us in a Wedding Day, a consummation of love that surpasses even our imagination, we can look at examples of wedding in the context Jesus speaks to us in the bible but eve that is still in our natural realm. There is so much more and the glory is we can search it out, ask Him to show us this hope set before us because it will sustain us, anchor us and help us to see the plan of His heart.
We want to know and He wants to tell us, He wants to show us that is why Jesus told us in Matthew 22:1-14
The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king which made a marriage for his son…he sent forth his servants saying tell them…Behold I have prepare my dinner…all things are ready: come unto the marriage.(Matthew 22:1-4)