"Who is this that grows like the dawn, as beautiful as the full moon, as pure as the sun, as awesome as an army with banners?" ---Song of Solomon 6:10
We were created for more than just having a religion. Indeed, in regards to satisfying our deeper longings, a time will come when we realize that religion is not enough. It satisfies neither us nor Christ. God's Word reveals that Christ wants to actually, personally, know us (Matt. 7: 22-23).
You say, "But He does know us!" In His omniscience, He knows everything. But in His love He seeks to know us as His bride, where we live in unbroken union with Him. Because He purchased us with His blood, He has the right to our souls, our secrets, and our dreams. He wants the person we are when no one else is looking. Yet He will not force Himself upon us. This is not the way of love.
In truth, we love because He first loved us. We become committed to Him because of His commitment to us. This interpenetration of our lives with Christ's -- this oneness born of love -- is the only destiny for the church for which Christ is content. At the end of the age, nothing short of oneness with Christ will sustain us.
God is Love I know the fear of the Lord and that it is the beginning of true knowledge. I delight in the fear of the Lord. Yet, just as John wrote, we each must know and believe the love which God has for us (1 John 4:16).
Let us consider that the apostle who fell before Jesus as a dead man on the Isle of Pathos later wrote, "There is no fear in love" (1 John 4:18). The Lord knows holy fear is a strong deterrent from sin as well as a powerful ally in walking uprightly. Yet to draw near to Him we must know more than the fear of God; we must know "the love which God has for us." It is this perfect love from God that "casts out fear, because fear involves torment" (1 John 4:18 NKJV). It is this love alone that can bring the bride of Christ into her destiny.
The Heart of God You may be reading this, and the thought of seeking God, of drawing nearer to Christ, may have triggered an initiative to do so. Yet when the thought first awakened within you, urging you to enter His presence, something also quickened in the heart of Christ. He says, "You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes" (Song of Sol. 4:9).
Your glance, even if it was no more than the briefest anticipation of being with Him, made His heart beat faster. The King James Version reads, "Thou hast ravished my heart." This is how the heart of Christ responds to our desire to be with Him.
Jesus is not returning simply to destroy wickedness; He is coming for a bride. At the end of the age our task is not simply to prepare for the Rapture or the Tribulation but to prepare for Christ Himself!
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready" (Rev. 19:7).
You see, our preparation is for Christ. The bride isn't wallowing in fear at what is coming upon the world; she is being swallowed up in love at who is coming to this world! We are not being prepared for a date, but a marriage! There is nothing more important to Jesus Christ than His bride, the church. For her He died; for her He lives to make intercession.
His love proved itself capable and worthy of winning our full redemption. Our most noble task is to fearlessly surrender to Him whose heart beats faster with the single glance of our eyes.
Lord, I confess, I've been distracted and anxious with my many tasks. Indeed, even my duties on Your behalf have, in a way, taken the place of Your presence. Master, beloved lover of my soul, I repent. I desire to know You, even as You have known me. Lord, I come.