The Bride – Restoration

As I was praying last week and in worship at Church I had a picture of a bride.     I first saw a picture of a lion and knew that this was Jesus – the lion of Judah.     The Lion was looking at something and when I followed his gaze, I saw that He was looking at a bride.

The picture shocked me.   Although the bride was dressed in a beautiful white dress and veil -the dress was truly beautiful – spotless and pure bright white, the bride herself looked grey and gaunt, withered and frail.    Her beauty had faded and she had no vitality or joy.    Her skin was stretched tautly over her bones and was grey and papery.    She looked weary as if she had no strength in her from lack of food.   She reminded me of a living corpse.     It was a terrible sight.     The bride was not old which accounted for her appearance.   She was young.

I thought is this a picture of the church at the moment- the body of Christ as a whole in the world?   Is this what Jesus sees when He looks at us?    That the body has lost its vitality, its beauty and is famished and without strength.      I was encouraged that the bride’s dress was pure and white.   Jesus’ blood truly cleanses us from all sin and purifies us.    It reminded me that Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride, but I believe He also wants to come back for a radiant, beautiful and strong bride who is full of His life, joy, power and strength and who radiates His glory and goodness in the world.

I pray that if this picture is correct that the Holy Spirit will reveal it and show us our true condition.   That our hearts will be convicted of our lack of His life working in and through us.    That we will acknowledge and repent over our condition and turn again to the living hope which is in Christ Jesus by the power of His Holy Spirit to be restored and refreshed.    We will realise our desperation and need of Jesus and that without Him there is no power for living.   He alone is the bread of life and the living water.   John 7 v37 “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink, he who believes in me as the scriptures say out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”.   John 6: 48 Jesus said “I am the bread of life”.     Jesus is the Word of God made flesh and His words are life to us.   The bible is food for our soul.  

Jesus is in the business of restoration.      The Lord reminded me of the picture of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 later in the same day and God’s question to Ezekiel – can these dry bones live?    In my picture – Can the bride’s strength, joy, life, beauty and power be restored?  In faith I believe that the answer is Yes and I say Yes to God.   As Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones – we say to the Church – hear the word of the Lord.   “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live” V5  “I will put My Spirit in you and you shall live” v13. 

Isaiah 40 v 29 says “He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might, He increases strength”.  V31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”.   I believe God wants to restore our strength for these days ahead so that we will not grow weary in doing good but will have the strength to continue in the face of adversity and persecution and persevere.   We are called to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.   May our vitality be restored.  May we be filled with the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God.

Going deeper for the treasure

grayscale photography of man jumping on body of waterOnce a month our fellowship has started an evening service dedicated to worship and seeking God’s presence.    I had a picture during the worship time recently of a large lake.  A leisure lake and there were lots of people enjoying and having fun in the water.  Some people were running and jumping into the lake, doing back flips, dive bombs etc.  Some people were stood on the shore just dipping a toe into the water – testing it out.   Some went up to their knees for a paddle – some ventured a bit further and started swimming.    I felt God saying that the lake represented His presence.    People entered and experienced it differently.  Some people were taking things slowly (especially if this was new to them) whereas some would dive straight in,  but the most important thing was taking that first step.    If you want to start by dipping your toe or if you are the sort of person to jump straight in then that is fine.   That is your starting point and from there we gain the confidence and enjoyment to stay longer and go deeper with God.    God wants to encourage you not to stay in the shallows all the time though and also not just to play around on the surface but to go deeper with Him.

 

 

gold beaded necklaces on gold jewelry box

In the picture, I saw people diving down below the surface of the lake going deeper and deeper down.    As they did so they discovered beautiful pearls on the bottom of the lake- some of the pearls were hidden in the weeds, some were hidden in the muddy depths, some were in the dark places – these pearls were God’s treasure that was hidden waiting to be discovered.     As we go deeper into God’s presence we will discover this treasure that He has for each one of us.   We have to search it out and press in even when we feel uncomfortable.  I encourage you today not to stay at your starting point but to press into God and see what He has for you and what you will discover about Him.

 

 

 

Pioneers

I felt that God spoke to me recently about the fellowship that I am attending currently, that it has a pioneering spirit.   I believe that they have been gifted in God to be pioneers in their community and to bless the local community in this way.   I have been encouraged to hear how God has already used them in this way and I believe will continue to use them in this way in the future.    I have heard about their work in pioneering street pastors, the food bank, the life centre, the bereavement group, prayer on the streets etc.. and I am sure that there is more that they have pioneered which I don’t know about.   As we were in worship a few weeks ago, I saw a picture of their fellowship on fire for the Lord – it was as if I saw a picture of a map of the local area and the church was on fire.  It was burning brightly.    As I looked the fire also started to take hold in other fellowships in the area and they started to be on fire too.    Perhaps this fellowship will be a catalyst for something God is going to do in this area and which will then spread.