Every woman loves a love story. What girl, young or old, hasn't dreamed of being Cinderella, pursued by her Prince Charming?
Most people don't consider Christianity to be first and foremost a love story; but it is. In fact, if you are a Christian you are involved in the greatest love story ever. And, it gets even better; you aren't the ugly stepsister. You are the beautiful bride!
The Song of Solomon gives us a picture of our Bridegroom King, Jesus, who left heaven's paradise to come to fallen Earth and redeem His bride: "Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?" (Song 3:6, NIV). Here Jesus is coming out of the wilderness perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, signifying His sufferings and intercession for His bride.
This is the same Bridegroom who ascended to heaven, and who can declare, "Father, I did it! I paid the price for her" (see John 17:4; 19:30). In response, the Father can reply to His Son, "Sit here, on my right hand while I send my Holy Spirit to train your bride" (see Heb. 12:2; John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit prepares us for the Bridegroom King. He is our teacher and guide. He awakens our spirits and sets our hearts on fire. He is the One who brings the revelation of conviction, repentance and salvation.
The Spirit illuminates the Word of God, taking the logos (doctrine or the revealed will of God) and making it a heart-gripping rhema (an individual Scripture given for a specific purpose). And He is the One who makes known to us our birthright and awakens us to our destiny.
In Search of a Bride
The story of Isaac and Rebekah is a picture of the great love adventure between Christ and His bride. In Genesis 24, Abraham (Father God) commissions his servant (the Holy Spirit) to find a bride for his son, Isaac (Christ).
In Genesis 24:14, the servant leaves the father and goes through the wilderness with 10 camels loaded down with a large dowry. When he arrives at the town, it is evening, the time when the women would go draw water at the well. The servant prays to God and puts forth a fleece: "Have the maiden You have selected as Isaac's wife give me a drink and offer to water my camels as well."
Before he even finished his prayer, Rebekah came to the well, dressed as a servant, going about her daily chores. The servant asked her for a drink and immediately something quickened her heart. She answered, "Yes, of course, and may I also water your camels?" (See Genesis 24:19.)
Now that was an extravagant offer. The camels had just come out of the desert and were extremely thirsty. One camel can drink about 30 gallons, so she was offering to draw about 300 gallons of water for his 10 camels.
In the natural, all Rebekah saw were thirsty camels. She didn't know about the son. But hidden beneath this simple request for a drink was a prophetic invitation for her. Often, the Holy Spirit comes to us asking for what could be compared to only a drink of water, and we reject His invitation because we can't see what is concealed within it.
After Rebekah watered the camels, the servant presented her with jewelry—a golden nose ring and gold bracelets (Gen. 24:22). When she told her brother Laban about the visitor and the gifts he had given her, he ran to meet the servant and extended him a personal invitation to his home (v. 31).
When we see all the wonderful gifts the Holy Spirit has to offer, we greatly desire and need them.
But often we get so focused on the gifts that we forget the Holy Spirit is a Person with a personality and that we need intimacy with Him even more than we need His gifts.
The Journey Leads to Jesus
When the servant entered Laban's home, the servant refused to eat any of the food set before him, saying that first he must explain his mission. The servant shared the story of Isaac's miraculous birth and recounted the series of events from earlier that day—his prayer at the well and Rebekah's response (Gen. 24:36-48).
After the servant related the story, they ate and fellowshiped all night. The next morning as the servant prepared to leave, Rebekah's family asked if he would stay another 10 days before taking Rebekah to his master. The servant refused the invitation because he had a mission. He had to get the bride to the son! (See Genesis 24:56.)
So often we want to stay in the bride's house. We want to stay where the party is, and where all the gifts are. We lack the revelation of the importance of our journey.
We view the Holy Spirit as though He is there only for our benefit—for a little healing and a little refreshing. We fail to understand the magnitude of this incredible love story and the importance of the journey to the Bridegroom King, who longs for His bride.
- Continue reading >>
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!