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The Beauty of God

The beauty of God is the ultimate fascination of the bride. Isaiah 4:2 says, "The Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious." This speaks of the Holy Spirit's emphasis on the beauty of Jesus at the end of the age.

The human race has a longing for fascination and beauty; we can neither repent of it nor quench it. The secular entertainment industry has exploited this longing, providing us with a fascination that not only breaks us but causes us to be dependent upon it—so that we come back for more of that which destroys.

The truth is that when we're not wholehearted or fascinated, we're vulnerable to temptation. The church in the Western world right now is suffering from chronic boredom and passivity. We're vulnerable to the enticements of entertainment and sin. But the bridal paradigm offers the antidote: All our longings to be fascinated will be satisfied as God reveals Himself as our Bridegroom in the divine romance.

The invitation to be the bride of Christ is a unique privilege for the redeemed that far surpasses the position of the angels. It is not a matter of being male or female. Just as women are "sons of God," so also men are the "bride of Christ."

The bridal position describes a relationship of nearness to the heart of God and insight into the beauty of God that transcends gender. Consider King David, the most lovesick man in the Old Testament.

Struck with the beauty of God, he wrote, "One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord" (Ps. 27:4). David never lost that sense of fascination and awe with the One he loved—the One who first loved him.

When we begin to see Jesus as our Bridegroom, we will no longer consider ourselves task-doers who sacrifice to obey a distant God; nor will we define ourselves by our struggle and our sin. We'll be lovers of God—even while we're struggling. We will say, "I'm a lover of God! Yes, I acknowledge my weakness, but I'm more than a sinful servant. I'm the bride of Christ."

The fact is, a wedding is set to take place at the end of natural history—the culmination of a divine romance more exciting, more exhilarating, than anything the world has ever imagined. Jesus, our Bridegroom, loves us with a fiery love that will last for all eternity. As the bride of Christ, let us make ourselves ready.

Read a companion devotional.

Mike Bickle is director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., a 24-hour-a-day prayer ministry in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David.

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