The Lord longs for us to vocally respond to His desire for our companionship. There seems to be many who cannot understand why, if Jesus already paid for transformation on the cross, and we are already crucified with Christ, why do we need to do anything or “make ourselves ready” as His Bride? Just as although Jesus already paid for the sins of the world, but only those who choose to appropriate His free gift for eternal life, judicially speaking, although we have already been crucified with Christ, not everyone who calls themselves a Christian has experientially or appropriated all that was bought and purchased for us on the cross. Nothing is automatic. Everything that Jesus died for must be appropriated by faith. If we have not personally experienced what was purchased for us than it is not truly ours. We have not appropriated it. It is only mental assent or intellectual. Although His love for us never changes, our level of experiencing His manifest presence and love is conditional too our response to His great love for us.
The primary reason we choose to make ourselves ready as His Bride is because it is a great and holy honor to do so. It is our Bridegroom, Jesus’s greatest desire to have a Bride that is equal with Him, in reciprocating love for one another. ( Between Him and us). Which one of us would not want or desire a spouse who was wholly devoted to us and adored us in every way? Christ desires such a Bride. It is not a question of mere obedience, it is a question of love and devotion to our King. We do not have to choose to make ourselves ready but since Jesus has this great desire for a Bride who has laid down her life for Him, it is our privilege to honor Him in such a way. It is a great and wonderful honor to discover our need to allow ourselves to enter into this higher calling and purpose in Him.
It is Jesus’s great intention that we become dissatisfied with our present feelings of contentment and fulfillment with all the blessing He has bestowed upon us and come to long after Him, for Himself alone. There is a foundational spiritual principle expressed in the Sermon on the mount that applies to our spiritual need at this time. “Blessed our the poor in spirit (those who have come to the end of all self-seeking), for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (the higher realms of His presence). Matt. 5:3. comments in ( ) were added.
We may feel like we are waiting on the Lord when in reality He is waiting on us. If we are satisfied with our present spiritual level of understanding and growth, He will leave us there. The responsibility for entering into a higher level of intimacy with Christ is on us. He will pursue us relentlessly but it is only when we “respond” to Him in sincerity of heart that He will begin the next step in preparing us to become His Bride. God will draw us into Himself in seasons and then withdraw His presence from us, to see how we will respond to this dryness. Many of us are incapable of realizing that the purpose of Him withdrawing is actually a blessing intended to bring us up another step closer to the bedroom chambers. He will stand nearby “showing Himself through the lattice” S of S. 2:9, to see if we will notice Him. He waits for us to realize that we were created and redeemed for a higher purpose and to invite Him to come within, that they might sup and commune together. Rev. 3:17 & 20.
In John 14:21 God promised to manifest Himself to us. The word manifest means to make visible to one or more off our five physical senses. The Lord’s manifest presence begins at the point where we pass from the “letter” of the Word into the “Spirit” of the Word. We are not ready to enter into His chambers (experience His manifest presence) if we are satisfied with His shadow, (omnipresence) that is always present. His manifest presence is to be greatly desired and highly valued as it speaks of sacred ground, His bedroom chambers. The Lord is greatly grieved when we take Him and His presence for granted or treat Him lightly in this area. He is reluctant to openly reveal Himself and will approach us very cautiously to see if we are truly hungry for Him alone. It is His sincere desire for us to come to a higher place where we are not simply satisfied with only knowing about Him but that we would sincerely desire to “know Him intimately”.
When we allow Him to take us through this preparation time He has created for us, our capacity for intimacy and communion with Him will grow. God is trying to bring us to a place where we recognize the sinful selfish ( sin nature ) condition of our souls, even after becoming born again. He requires us to realize the consequences to ourselves, ( the real self ), to others and to humanity for the condition of our souls ( our un-renewed souls). We need to recognize the utter futility in attempting to change our soul self through dependency on self or anybody else but Holy Spirit. We by faith, can depend on God, through His grace alone, to truly help us be transformed into His image and likeness. Our focus is never to be on the sin nature that requires death, but rather our focus must only be on Jesus Christ and His ability to keep this sin nature crucified. Although we must become aware of the sin nature, it is on only for the purpose of realizing that our only hope in keeping it crucified is in the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Being humble before Him is seeing and recognizing our Adamic nature, and submitting to God, and by faith appropriating our true new nature in Christ. This requires us being willing to die to self.