Monday, June 20, 2016

THE FICKLE BRIDE

The stars glistened in the night sky, like polished diamonds on a black velvet cloth.  The ocean waves sparkled in the brilliance of the full moon. The once crowded beach was empty, except for the evening walkers. A young couple walked romantically along the beach as the waves washed over their feet. They could not resist the playful gesture of splashing each other, and running away.  They were in love. Their friendship was growing. But, this night was different. Their lives would forever be changed.

As the full moon grew brighter and settled over their heads, the louder ocean waves echoed through the night.   It was a night designed just for them.  The young man suggested that they sit for awhile and just listen to the ocean.  If only time could stand still.  The young lady cuddled beside her beau.  It would be the greatest moment in their courtship.  

Reaching in his pocket. the young man  pulled out a little gold leather box, opened it and said "I have waited five years for you. I have always loved you since the day I set my eyes on you. You are the most beautiful and compassionate women in the world. I am in love with you. I want to love,  care and protect you for the rest of  your life. Will you marry me?" With tears in her eyes, she shyly responded, "I will".  Together they embraced and sealed this new commitment with a kiss.  The moon winked an eye. Lovingly, he slipped the ring onto the her small finger, held her hand and looked into her eyes. His smile filled his whole face.  This was the only girl he ever loved and she had said yes.

But this isn't the end of the story.  The months ahead were not easy for the new bride-to-be.  She had a ring on her finger, the wedding date was set, but was she emotionally ready to be true only to him?  Her heart fought thoughts she never knew were there.  "If I marry him, it will be a commitment for the rest of my life.  Will I be faithful?  Is my love for him enough?  What if I find an interest in another man? What if I change my mind after ten years of marriage? Marriage is a serious commitment. 

She was only twenty years old.  She loved her ring. It was a gorgeous half carat diamond in a tiffany setting. She could hardly wait to show her family and friends. She was engaged to be married.  She wanted to shout it from he roof top.  But was she ready to be married?  Did she really understand commitment?

This little love story reminds me of when the Holy Spirit revealed to me the love of of Jesus  He loved me so much that He stretched out His arms and died. The cross was like an engagement ring.  Jesus was my bridegroom and I was part of  His bride. He loved me more than I loved Him. Yet, Jesus was willing to take all my sin on Himself in His death, and burial. And in His resurrection He would give me a newness of life. The Holy Spirit would prepare me for the rest of my life through His word for the wedding day.

It wasn't long before I was convicted that I was a "fickle bride".
I had two lovers: Jesus and the world.  My heart was not surrendered to Him alone.  He was in covenant with me, committed to love, to provide and to protect me from the evil one in this world, but I still loved the world. 

It was a serious time in my walk with Jesus.  I didn't realize how independent I was. I wanted the Lord to bless my way. It was at that this time I realized I had never truly repented and turned to Jesus alone. 

The young girl in the story, she loved the idea of having an engagement ring on her finger, but never counted the cost. Likewise, I loved the thought of Jesus dying for my sins, but never truly counted the cost of dying to the world, my flesh and the devil.  

There is no room in the Kingdom of God for a fickle spirit or an  
 independent one. I am still learning the importance of daily repentance no matter what sin it might be. For every sin I repent of, the Lord replaces it it with more of Himself. By the grace of God, I am growing to depend on Him alone.  He is the faithful one and will never forsake His bride. I am so grateful that the Lord is not fickle. He is a faithful bridegroom.