When God Asks – Who Are You?

When God Asks – Who Are You?

Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal JourneyExert from Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey – Volume One:

I had a short daydream (yes, this author is a dreamer) as I was loading the washing machine one day. I’m one of those people happiest when I’m busy doing things in, around, or for God’s House and the Kingdom of God, whether it’s directly church-related, or inter-church-related. But I’m also one of those people who will deliberately take a “do-nothing” day when I sense myself getting too tired to carry on. Today was to be an “almost do-nothing” day, as some of the more pressing chores still needed to get done, but I needed a day to just relax!

These thoughts were going around my head as I began the load of wash and this daydream hit. In this daydream, I’d been forced against my will into a room where I couldn’t even do the things I enjoy when relaxing. All that was in this room was a bed, a chair and a bedside table.

Then I heard God say, or rather rhetorically ask, “Who are you?”

The first answer that popped out of my mouth, in spite of everything God’s been teaching me about learning to live life as the Bride of Christ, was “your servant Lord”.

I could almost sense God shaking His head as He asked again, “Who are you?”

My second answer was “Your daughter”.

That answer pleased Him a little more, I could sense that, but He replied, “You are more than that my child, who are you?”

As I recall this, I am bowing my heart in the spirit realm as my final answer, and the answer that ended the daydream was this, “I am your bride, and one day, at the marriage supper of the Lamb, I will become your wife, and will reign with You”.

Serving in God's HouseWe can find fulfillment, satisfaction and pleasure in the doing of life, in the serving and giving and activity found in putting God’s purposes and desires into action for our churches and communities, but who we are is not found in those pursuits, as beneficial and enjoyable as they may be.

I sit here in a little bit of chagrin as I realize my first answer was the wrong answer. It wasn’t wrong from the perspective that we are called “servants of the Most High”, bond-slaves to Jesus Christ, etc, in the Scriptures, but wrong in that it is only part of the total answer, it is not the final, complete answer!

bridal gownThe final, complete answer is found in our position in Christ, that of being members of His Bride. Christ even modeled the serving, giving nature that a husband is supposed to have toward his wife, to the point of laying down His life for His Bride on the Cross of Calvary! In the same way, we are to be so in love with Christ, so in love with Jesus that we will serve Him to the point of laying our own lives down for Him in return! We are not servants with a distant, untouchable master. We are not merely children with chores to do in the house, but we are destined as the corporate Bride, chosen by God the Father for God the Son and witnessed by God the Holy Spirit, with John the Baptist testifying to this event early in the Gospel of John, as “Friend of the Bridegroom” according to Jewish tradition.

Our service, no matter how busy we get, must never be out of duty, duress, or the search or maintenance of personal identity, but out of an unquenchable desire to bring a smile to the face of the eternal Lover of our Souls! To sense His smile beats out all the financial renumeration this world can offer!

To feel His embrace and the pleasure in His heart toward us is something we will never get anywhere else!

We are brought into the family of God, not as servants, but as children of the Most High God. He cleans us up and presents us to His Son as the Bride of Christ! Christ came to us washing feet, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, raising the dead, forgiving sins. His identity was not in what He did, but in who He was, as God the Son, second of this mystery we call the Trinity, seeking to honour His Father in Heaven, and court His future Bride, issuing “her” the Jewish rite of betrothal at what we now call The Last Supper.

Therefore we should serve, not at a distance, but out of love, a deeply grateful responding love for the One who gave His life for us! We have been rescued for His glory and for His pleasure. We are His! Our identity is found in Christ and Christ alone!

So if our identity is not found in what we do but in Christ, this leaves the challenge of learning to truly rest! To just stop what we’re doing for awhile, and rest, actually “take 5”, take a few deep breaths, and relax! Rest in Christ. Christ asks us to come to Him and find rest for our souls. My daughter brought me Matthew 11:28-30 one night.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

So many of us are so busy doing, that rest is a threat to us. The thought of slowing down and doing nothing for awhile literally comes as a threat to some people. Just like the concept of silence. Some people have to have the TV or radio going because they can’t handle the silence.

author Marilynn Dawson-shhhhOther than finding our identity in what we do instead of in who we are in Christ, I think the other major reason for people refusing to slow down and rest, is that resting, being in a state of quietness, causes the mind to relax, and in that relaxed state, things come to the fore of our minds that we really don’t want to think about.

I know for myself that I’ve just about cursed some of those times. I’d go to relax in silence and discover all these thoughts coming forward that I really didn’t want to deal with. Painful emotions, memories, situations and what seemed worse yet, God actually wanted to deal with those things Himself!

Staying busy was a way to avoid those moments. I began to realize however, that if I just let God do His thing, if I listened to the voices of those God brought into my life and just rested in my lack of answers, that God was about to engage in an incredible amount of healing and restoration in my life. I’d been hiding from dealing with the issues that would haunt me in the quiet moments for several years. But I couldn’t hide anymore.

Now, a few years after I was forced to start facing these things, I embrace the quiet times. Rest doesn’t seem so threatening to me as it once was and I am finding that God wants to share those quiet moments with me. I have to say that there is no better way to quiet the anxious heart than to let God wrap His arms around you! That 360 degree hug that I’ve come to know is so quieting, so peaceful, so assuring, or reassuring as the need might be at the time.

God wants relationship with us, both as His children, and as the Bride of Christ. Some of us relate better to God the Father, while more and more of us are starting to wake up to God the Son desiring relationship with His Bride. The past few years have seen me begin my own journey into this relationship, and again, those moments of intimacy where God’s heart touches mine, where my spirit touches His, can only happen in stillness, in moments of rest.

When you think about it, how many married couples say they are happy when they are so busy doing that they have no time for each other intimately? No time to just sit and share moments of nothing more than just being in each other’s presence, sometimes held in an embrace, sometimes talking, sometimes silent, but together. . . Our relationship with God is no different. We will never fully discover the deep love God has for us if we are so busy doing that we don’t take time to just “be” with Him.

God longs for us to allow ourselves to be vulnerable in those restful moments. Let Him work. Let Him heal. Let Him restore. Let Him bring us to wholeness. He will send us out in His due time, asking if we will be willing to do various things that are close to His heart and I have to say, the closer we get to His heart, the more we discover the kinds of activities that bring Him the most pleasure. Those activities are directly related to reaching out into the world around us and touching it with the love of Christ, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, bringing Christ’s salvation and offer of forgiveness so that as many as possible can come to Him and begin their own relationship with the One who died for them.

We must never get so busy that we lose our identity in our busyness. We must never get so busy that we fear the restful quiet times. We are the Bride of Christ, and He longs to spend time with us! Just us! Spirit to spirit and Heart to heart. . . Therein lies true fulfilment. . .

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