The work of the hands of God, the display of His glory, is everywhere. We remember God coming to Elijah at Horeb. He was not in the raging winds. He was not in the earthquake. He was not in the fire. When God finally came to Elijah, He came in a quiet breeze. As with Elijah, if we are quiet and still long enough, if we wait through the raging winds and earthquakes and fires the enemy throws at us, we too will experience the quiet, almighty presence of our God. It is in these places where His glory is revealed, where we are transformed.
One of the great desires of the enemy is to convince the world that the things of God do not belong to God, but that they actually belong to him. He covers these things with his obscene and oppressive displays, so that we might become convinced that he is the owner of the beautiful gifts of God, including music, dance, art, food, and nature. He has laid a vicious claim to the holy, precious gift of sex, given by God as a consecration of the union of two people who have committed their lives to one another in love, and he has twisted it, made it “dirty” and “shameful”, and has said to the world that it belongs to him.
Among the most offensive of these deceptions is the claim the enemy has put on the church, the beautiful bride of Christ. I confess, I myself have often allowed the noise of the division and attacks upon the church to cloud my perception regarding who is the authority there. The bride is broken, hurting, defensive, and in desperate need of healing. But she does not belong to the enemy. She is, and shall forever remain, the precious bride of Jesus Christ Himself.
It is important to remember that the bride of Christ is neither defined by the enemy, nor by us. She is not a particular building. She has nothing to do with a set of educational requirements, or with a certain leadership structure, or with affluence or political affiliation. She doesn’t give any consideration to color, culture, sex, or to how well-respected or well-connected she is in the world. In fact, all man-made institutions fall to dust in the presence of her Bridegroom.
The bride of Christ is entirely based on her relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The bride adores her Bridegroom, desires to give all she has to fellowshipping with Him, knowing Him, and glorifying Him to the world. The bride happily sacrifices her time, her money, the respect of man, all she has in this world so that she may spend intimate time alone with Him, and may experience His love for her. Her greatest desire for her life is that she become all that He desires, so that in her He alone will be glorified to the world.
Praise be to God our great Defender, who continues to speak truth, whose voice comes in the quiet, still breeze, revealing the unfailing reality to those who are waiting and listening: “I am your God, Creator of all things. I gave my life and defeated death for you, my bride. You are Mine, and I am yours.” Amen.