Awaken Bridal Love
Just as I was finishing the "I AM" painting and the revision of the "Vessel of Honor," I was praying into what the next painting would be when a member of our congregation handed me a slip of paper with a vision of what she felt she saw me creating on canvas: the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.
I was surprised to say the least as it was nowhere on my radar and seemed as daunting as the Throne Room painting God had given me to do at the beginning of the year. But knowing that God already has His own way of communicating with me and trusting His leading, I immediately went and bought one of the biggest canvases I have used yet. Little did I know how God already perfectly timed this painting as well.
With confirmation after confirmation to go along with the initial vision, I began to put on the canvas the details given to John in Revelation of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. As I was painting, I felt the longing of the Lord for his Bride to be ready for this day. Just seeing it in front of me brought into greater clarity the very day we are all living for -
The Wedding Day of the Lamb!
In the midst of this revelation, I was convicted that bridal love for the Lord has been desperately lacking in my own heart. In much of the daily mundane tasks of life, the Wedding Day has not been consistently in my awareness or my motivation to live a pure and consecrated life of love for my coming Bridegroom.
When I finished painting this powerful scene, I was reminded of a book we received at the Contend America gathering this summer - The Power of Consecration by Jeremiah Johnson. I was drawn to read more into the message he received from the Lord as He wrote this book. The words I read burned in my heart and could not have more perfectly spoken into the "why" of this painting:
"For many years, My Bride has sought to consecrate herself before Me without My eternal storyline in mind. They have sought to fast and pray, and separate themselves from the world with only present hopes of revival and awakening. However, in this generation I am releasing the 'why' behind the 'what': namely the Wedding Day. See, I am releasing a revelation of My pure and spotless Bride that will stand before Me one day so that My people might not grow weary and lose heart on their journey to become like Me. While a present focus on personal holiness and consecration will only last for a time, a vision of the Wedding Day will be the power behind My consecrated ones in the days ahead. There is a lovesickness that shall come upon My Bride that will give her doves' eyes. Pure and simple devotion to Me will be the mark of a consecrated people that will stand before Me."
In pondering these words, I realized for the first time since receiving the word "vision" for this year, the great importance of our vision being on our Wedding day with our Bridegroom King. It truly is the one thing which will sustain us in lovesickness to Jesus in the days ahead. In our zeal we can try to accomplish holiness and a consecrated life, but as the Lord revealed to Jeremiah, it will not last. Only because of "the joy set before Him" did Jesus endure the cross; so must we have this joy in beholding our Bridegroom.
As I shared before, I sense the urgent need to have our hearts burning again in pure and simple devotion for our Jesus right now. If this is also your heart's desire and you are wondering how to return to bridal love for Jesus, may I encourage you to take time away to ask Him to give you a burning heart for Him again. Let us not be like the foolish virgins in this hour, but be vigilant to keep our lamps burning in fervent love and watchfulness for the coming of our Bridegroom!