The Bible is a book of love – the entire Bible is a divine romance, for it is a record of how God is courting His chosen people whom He eventually marries. Our eyes are blessed to read such a fact and our ears are blessed to hear this, for many in the Old Testament tried to perceive and hear and see these things but they didn’t.
The end of the Bible tells us that the bride has made herself ready for her husband. We as believers in Christ are for our Husband, Christ; we are being made a beautiful bride for our beloved and beautiful Husband, Christ.
All of Christ’s service for us and all His care to us have the aim of making us His overcomers. His perfect will is to produce many of His believers as His overcomers to be His bride, so we can respond to Him by saying, Lord, make me a part of Your overcoming bride! Make me an overcomer for the constituting of Your bride! Amen!
This week in our morning revival we are continuing to prayerfully consider the second aspect of the direction of the Lord’s move, which is to prepare the bride as the counterpart of the Bridegroom, and in particular we are enjoying this from Psa. 45.
We can be prepared as the bride by praising Christ as the King in Himself, in the church as His queen, and in all His sons (the overcomers) as the princes, as seen in Psa. 45. How is praising the king help us prepare to be His bride? First, we exult in Him, then we extol Him, and then we exalt Him; this is to praise the Lord as the King.
To exult in Christ is to have Christ as our boast and exultation; this indicates that He is our enjoyment and rejoicing. When we enjoy the Lord, we praise Him as the king, and we rejoice. As Paul encouraged us in Phil. 3:1, we rejoice in the Lord, even rejoice in Him always (Phil. 4:4). We need to give ourselves every day to enjoy the Lord.
To extol the Lord is to praise Him highly with acknowledgement according to what He has done, what He is doing, what He will do, and what he will do for us according to the desire of His heart and the interest of His economy.
Furthermore, praising involves exalting Christ; to exalt Christ is to give Him the first place, the preeminence, in every part of our life and service. He has the most prominent position, He is our first love, and we make Him everything in our life; we need to give the Lord the highest and most prominent position in our entire being.
In Psa. 45 we see a complete view, a full picture of Christ’s beauty unveiled in the entire New Testament: in vv. 1-8 we have His beauty as the King (as seen in the Gospels), in vv. 9-15 we see His beauty unveiled in the church as His queen, and in vv. 16-17 we see His beauty in all His sons, the overcomers as His princes.
How we want to dwell in the Lord’s house to behold His beauty and even become His beautiful queen. In ourselves, our natural man, our self, and our flesh are all ugly, but when we behold Christ and have Him wrought into us, we become His beautiful bride.
The Bible is a Divine Romance, a Record of God Courting His People and Marrying them
When you read the Bible with a heart turned to the Lord and a spirit exercised to contact Him, you can’t help but say, Lord Jesus, I love You! because you realize that the entire Bible is a divine romance, a record of how God courts His people and eventually marries them.
There are many verses in the Old Testament – such as Gen. 2:21-24; S.S. 1:2-4; Isa. 54:5; 62:5; Jer. 2:2; 3:1, 14; 31:3, 32; Ezek. 16:8; 23:5; Hosea 2:7, 19 – that clearly show us how God loved His people, courted them, considered them as His wife, and wanted to marry them.
God’s intention toward man is not to control, punish, or destroy man; He wants to court man, woo him, and bring man into a love relationship with Him. As believers in the Lord we need to have a personal, affectionate, private, intimate, spiritual relationship with the Lord.
We need to spend enough personal time with the Lord for Him to speak to us and for us to touch Him. The enemy is doing his best to wear out the saints of the Most High (Dan. 7:25) – he especially wants to wear out our time with the Lord little by little, so that we won’t spend quality time with Him.
If we don’t have a personal touch with the Lord every day, we will have problems. When our time with the Lord decreases, we become unhappy and unpleasant persons to be around with. May the Lord increase our personal time with Him to the maximum, and may the quality of our time with the Lord be improved so that we may live in the divine romance day by day.
Our Maker, God, is our husband; He loved us with an everlasting love, and now He draws us with His lovingkindness. He gave His people the law as an engagement contract so that they would love Him and pursue after Him.
Today as we read the Bible and are under the ministry of the New Testament, something within us rises up to say, Lord Jesus, we love You! Especially as we see that Christ loved the church, gave Himself up for her, and now He is preparing the church to be His bride by the washing of the water in the word…how we love the Lord for preparing us to be His bride!
The more we read the word of God and have the rhema word – the instant, living, spoken, practical, present word from the Lord, the more our wrinkles, spots, and blemishes are removed for us to be beautified as His bride.
In the Lord’s recovery He is fulfilling Matthew 16:8 (the building up of the church) and Rev. 19:7-8 (the preparation of the bride).
The love that we have for the Lord is so sweet, so deep, and so intimate! The more we spend time with Him in His word and fellowship with Him, the more He infuses Himself into us to make us the same as He is, even His corporate reproduction and duplication, to be His bride.
First we have received His life, and now in this life union and organic relationship we love Him, pursue Him, and are drawn to Him as He courts us, woos us, and shows us His love again and again. The entire Bible is a divine romance, and we as God’s chosen people are in a love relationship with the Lord to become His bride, the New Jerusalem – the bridal city.
Lord Jesus, we love You. You have drawn us to Yourself and You are courting us day by day. You are washing us by Your instant, present, living, practical, spoken word to make us Your beautiful, spotless bride. Keep us joined to You, Lord, enjoying You and opening to You in our personal, private, intimate, spiritual relationship with You. Lord Jesus, how we love You! We love being in the divine romance. May we have an increased time with You and may the quality of our time together be improved so that we may advance in the divine romance!
Loving the Lord as our Husband, Keeping His Word, and Partaking of Him to become His bride
The law God gave to His people is a portrait of who God is as love, light, holiness and righteousness. When we love the Lord as our Husband, we get filled with Him and His divine attributes so that we may become a living portrait of God.
The law is a portrait of God, showing us who God is; the giving of the law as an engagement contract between God and His people, and we need to keep the law in the spirit of loving the Lord.
We keep the law not by exercising our mind and will to do it (see Rom. 7:18-25) but by loving the Lord as our Husband and thereby partaking of His life and nature to become one with Him as His enlargement and expression to be the living portrait of God.
May the Lord save us from being “letter keepers” of the law, that is, those who keep the word of God in themselves and by themselves, without opening to the Lord in love; may we be the loving seekers of God who love Christ as our Redeemer, as the life-giving Spirit, and as our Bridegroom (Psa. 119:58).
The Lord first redeemed us – He gave Himself up for us; then, as the life-giving Spirit He washes and cleanses the church to purify her, and finally as the Bridegroom He will present the church to Himself blameless and without any spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:25-27).
How we love Him! And our love for Him is not merely a feeling but we love Him by keeping His word, by praying over His word, and by allowing His word to dwell in us richly; as we love Him, He manifests Himself to us (John 14:21).
If we love the Lord, we have His fresh manifestation, His actual living presence with us. All believers have the Lord’s life inside of them, but not all have His personal presence all the time.
When we say, Lord Jesus, I love You! with a turned heart and an exercised spirit, the Father and the Son come to us to make a mutual abode with us, and we enjoy the Triune God and the Lord’s sweet presence.
As we as God’s people love God and spend time to fellowship with Him in His word, God infuses us with His divine element and makes us one with Him as His spouse – He makes us the same as He is in life, nature, and expression (see Gen. 2:18-25).
We have received God’s life, and now this life makes us able to receive God, grow in God, be filled with God, and partake of God’s life and nature to become one with Him as His enlargement and expression.
And all we have to do is love the Lord as our Husband, keep His word, and partake of Him so that we may be produced as His bride!
Lord Jesus, we love You as our Husband. We do not want to be letter-keepers of the law but loving seekers of God, those who love Christ as our Redeemer, as the life-giving Spirit, and as our Bridegroom. Lord, we turn our heart to You and we exercise our spirit to just love You and open to You. We want to keep Your word so that we may have Your fresh manifestation, Your actual living presence with us. Draw us, Lord, so that we would spend more time to fellowship with You in Your word to be infused with Your divine element and become one with You as Your spouse, the same as You are in life, nature, and expression!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ed Marks for this week, and portions from, Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1972, vol. 3, chs. 1-2, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Direction of the Lord’s Move (2016 Thanksgiving Conference), msg. 4 (week 4), To Prepare the Bride as the Counterpart of the Bridegroom (2) – Praising Christ as the King in Himself, in the Church as His Queen, and in All His Sons, the Overcomers as the Princes.
- Hymns on this topic:
# The Bible is a romance / In the most holy sense: / God and His chosen people / In love it so presents. / This Universal Couple / Throughout it is displayed; / God in Christ is the Bridegroom, / His saints, the Bride, portrayed. (Song on the Bible as a romance)
# God fell in love with man; / For only God’s love can / Make man just the same as He / In life and in nature. / We are His expression, / His bride, His enlargement; / Forever, together, / As living, insep’rable as one couple / Eternally. (Song on God loving man)
# I treasure my time alone with You, / Just to gain the best love You long for. / My dearest Husband, draw me with Yourself / Into Your chambers right now. / Be the first in all my work and life, / Be the first in all my service too. / In relationships, You must be the first; / Have preeminence in me. (Song on spending time with the Lord)
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