Looking for the Victorious Bride

 

Victorious Bride 2

Imagine for a moment what Jesus’ wife looks like. What type of person does He desire?

In my imagination, I think of her as being about as perfect as you can possibly be. I see her doing everything with excellence, no detail missed. I see her as kind and compassionate to those around her. I see her as extremely beautiful, inside and out. Her heart is so full it’s overflowing with love. I see her as the Proverbs 31 woman.

But the one thing I don’t usually see is ME being His bride, His choice. Sure, intellectually I know I am His bride but I don’t see all her qualities in me. I’m also probably right in thinking I’m not alone in this either. Maybe the solution to this is to begin to pull those blinders off because He does see us this way. So…

What does she look like?

The Victorious Bride is beautiful. Her beauty begins on the inside, with her heart. Have you spent much time reading Proverbs? If you have you’ve seen a great picture of the Bride. You’ve probably also noticed that her eyes are not focused on herself too much, but instead are gazing at what she can do for others; her family and those around her in need. She is the epitome of wisdom. Her gaze is fixed on her Beloved and she seeks wisdom for all she sees and all that is hers to steward. The Bride loves the Bride.

She is courageous and bold, loving and compassionate.

She has a ready word for those she meets.

She is not harsh, nor is she judgmental.

She is intelligent and full of grace.

She is longsuffering and will take the time to listen to the needs of those she meets.

She is kind and goes out of her way to bless many.

She has eyes that shine brightly with hope.

She is a bringer of peace and an ambassador of joy.

She is a nurturer and will comfort you with her loving arms.

She is the mother of hospitality and will feed you with wisdom from above.

Where is she?

Actually, she’s right there, staring out of your bathroom mirror at you. Can you see her?

You and I both are the victorious bride. There are many days I don’t feel very victorious. Life is hard sometimes and it doesn’t look like I’m winning. Instead, I struggle with self-doubt and that tends to make me frustrated and angry. If during those times I could set the disappointment and sadness aside I would realize that those feelings, while very real, they are not the truth. I am not a defeated victim any more than I am a disappointment to everyone. They are lies that I’m in the middle of believing and in doing so, I have become a victim through my own choices. Sure it wasn’t a conscious decision I made but it was still a choice either way.The truth is, I am victorious and I am His bride; so are you.

 My desire is to become more and more victorious. My desire is to be someone who will bring joy and literally change the atmosphere when I walk into the grocery store or anywhere else I tread. I’m tired of being tired. I am responsible for the change in the world around me and I want to see that happening. I want to be an encourager and help people find their path. I want people to smile when I show up because they know I carry compassion and bring hope to their lives.

How will I know her when I find her?

By faith, I have to believe I am who He says I am. By trusting Him, I will be free to take a leap into the scary unknown and go serve others. When I do this, He always takes care of me and then my concerns and distractions will fall away leaving me able to help others with their needs, not just my own.

I desire to be a victorious bride not only in words but in deeds and countenance too. I want to be seen as His! I want to be a bringer of hope to the lives of people around me! There are so many people who need what I have. They need my hope, they need my surety that love never fails. They even need my faith! But what they don’t need is my despair. My despair only speaks of my lack of faith and my lack of trust in God. I don’t consciously lack faith or trust but my actions and words may speak this loud and clear.

When I find her, she will look like me – she will look like you. We will be proud to be her and will realize the Bride in Victory is who we were meant to be. Yes, I said BE. We become her in rest. This isn’t a striving to become the issue – it’s a waking up into reality thing! It should be like breathing – we do it without thought.

I need to BE a victorious bride, reaching out to hurting people and being an example of unconditional love. It’s what so many in this world need – Love! I need to actually put legs to my faith in God and take my eyes off of me.

(Picture credit – https://pixabay.com/en/bride-road-dress-bridesmaid-dress-727004/)

 

Advertisements

Seeing Past Our Circumstances

frustrations

“You can’t reason with anxiety, negotiate with doubt, or compromise with fear. They’re like fire, consuming everything in your mind until they leave it darkened and scarred.

When a negative thought begins to burn, you have to overwhelm it with what God is saying about your identity and your circumstances. Jesus said when we receive Him into our lives; we have a constant stream of living water in us. Pursuing what you’ve read in His word, and heard from Him in your heart, releases that river of righteousness, peace, and joy, displacing the negativity in you, and bringing blessing to everyone around you.”

~Rob Coscia

This is in line with some of my meditations and conversations of late. The issue of only seeing the bad things happening to us and being overwhelmed by them when that is exactly what the enemy’s plan is – to distract us and overwhelm us by causing us to only see what he is doing is counter-intuitive to our walk in the Kingdom. And it’s frustrating if you live there!

“Frustration is frustrating” – Paul Wilcox ( Sounds silly but is true none the less)

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of talking about what the enemy is doing or has done! I’m tired of all the frustration when I do!

I am not a victim as the enemy would have me believe, I am victorious. . .

And if I’m not feeling exactly victorious at any given time, I need to re-direct my focus to all the beautiful things God has and is blessing me with – for there are many! My thoughts need to think of those things that are lovely, pleasant and beautiful. I have to get to a place where my eyes are no longer on me. Do I trust God or do I fear (trust) the enemy more? It’s one or the other, it can’t be both.

Because I refuse to worship the enemy, aka only gaze upon him, it doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge that he’s trying to wreak havoc in my life. No, it means I don’t let it stop me from doing the things I want to do, the things I’m called to do and am passionate about.

That is NOT going to happen.

As long as I am able to realize what the enemy is trying to accomplish with his tactics (being wise as a snake and as gentle as a dove), I am able to walk in victorious blessings. It really is up to me. In all things rejoice, is all circumstances bless the Lord. This is true because, “you can’t reason with anxiety, negotiate with doubt, or compromise with fear.” Rob is right about that. “When a negative thought begins to burn, you have to overwhelm it with what God is saying about your identity and your circumstances.”

When we take our eyes off of ourselves we then are free to help others, we then can see a place where we can be an instrument of change in someone else’s life. We then will even begin to see hope arise in our own situations – all because God is working on our “problems” while we help others with theirs.

Photo found here – https://stocksnap.io/photo/M558J8TZDJ

 

I AM the Righteousness of God

 

Righteousness

Paul and I were talking and praying through some things this morning. He had a prayer sheet with a list of things to declare and start your day with – lots of I am statements that he copied from Al Mack’s timeline. Some of these statements got me thinking.

We all have learned that praying the Word back is a great thing to do. Our words have power and when we declare these things out loud, things happen and heaven moves. Paul likes to say, “The Kingdom is voice-activated” and he’s right. Our words do activate the spirit realm around us.

While going through the prayer points and declarations I kept thinking about how much every one of these requires faith and trust if we are to believe them. For example, how can I know I’m a new creation in Christ if I don’t have faith in that if I don’t trust that the Word is true?

Even though I was praying along while Paul was reading these out loud, I kept having more and more thoughts along the lines of how much faith it took to really believe what I was saying. Was it true, did I really believe what I was saying and praying; or was this just a mantra of ritualistic words that I was familiar with? Did I really believe this in my entire being or was this simply head knowledge?

After a few minutes we got to the statement, I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21) and my thoughts suddenly stopped. I realized that this was true – not just in my head but down in my very being, through and through. I believed it because I have faith in the other things He has said and it takes faith in every step and every statement to come to a place where I could emphatically state these things as truth. They weren’t empty statement or just words on a page.

I began to repeat some of the “I am” statements with the knowledge, with the faith of the truth that they revealed.

I am righteous because I am a doer of the word.

I am a joint-heir with Christ because I am righteous

I am holy because I’m a new creation in Christ. . .

I was realizing, deep inside and not just in my head, that I am these things and whether I’m feeling it or not, I am complete in Him. I lack nothing and I am far from oppression. Fear is simply a lie that I cannot afford to entertain.

Knowing this makes me able to walk in peace and joy no matter what the world throws at me. And, no matter what tragedies and difficulties that are around me I can remain in my identity and be of some use when needed. How in the world can I influence or help anyone if I don’t even know who I am?  I can’t, at least not for the good. And who needs influence if it’s bad? No one!

It comes down to identity. Reading these statements again this morning made me realize that I actually believe them all. My faith has grown and it encompasses all the vastness He says about who I am.

A few years ago, that wasn’t the case. I used to read things like this all the time but, I only read them believing they were wonderful but not actually about me. Today the epiphany was, I am all of these things and the peace I can enter into and not have to ever leave is the fruit of that. Today the truth that has been in my heart finally reached my head! Understanding has arrived.

Time to exhale.

Photo credit ~ Aaron Burden (https://stocksnap.io/photo/MCC6WG6ZN5)