10/09
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The Bride has Made Herself Ready “…His Bride has made herself ready.” Rev. 19:7b “…for the days of her preparation were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices…”   Esther 2:12b   For two thousand years our heavenly Bridegroom has been waiting. He has not been wondering who His Bride is.  He has not been caught in a time of His own preparation. But rather He is waiting for His bride to become fully prepared for that Day of their union; that special Day that the Bride of Messiah will behold the Lover of her soul. It may seem somewhat strange or even uncomfortable to think of our relationship with Christ in such an intimate way.  But, through the Spirit of God, there is a cry within the church for closeness with Him. He is actively involved in drawing us closer. “Draw me, and we will run after thee (body, soul, and spirit), the King has brought me into His chambers, we will be glad and rejoice in thee. (Song 1:4a)  Do we have ears to hear the cry of the Lord?  I have heard several prophetic pleads from His Spirit… “I can’t make you love Me. Please love Me.  I promise never to leave you. Please don’t leave Me.”  The cry of the Bridegroom is that the Bride will desire Him and will make herself ready. Esther was chosen from amongst the most beautiful women to go before the king.  Outward beauty alone did not give her an entrance into His chambers.  Esther underwent a year long process of separation for her sanctification with myrrh and spices, in order to be ready to go before the one whom she was being prepared for.   Myrrh is a bitter plant used as an astringent, which tightens the skin, and removes toxins, and which is used as an antiseptic to keep the skin free from soil.  It is used to bring “deep cleansing” beneath the surface and prevents decay after death.  The Bride’s garments will be woven with fine white linen (Rev. 19:8), which is without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27).  All this may sound nice, but the process can be painful.  It involves much scrubbing with the fuller’s soap (Mal. 3:2), much steam (water of the Word), and much pressure (from the hand of God). We must not despise the chastening, scourging, and dealings of the Lord, as this is the unpleasant part of our being made ready.  We must be willing to go through the process of the bitter “dying to self” in order to enter the process of becoming one with our Beloved. The Lord often takes us through the wilderness before He leads us by the rivers of life and blessing, and into large, grassy fields of revelation and spiritual understanding.  This sweet time is when the Bride is being filled and saturated with the presence of the Lord Himself.  The Shulamite woman in the Song of Solomon had to go through much before she could hear her husband say, “let us (together) rise early and go into the vineyards… there I will give you my love.”  (Song 7:12a) Esther’s time had come to be presented to the king.  She could choose to take whatever she desired for that meeting; yet Esther “required nothing, but what the king’s chamberlain appointed for her.”  Let us not dictate to God what we require, but only yield ourselves to His Chamberlain, the Holy Spirit, to prepare and present us as He appoints.  In this special time of preparation… He is working self out (myrrh) and working Him in (sweet spices), in order for us to be ready to behold Him in That Day !!!     Pastor Sharon Carlson