Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Re: Longing 4 Christ

At our Women of Faith Christmas Brunch, we had a guest speaker named Carol Hopson. She shared an awesome message with the 300+ women attending the event. I plan to create a future blogpost about her message.

Meanwhile, I have been focusing on one particular point that she made during her talk. The fact that as Christians, we belong to Christ. She mentioned that sometimes Christians don't really understand what it means to do everything in the name of Jesus Christ. She admitted not understanding this herself in the past. Did it mean that while she was dusting the coffee table she should think that "I'm doing this in the name of Jesus"? Did it mean that when she is typing at her computer, preparing a speech, that she should do so in the name of Christ?

She went on to explain that the verse simply means this. Do all things as a representative of Christ. Belonging to Christ means that we are ambassadors for Christ in this world and we should conduct ourselves accordingly. Live in a way that is pleasing to Him. Do things in a way that brings glory to Jesus.

Early this morning, while I was thinking about my life and the joy I have "belonging to Christ," I must have drifted off back to sleep. In a brief dream, I saw a blackboard in front of me with the phrase, "Belonging to Christ." The "B" had been slightly erased to reveal an "R". The "to" had been changed to a "4." The message then read, "Relonging 4 Christ." I thought, is that even a word? Nope. But it could be deciphered to read what a typical abbreviated cell phone text message might read - "Re: Longing 4 Christ."

I thought about the book called Captivating that I am currently reading. In chapter 7, Stasi sets the stage for the message contained in the chapter by revealing that a woman becomes beautiful when she knows she's loved. She discusses women as "longing for romance" and "God as lover."
I have loved you with an everlasting love. - God (Jeremiah 31:3)

Romance is the deepest thing in life. It is deeper even than reality. - G.K.Chesterton

Think of a story that tells the tale of a Beauty and a Lover.

Now, put yourself in the scene as the Beauty, and Jesus as the Lover.

Stasi writes:

"What does your heart do with that? Is there a bit of a hesitation, "Is that okay?" Is there a bit of longing, "I'd love for that to happen"? Perhaps there might be for some of you a tinge of fear, the wince of your wounded heart, "I don't want to open that up." Then you can see that there is healing for your heart in moving toward this.

It's quite biblical.

Jesus calls himself the Bridegroom (Matt. 9:15, Matt. 25:1-10, John 3:29). Now, you'll need to take the religious drapery and sanctimonious gilding off of this. "Bridegroom" simply means fiance'. Lover. This is the most intimate of all the metaphors Jesus chose to describe his love and longing for us, and the kind of relationship he invites us into.

You might recall that the Scriptures use a number of metaphors to describe our relationship with God. We are portrayed as clay, and he is the potter. We are sheep, and he the shepherd. Each metaphor is beautiful and speaks to the various seasons of our spiritual lives and to the various aspects of God's heart toward us. But have you noticed they ascend in a stunning way? From potter and his clay to a shepherd and his sheep, there is a marked difference in intimacy, in the way they relate. It gets even better. From master and servant to father and child, there is a wonderful progression into greater intimacy. It grows more beautiful and rich when he calls us his friends. But what is most breathtaking is when God says he is our Lover (our Bridegrrom, our Fiance'), and we his bride. That is the pinnacle, the goal of our redemption (used in the last chapter of the Bible, when Christ returns for his bride) and the most intimate and romantic of all.

If you'll open your heart to the possibility, you'll find that God has been wooing you ever since you were a little girl. Yes, we said earlier [in the book] that the story of your life is the story of the long and sustained assault upon your heart by the one (satan) who knows what you could be and fears you. But that is only part of the story of the long and passionate pursuit of your heart by the One who knows you best and loves you most.

God has written the Romance not only on our hearts but all over the world around us. What we need is for Him to open our eyes, to open our ears that we might recognize His voice calling to us, see His hand wooing us in the beauty that quickens our hearts."


Is that so very beautifully said or what?? Awesome!

Jesus - He is the lover of our souls!!

At a sermon that I attended years ago, I heard that Helen Keller once wrote (paraphrased), "Jesus is Whom I have been looking for my entire life."

She is 100% correct. That longing that each of us has deep in our souls cannot be satisfied by anyone else or anything else in our lives.

We come to Jesus so desperately needy.

All of us do.

We all need God to help us in this fallen and sinful world.

The good news is that He fills that desperate need within us! We fall in love with Him more and more each day. We belong to Jesus. We have solved the mystery of our longing hearts and souls!

The great Solver, Lover of our souls is Jesus Christ!


Anna said...

Dear Christine,

Thank you for this post. I'm reminded of the Scripture, which compares the love of a husband and wife to Christ's love for the church. Marriage is supposed to be a picture, an illustration of our relationship with Christ. No wonder the enemy has attacked marriage with such a vengeance. Our society has almost despaired because of the problems so many experience in marriage.

There is hope through Jesus Christ. We can know joy and happiness in marriage. To all those struggling, come to the One who invented marriage. As we draw closer to Him, we will draw closer to each other.

Husbands start loving your wives as Christ loved the church and gave His life for her. I have learned so much about how God loves me from the unconditional love of my husband.


Susan Smith said...

Your picture of marriage is lovely Anna. In my life I witnessd a beautiful marriage relationship between my mentor and her husband. I thank God for bringing them both into my life. God used my female mentor to demonstrate true motherly love toward a daughter. I praise the Lord for her friendship.

God calls some to a life of celibacy in His Kingdom and there is joy and happiness in the single life also as my life demonstrates.

Anna said, "As we draw closer to Him, we will draw closer to each other." A big "AMEN" to that, my sister. God bless you from Jerusalem. (ss)

mamalicious said...

Hi Christine,

Saw your greeting at Stephen's blog. I, too, hope you have a wonderful Christmas.