by: Maryann LeVine
The scripture says Jesus entered a holy place in heaven not made by the hands of man, we are seated with Him in heavenly places, and we are kings and priests forever. We are living stones being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices. While the church is destined to live and operate in power as kings and priests, we are also called the ‘Bride of Christ,’ and our destiny is to live and love as a bride. We are not a building made by the hands of man. He gives us what we need, and we are then compelled in our relationship with Him to make ourselves ready.
The kings and priests of scripture are anointed by others. Saul was anointed king over all of Israel by Samuel as directed by God. Aaron was anointed by Moses, as instructed by God, to be priest over the nation. The brides of scripture, however, are required to anoint themselves or make themselves ready. There is no one who can do it for her. Here are some examples from scripture:
The first bride mentioned in scripture is Rebekah. Abraham sent out his servant to find a bride for his son in the midst of his people. The servant was given specific instructions as to how to find the right woman. When the servant returned to Abraham with the Rebekah, Isaac saw her coming and she ‘covered herself.’ She was located and identified by the servant, but she ‘covered’ herself. (Gen 24)
Then there was the widow, Ruth, who followed her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Israel from Midian. There she was treated like a servant girl, but according to law, she had a right to a kinsman redeemer, the one who would take the place of her husband in order to carry out the family line. When Naomi recognized Boaz as the man, she told Ruth to ‘anoint herself’ and go to Boaz. Ruth followed Naomi’s instruction, and she not only became the wife of Boaz, but she became a part of the lineage of our Messiah, Jesus. (Ruth 3)
Esther was brought to the harem of King Ahasuerus, as the king was looking for a new queen. Esther ‘was provided with cosmetics and food’ so that she could complete the required days of beautification before meeting the king. She wasn’t prepared for him by another, instead, she was given the items needed in order to be made ready for her time with the king. Because of her diligence to prepare herself as directed by Hegai, the king’s servant, the king chose her as his new queen. Her position as queen saved the entire Jewish race by preventing ethnic cleansing. (Esther 2)
There are also warnings in the scripture. The bride in the Song of Solomon was in the days of preparation. She had made herself ready; her feet washed and her fingers dripped with liquid myrrh. Although she was asleep, her heart was awake waiting to hear His voice. When she heard Him knocking, she hesitated because she was busy preparing herself for beauty and for sleep. When she finally opened the door He was gone, and she found herself pursuing Him alone in the city at night and was abused by the watchmen. (Songs 5)
The parable of the ten virgins tells us the importance of waiting and making ourselves ready. The virgins were waiting for the Bridegroom to come. Five had oil, but the others did not, and their lamps were burning out. When they heard the sound of the Bridegroom coming, the wise virgins urged the others to quickly go and buy oil. Upon their return, they found the door was shut. The Bridegroom and the wise virgins had been brought inside. When they knocked, the Bridegroom told them He didn’t know them. They hadn’t prepared themselves. (Matt 25)
Jesus told another parable of the wedding feast. All of the invited guests had reasons why they wouldn’t attend. So the King told His servants to go out to the highways and byways and bring in anyone who would come, then the hall was filled with guests. When the King looked at them, He saw a man who wasn’t wearing his wedding garments. The King had him bound and thrown into outer darkness, because he didn’t come prepared. He was not adorned for the wedding feast. (Matt 22)
Make yourself ready! Adorn yourself with the fine linen He Himself has given to you, the righteous acts of the saints. Wash yourselves in the water of the Word, intermingled with the new wine of the Spirit, and drenched in the blood of the Lamb. The bride must make herself ready. There is no one who can do it for her! Like the virgins who waited at the door for the arrival of the Bridegroom, have oil in your lamps. Do not be caught unaware like ones who lacked oil, or like the one who came to the wedding not adorned with wedding garments. There is no one who can do it for her. Like the virgins who waited at the door for the arrival of the Bridegroom, have oil in your lamps. Do not be caught unaware like ones who lcked oil, or like the one who came to the wedding not adorned with wedding garment. when we sleep our hearts must be awake, for when we hear Him calling we will end our preparedness. Forget about everything else, and open the door for Him, risking sleeplessness, nakedness, and myrrh stained clothing and door handles.
When He comes, our days of preparation are over. There will be no more time to buy oil or to trim our wicks. The bride in Revelation has ‘made herself ready.’ He ‘has given her’ fine linen bright and clean, for her to wear, which is the righteous acts of the saints. Isaiah said he would exult in God for ‘He had clothed him’ in garments of salvation and wrapped in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom ‘decks himself’ with a garland and a bride ‘adorns herself’ with jewels. (Rev 19, Is 61) In the examples of the brides, there is someone ever present to help give direction and to offer provision. Jesus has invested Himself at a most precious cost so that we would be ready, giving us Holy Spirit as an engagement ring. (Eph 1:13) We are His inheritance and on that day, the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, the Day of His heart’s gladness, the Consummation of the Age, we will crown Him with our love. We will be untouched by the hand of man ready to be presented to Him without spot or blemish. The door will be closed, and we will fully know Him and be fully known by Him. The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ ‘Come quickly! We are making ourselves ready!’