ME: “Hey Mom, Dad, I met this girl…”
THEY: “The girl you’ve been dating. We know.”
ME: “No, not her. Another girl. This one I’m sure is the one. I really want you to meet her…”
And so my course was plotted. With heart completely ravished and smitten, I had declared my intent. With hand to the plow, I made it my soul’s mission to make a life with the same girl I had nearly written off when our paths first crossed. Remind me to tell you about that another time. I can only tell you I had sorely and poorly misjudged her.
She sure had me pegged, though.
I got a comment from a friend on another social networking site I use questioning a statement I made about contemporary church. While I am most certainly right and they are wrong–he mocked–it did get me thinking.
In my vast inventory of posts, I have said an awful lot about what is wrong with the church.* I make no apology for that since it has been my burden to carry for the Lord, but I never want to become so jaded that I fail to see the grandness of her highness, the Bride of Jesus.
No, not in the sweet by and by.
It’s a dangerous thing to curse whatever He has called holy. What I hope and pray I have addressed is not the genuine but to differentiate it from the mixture that is with His people. May it never be my horrid crime to refer to His bride as ugly.
I have a friend who is a master of the metaphor and one of my favorites is his picture of scaffolding around a building that is being renovated. If we focus on the pipes and boards, buckets and bricks, mortar and trowels, we would be disillusioned, but when the work is finished and all of that is dismantled and cleared away, we stand in awe of the final product.
I admit, sometimes I swear I’m looking at a condemned building when I might just be seeing the scaffolding. Lord, let me see her…
I asked the Lord two nights ago: “how am I to see Your Church, Lord?” The answer came so quickly, I knew I hadn’t the time to tick off the qualities that sprang into my conscious thoughts. I had a fairly good sense I was discovering the King’s heart on the subject.
Here is what I jotted down.
(As an aside, whenever you ask the Lord for His thoughts on a matter, it is often to your advantage to have writing implements close by. That’s free. You’re welcome.)
So what did I hear in my spirit?
- She is Robed in Beauty and getting more beautiful all the time, as My coming draws nearer (Isa 54:11-17)
Seven things. Seven.
Am I to take anything from that I wonder?
Nah. Has to be a coincidence.
While there’s a whole host of things that need to be addressed with regard to contemporary church, especially in prosperous, non-persecuted regions of the world, there is SO MUCH MORE that is right with her.
You just have to take a second look.
*Not THE Church, but what passes itself off as church; I have differentiated between the professing church (outward show and lip-service) and the Confessing Church of Christ (the Bride being prepared and adorned for glory)