God is preparing a Bride for His Son. God is doing it, so He will get the glory. He is transforming the Church. He is transforming us!
The primary way God changes us is by drawing us into His Presence, by invitation or compulsion. He invites us to spend time with Him in worship, in soaking prayer, in quietness, adoration and repentance. We are compelled into His embrace more often than not by challenging circumstances. You remember one of the Greek words for “increase” is prokopto: the increase that comes out of the fire and water and anvil of the forge. So even Jesus “increased in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52) through the challenges of life.
Needless to say, life can sometimes feel “under the hammer”. As we set ours eyes on Him and make His Kingdom our priority in all things, we are shaped, transformed, strengthened, and He increases in us.
The truly hungry aren’t picky eaters! We know we need more of God at any cost. We are convinced that our faith is not a ‘plug-in’ but that a relationship with the
God-of-All-things is an ‘all-in’ proposition. We make our life decisions based on this reality: Jesus is everything to me. He is all I need; all I want; I love Him and live for Him.
Here’s one of my favourite sonnets from George MacDonald’s The Diary of an Old Soul:
Come to me, Lord: I will not speculate how,
Nor think at which door I would have thee appear,
Nor put off calling till my floors be swept,
But cry, “Come, Lord, come any way, come now.”
Doors, windows, I throw wide; my head I bow,
And sit like some one who so long has slept
That he knows nothing till his life draw near.
Signs everywhere point to an imminent and unprecedented move of God. We’re like the Israelis in the days of John the Baptist who “were in a state of expectation” (Luke 3:1), and then Jesus broke upon the scene and turned the world upside down! Over these years, the Lord has taught us to focus more and more on Him, to be satisfied with nothing less than an abiding awareness of His generous presence. Our corporate worship is more free and profound and our sense of expectation is growing. That rising sense is from God and it drives us with joy to our knees as we cry, “Come, Holy Spirit!”
Get ready. Repent often. Forgive readily. Love lavishly. Be patient, God is preparing us!