October 5, 2004
Encouragement for Today
The Engagement - Part 2
Susanne Scheppmann, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Revelations 19:7 (NIV)
As the plans for my son's wedding day come together with great anticipation, every small aspect is reviewed carefully. We consider. We pray. We reconsidered. We pray. We alter details.
Although I have prayed for this precious future daughter-in-law, engagement, and wedding day for decades, tiny mishaps occur. I witness the frustration and anxiety of the future bride. Wedding plans are skewed. Just like life.
It reminds me that I am engaged to the Bridegroom of Eternity, Jesus. In addition, my life's plans will often go awry. Life always seems to throw the unexpected our way. Sometimes we catch joy, at other times, sorrow skids to home plate.
Often the Bible speaks in analogy, so that we can understand its concepts and principles. God's Word states the Church is the Bride of Christ. As a part of that Kingdom of Believers, I will be his bride. Yet as His bride-to-be, I must make myself ready. I must pray the same type of kingdom prayers that I pray for my children. I pray that I will remain faithful when times get hard. I ask that I will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Every bride wants to be beautiful and ready for her groom. Revelation 19:7 states, "The bride has made herself ready." The next verse continues with a description of the bride's gown, "Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)" As God allows life's mottled circumstances to produce godly fruit in our lives, it becomes a bridal gown of righteousness for us to wear for eternity. Now isn't that a thought!
Today as I lift up prayers for my son's upcoming wedding, I realize that I am in an engagement period of my own. I am going to add a few prayers for my own bridal day in heaven. I want to be ready. In yesterday's devotional I wrote, "I believe a key to answered prayer is for our requests to be inline with God's intent for our lives. I like to call them kingdom prayers...So if my requests will benefit his plan for my life and his kingdom, he is pleased to answer, "Yes, my daughter."
His will for my life is for my character to become more like his Son, Jesus. He wants me filled with the Holy Spirit not only in the good times of life, but also in the difficulties I encounter. His answers to my prayers may appear different from what I expect them to be. However, they are answered, I want to prepare myself with righteousness for my Groom.
So as I pray kingdom prayers for my son and his fiancée, I will pray for myself, also. I will pray. I will consider. I will pray. I will reconsider. I will allow life's circumstances to alter my character into righteousness.
Will you join me in a kingdom prayer for righteousness?
My prayer for today:
Father, help me to remember that I am to make myself ready for a heavenly wedding. I ask that as my life's plans go awry at times, You will utilize my anxiety and frustration to produce a bridal gown of righteousness. Amen.
Review the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. Write down which characteristics you need to demonstrate more in your day-to-day life. Ask God to help you today to recognize the life circumstances where you can develop and exhibit those godly attributes. Put the list in your pocket or hang it on the fridge as a reminder of your preparation for Him during your engagement.
Do I pray for myself as well as for my family?
How can I prepare myself for eternity today?
What fruit of the Spirit would my family and friends say I lack?
"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Matthew 25:10, (NIV)
"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. Luke 12:35-38, (NIV)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19, (NIV)
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart?, by Lysa TerKeurst
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, Sharon Jaynes