Imagine that it's your wedding day.
Imagine yourself in that gorgeous dress with a beautiful, sweet-smelling bouquet of flowers in your hands.
Imagine the nervous excitement and anticipation of seeing your man; your future husband!
Now imagine, on your wedding day, you were joined by all your former lovers.
Yes, all your former lovers.
Imagine if, as you walked down the aisle to your handsome, waiting groom, one of the men from your past slowly started to walk behind you.
Imagine another man standing beside your groom as you said your wedding vows and exchanged rings.
All throughout the day—your wedding day—you were accompanied by those to whom you had given parts of your heart and body. They might even wink and jeer, “Hey sweetie, lookin’ good….”
Can you imagine them walking into the honeymoon suite with you and your new husband and kicking back in a recliner?
Quite a horrifying picture, isn’t it?
But here is something even more horrifying...
Spiritually, this is how we live.
We do this very same thing over and over in our relationship with Jesus Christ. While we pledge our love to Him with our mouths, we have scores of other lovers on the throne of our hearts. Things like greedy actions, prideful attitudes, a hateful countenance, an intentionally distracted spirit, a lustful mind, and living while focused on self all destroy any attempt to walk in deep love and in intimacy with our Heavenly Bridegroom. Sister, God Himself desires intimacy with us. Such an incredible, amazing reality should humble us to our knees in gratefulness! But instead, what do we do? We clutch to a bag of spiritual garbage and allow a barrier (and a smelly one at that!) to separate us from any and all closeness with the only One who loves us with a supreme, everlasting love.
The book of Song of Solomon gives us a beautiful picture of God's love toward us. In chapter 2 verse 10, it says, "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." This is the call from your Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus. He desires you and I. He is drawing us. He has a lasting, unfailing love waiting for us.
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
If the environment of my heart is full of spiritual garbage, than my intimacy with Jesus will be hindered and our relationship cannot and will not flourish and mature. If your soul's' cry is to know Jesus deeply and love Him more fully, than I challenge you to take out your Bible, your pen, and your journal and ask yourself some hard questions. Be specific with your answers.
1) What sins am I harboring? Some sins manifest themselves clearly while others are often ignored or even embraced and coddled! What subtle (or blatant!) sins am I holding on to?
2) What areas of my life am I being disobedient to God in? Delayed obedience is total disobedience. Has God told me to do something that I have not done? If/when I do obey, do I do so with a spirit of complaining?
3) What ungodly thoughts, attitudes, or actions do I have? Elisabeth Elliot said, "Spiritual strongholds begin with a thought..." What sinful or ungodly thoughts am I allowing to take root in my mind and heart?
4) What Christ-like thoughts, attitudes, actions am I neglecting to have? Am I refusing to extend kindness or forgiveness to someone? Am I withholding curtesy or choosing not to speak the truth? Our faith is known by our works. What are my works (even the works of my thoughts) saying about my heart?
We often pamper sins that make us feel in control, but for a follower of Christ, this cannot be a reality of our lives. To be a follower and imitator of Jesus, other lovers have to go! - yes, even we ourselves can be our own "other lover."
This world needs lovers of Jesus. It needs men and women who are people of one book (the Bible) and one God. I encourage you to prepare yourself "as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2) and to make your inner honeymoon chamber an environment that can produce intimacy and sweet fellowship with Jesus. Truly nothing can compare.
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?
by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.