by Jeni Lipsett
A comfortable and adored bride. Asleep
in the night, though she must have been waiting for him as the
lantern was still lit. She was warm and comfortable in the
security of her bed. However, she was unwilling to respond to
the call of her lover who had been in the dark of the night,
his head heavy with the wet dew.
She yearned for the intimacy and
closeness of her lover, but He was calling her to leave the
warmth and comfort of her bed. He was calling her to a more
mature understanding of what it was to love Him and to be his
partner. He was calling her to share His suffering with Him.
She waited too long to respond, and He
left without her. Too late she awakened to His call. She went
out without Him, and the cost was heavier than what it could
have been had she opened the door to Him right away. No matter
what should have been, her Lover loved her enough to not give
up on her and, she, in her way, loved Him enough to repent of
The body of Christ is in a season where
Jesus is awakening His church. He wants His church to mature
in her love for Him. He is calling us to a deeper
understanding of His love. Jesus is standing at the door of
our hearts, knocking. He is trying to open the latch, but it
has been locked and He cannot enter. There are two potential
reasons why we have locked the doors of our hearts to Him:
The first being His calling the body of
Christ to seek Him, to share in the fellowship of His
suffering; to be willing to leave the comfortable places; to
risk all for the sake of Him. The Salvation Army has a vast
history of being willing to lay down her life for the call of
Christ and go into the darkest places of the earth. She has
won many battles and continues to do so. However, I would
argue that she has grown comfortable. She has grown
comfortable behind her building walls and behind the walls of
organization and hierarchy. Jesus is calling The Salvation
Army to awaken to her first love. He is calling her to come
alive once again and be reminded of her first and most
important call, to Him.
Or it could be that the door that Jesus
is knocking on is more intimate. The door could represent
areas of our hearts that have yet to be opened to the loving,
and healing presence of the Father. As full-time ministry
leaders, the demand to give more than is being received can be
overwhelming and often louder than the knocking of the lover
of our souls. Sometimes, Jesus wants to take us in the
recesses of our hearts that are the darkest, most hidden,
unseen places. He seeks entry, but they are locked, with signs
that say, “Do Not Enter.” These are places long forgotten or
buried under layers of dust and dirt, covered up by the stress
and chaos that ministry brings. It is a door that is too scary
to open because who knows what lies behind, who knows what
darkness is waiting to surface and how do I even have time to
deal with the pain. However, it is in these places that Jesus
wants to deepen our trust of Him and He wants these places to
be full of light and a garden of abundance. He wants ministry
to pour through us in a fresh and new way. He is inviting us
into the recesses of our hearts but are we too comfortable in
our fear and our apathy? As we allow Jesus into these places,
He brings freedom, He makes streams in the wilderness.
Jesus, you are the WAY, the TRUTH, the
LIFE. You stand at the door and knock on the doors of our
hearts, our churches. You long to enter in and seek to share
your sufferings (Phil 3:8-12) with us. I pray that we will
awaken and respond to the sound of Your voice. To the sound of
your hand trying to unlatch the bolts on our heart. Make a way
for us through this dark night that is to come upon us.
Jesus is calling His bride to awaken.
Listen for His voice. Allow Him to wake you from your slumber.
Respond to the call to step out of what is comfortable, what
you know. Seek Him while He may be found. He is longing for a
BRIDE. A Mature Bride, who will walk beside Him in humility,
in Power and in His glory. Rise up from the ashes of defeat
and loss. Break through the fear and the complacency that has
wrapped its tentacles around your souls. He has the power. He
has gained the victory. Death is no more. The power of sin and
death is not our inheritance. Complacency and compromise are
our prisons, not our defense. Allow Him to do the work He
wants to do in our hearts and in our church.
He is calling us to search the heart.
Take the time.
Start off by meditating on these
Song of Solomon 5:2-8
As you wait for Him, pay attention to
the words standing out to you as you read.
Write them down.
Take the time to ask Him what they
mean to you.
What is He saying to you, personally?
Dig deep and take the time to fully grasp what it is He is
Here are a few other questions that
might be good to ask as well:
What door is He knocking on?
Where have you been
resistant/complacent in responding to His voice?
Where and how do I repent?
What is one thing I can do to move
toward His guidance?