Editor’s Note: The text below was written by Basilea Schlink in her book My All For Him, published 1971.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. That is why He calls Himself Bridegroom in the Scriptures. His great love desires a bride, a bridal soul. He longs fervently for her love. He looks for her to see whether she is about to come to Him, to see whether she longs and yearns for Him, to see whether she really wants Him alone.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. He wants to give us His love; but He is also waiting for us to return His love. Jesus is a true Bridegroom. His love is a jealous love. He wants you, your soul, completely. He is jealous when you give your love to other people and to other things. He is jealous when pay more attention to them, when you give them more time, more of yourself, than you give Him. Then He stands beside you, grieved. Then He is hurt and wounded, because He loves you so much.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom. He does not force you to love Him. He asks: “Will you give Me your love?”, and He gets what He wants when you do this. Only one thing will satisfy Him – your love. All else is too small for Him: that you believe in Him, that you obey Him, that you come to Him for forgiveness. He is not only your Physician who heals you. He is not only your Redeemer who delivers you from your bonds. He wants to be your Bridegroom, and as Bridegroom He gives you His great, His tender, His most intimate love. Now He is waiting for you to give Him your love. He who loves wants to be loved in return.
Because Jesus is the Bridegroom, He can be wounded if you take up self-chosen crosses, choosing the way of poverty and resolving to make sacrifices simply for ascetic reasons. Certainly He wants you to follow Him on the way of the cross. But His heart is filled with grief and sorrow if it is not love that impels you. You should not take the way of the cross for your own sanctification, but rather – as He repeatedly said while He was on earth – “For My sake you should lose your life, for My sake you should forsake houses, brethren . . .” Out of love for Him, out of love alone you should choose obedience, lowliness, humility and disgrace. Only the dedication which springs from love will make Him happy. Indeed, this is the only dedication which He will accept. Nothing else. All else is insufficient. Anything else would be more likely to wound Him, because it is simply pious deceit; we seem to be going His way, but it is really for our own sake.
Jesus, the Bridegroom, is the Man of Sorrows. He suffers to this present day. He is seeking a bride who will share with Him what is in His heart. His heart is filled not only with love, but also with suffering – past and present. He is seeking a bride who will really live out the bridal state, whose heart will beat with His, who will bear things with Him, who not only suffers through her own afflictions, but also suffers His afflictions with Him, who in reality enters into the fellowship of suffering with Him. Only she is a true bride who is concerned about His concerns – about the needs of His people and His Church and the things which hinder His dominion among the peoples.
For Him the bride is the soul who suffers with Him and who is prepared to do everything to alleviate His sufferings. She seeks ways through sacrifice and prayer and does her utmost to ensure that the things which trouble Him may be changed. She labors so that He may be honored where He is not now honored, that He may be feared where He is not now feared. She strives to lead back to God the people who are not living according to His commandments and statutes, and so she comforts His heart and makes Him happy. She spends her life for Him and suffers until she has loved souls home to Him by whom they can be saved, until people set themselves under His dominion and begin to love Him. Not until her Bridegroom is comforted will she be satisfied. The bride keeps asking Him: “How can I comfort You?”, and in the quietness the Bridegroom will tell her what grieves Him. She will go with Him to comfort Him.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. That is why He is not satisfied when we simply set ourselves under His dominion and give Him slavish obedience. He wants more – He wants our heart, our very hearts blood. As the Bridegroom, He asks: “How much am I worth to you? How much can you sacrifice for Me? Can you give Me your beloved children? Can you give Me father and mother and friends? Can you give Me your home and your native land out of love if I ask for these? Will you go anywhere I call you to serve, and lead to Me the souls for which I hunger? Can you sacrifice your honor, your strength, your longing to be loved, your deepest secret wishes for Me?”
Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. He waits for His bride. He does not seek to force love; it must be spontaneous. He knocks softly on the door. He waits until someone opens it. He stands behind the door and looks to see whether His bride will open up and come out to Him (Song of Solomon 5:2). His eyes follow her sadly if all day long she is busy and in a hurry, if she goes about everything quickly and vigorously and yet spiritually is becoming estranged from Him, because she is completely engrossed with her work and earthly business.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. His ardent concern is to impart His likeness to His bride so that she too may radiate divine beauty and be adorned with many virtues. He works with specials care, loving care for His bride. He guides her and leads her along paths of chastisement, for this will bring her to where His is. He dreams of the full beauty that shall be hers. He loves her too much to suffer her to have any “spots” or “wrinkles”, because she is His bride. Full of pride and joy, His loving eyes beholds her as though she were perfect. Through the power of His blood He, the Almighty, can bring her to the perfection of divine beauty.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. So He stands as a Protector besides His bride. He is intent upon protecting her from all who may want to harm her. He strives on her behalf. To be a bride means that one is no longer alone. It means that one has an intimate partner who lives for his bride, and to do everything that he can for her. So, Jesus, the Bridegroom, lives to do everything for Him bride, to help her in every situation, in every need, in every impossibility. She is no longer alone. Jesus is true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. He is waiting in heaven for the day when His bride will come to Him so that He can be united with her for ever. He seeks her in unending love.
I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In steadfast love, and in mercy. I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness; And you shall know the Lord. (Hosea 2:19-20).
Basilea Schlink was a German writer (1904-2001) and co-founder of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary.
Posted in Featured Articles, Revival & Prayer Tagged with: bridal paradigm, bride, bridegroom, Jesus, Mary, Public Domain: Basilea Schlink, religion, suffering
The Western nations again need to witness a community of a unique kind, a community possessed by a King and His Kingdom – a demonstration that God is fashioning something here on earth for His eternal glory and the ages to come. Consider the impact – a Holy Sprit possessed generation, living out His life on the earth, for God’s ultimate glory.
Jesus Himself was consumed and possessed!
Proverbs 8: 22 – The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. (KJV)
John 2: 17 – Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
Consider this, that the Son of God was consumed and possessed with the Spirit of God and with the zeal of the Lord! At the age of twelve He was sitting with the scribes discussing the things of Old Testament scripture. Then at the beginning of His ministry He is charged by the Holy Spirit and led into a season of fasting. He said that His food was to do the will of His Father. Yes, Christ was the Son of God and yet He came as a man. Not only that but Jesus was a young man who was tempted in every point as we, and is now a high priest who knows our weaknesses. In all this He perfectly carried out the will of the Father with passion. Why? Because He was possessed by the Spirit of God constantly and completely.
In this generation of secularism within the Church where young men and women no longer have ‘heroes in the faith’ to imitate, then I say look unto Jesus Christ! – a young man who carried out His Father’s will and is now exalted! He carried out all of this, for He was a man consumed, possessed and saturated by the Spirit of God and the will of His Father! Young people, imitate Him! Don’t be consumed with passion for the things of this world which rob us of true identity and purpose but be possessed with Him! Let zeal for His house, His will and His Life consume you.
The surface level of merely acknowledging Christ can become a deep consuming knowledge of Him.
There must be countless thousands of people who went through their younger years in a mere state of acknowledgment, yet regret the wasted years that God could have used in impacting their generation. I am convinced among today‘s present young generation that there are still those seemingly going through the motions of ‘Christian life as they know it’, without ever knowing the inner reality of God in their lives. I was one of those until God took a hold of me and led me and others through a time of deep disturbance from Him. During the Brownsville Revival, God took thousands of us young people and broke up the hard ground of our hearts and gave us hearts of flesh and a love for God beyond anything we had ever known. Even now, those of us touched by that revival should still evaluate our lives, and ask God if He still gloriously possesses us in a way that dominates our thinking and passion.
The very thing I am attempting to convey to you is best described in the following scriptures. In John 20 we read the powerful account of Mary’s encounter with the risen Christ. I had always wondered about this story and meaning until the Lord spoke to me regarding it one day. Below are some notes I wrote of my own and collated from what I had read from others at that time:
i. His command, “Touch Me not,” is used in the present continuous tense, that is, it is to be understood as meaning “Do not hold Me” or “Do not cling to Me” (Jesus is not telling her not to touch Him per se, for we read the disciples had to touch Him later for proof of His resurrection.)
ii. He diverts her from the desire for previous relationship and conversation with Him at that moment of time. (Maybe she thinks Christ is risen in the similar state to Lazarus and will remain with them.)
iii. ‘For I am not yet ascended,’ He says, “unto the Father.” The former sporadic interaction is to be replaced by the new and continuous relationship in the heart that takes place in a deeper sense than before, but this cannot be until He is with the Father.
iv. Christ is not there for restoring external things but for reconciling men to God. He says, “Touch me not.” Or – “Don’t hold on to your previous limited knowledge of me. A new day has dawned!” (My words.) “For, though I am not yet ascended, go to my brethren, and tell them, I am to ascend.’’ Jesus wants His disciples to look higher than his bodily presence, and look further than the present state of things and to now know HIM by His Spirit.
In other words, at Christ’s resurrection a deeper form of communion with Him could begin to be known. Now the possibility exists of a relationship beyond the mere external knowledge about Him, to a consuming union with Him. Awesome, glorious work of the Christ and Spirit! Young Christian you are called to know this!
Is this the kind of relationship you presently have with the Lord? Leader, is this the kind of discipleship you seek to instill in the young people you lead? I speak from personal experience that the young people you disciple will only become what you yourself are. This is Christian discipleship of the unique kind, where the Spirit of Christ within forms and fashions His vessels of honour. This is the Jesus way – the way in which He Himself was possessed and consumed, so He now calls us to such a union. For a true move of God of revolutionary proportions, this is the only kind of discipleship – where Christ‘s nature is possessing our hearts, and we determine to follow! I finish with the words of C.T. Studd:
What a life the Spirit lives out in us when He possesses us. It is so simple too: just to remember ‘I have been crucified with Christ,’ I am dead. ‘It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.’ My part is just to let Him live in me.
Ibid. P424 – 425. Not directly quoted but was blessed as God spoke to my heart about this story, that Henry had compiled thoughts of a similar kind.
C.T. Studd – Cricketer and Pioneer, Norman Grubb (Lutterworth Press 1933) Quote taken from Chapter 6: P48
For more on this topic, see Andrew Yeoman’s book Jesus Ministry, available at Amazon.com by clicking here.
Posted in The Kingdom of God Tagged with: Andrew Yeoman, C.T. Studd, discipleship, divine possession, Jesus, Jesus Ministry, Mary, VOR Series: Divine Possession