Yes, I know that title is weird grammar, but there’s a reason. Really. I felt prompted to read Matthew 11:6, and the order of the sentence there struck me as odd. It’s different from my other versions–not incorrect as far as I can tell, but different. Here it is:
Mat 11:6 And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.” (HCSB)
This struck me because it seems to imply that the act of being offended could be the thing that stops the blessing, and the converse: that not being offended because of Jesus could also invite His blessing. Certainly being offended would close the door, and not being offended would tend to open it. Here’s what I believe I heard from God on this (keep in mind that “you” in these journal entries almost always means “you all”):
All who are offended by Me are fallen prey to the evil one. No one in his house who does not hear My voice desires to leave, for he says, “This is the best and true way.” All they who continue to eat of his food shall be condemned. So shall they who drink of his wine. For his wine is the spirit of inequity, and his food is pride. Therefore, all who have eaten and drunk in his kingdom are poisoned, deceived, blinded.
Nevertheless, I have called you out, My Bride, a remnant for Myself. Not because you were the wisest, most intelligent, most beautiful or successful, but because looking on you, I loved you. You are My beloved, and you shall come out/have come out/are coming out. Not even the smallest part of you shall remain in his kingdom.
Don’t look back; Flee! And if you see some on your journey carrying heavy loads of former affections, help them to lay those encumbrances down and go on from there freely. And if you are dragging along anything not of Me, lay it down–whether physical, mental, material, or spiritual.
I have everything you need. Don’t think that you will provide your own needs. None of the “stuff” is coming with you. Why lug it to the gates, only to lay it there and go on without it? If you need anything, I will provide it. And if you share with others that provision, will I not provide enough for both of you to have plenty? Yet you wander about in search of this life’s goods.
Leave off! No longer will you find your satisfaction there. Only that which is of Me will last, and everything you choose to take My place will be taken from you.
This is necessary for your purification. Strip off the old and put on the new–the garments I provide. What bride wears old dresses underneath her bridal gown? Throw off the old, soiled garments. I will wash you, but the old rags cannot be redeemed. Come into Me, My Love, and let Me cleanse you and robe you according to My glory. Then you will be a radiant and glorious bride, without spot or wrinkle, and in that day, My heart will rejoice in your splendor.
The picture of a bride (the church) trying to fasten her wedding gown over a bunch of old, filthy dresses (the things of the world she is not willing to let go) particularly struck me. If we are to be the bride of Christ, we have to “forget our people and our father’s house.” (Ps 45:10) This doesn’t refer to friends and family, but to the practices and affections and affectations of this world–and of him who is the prince of this world, Satan. All that “stuff” and the love of “stuff,” we have to leave behind if we are to enter into the glory of our Lord.
All those things you don’t want to let go, and you know Jesus is telling you to let go? Throw, cast, fling them from you as though they were deadly poison. They are. Only Jesus matters, and those things are keeping you from Him. He will not marry a bride who is wearing old clothes under her wedding gown. He wants a companion who is holy, and wholly focused on Him–who is truly His alone.
Love and Grace and Peace,