I was praying several days ago, asking Jesus to do all these things for us (the church); prepare us, empower us, perfect us, etc., and when I finally stopped talking, this is what I believe I heard from Him. I understood what He meant, but maybe it bears a little explaining here . . . it was as if He was saying, “Yes, I can and will do these things for you, but you need to keep in mind that . . .”
this goes both ways. I bought you. I paid the price required to purchase you out of bondage. You agreed. You took the cup and agreed to become Mine. My bride. My beloved. Now remember whose you are and reject the demands of that old master, the flesh, the world, the devil.*
For I am now your good Lord; I Who am your maker. As I live by My Father, so you now: Live by Me. I have chosen you, purchased you, redeemed you, liberated you and yes, enslaved you again to Myself. You are Mine, and I am a jealous husband. I demand your full attention, your absolute worship, your undivided devotion.
Hear O Daughter and listen to Me. Forget your people and your father’s house, and the King will greatly desire your beauty. (Ps 45:10)**
This is My commandment to you. Turn your back to the old things. Turn away and stop flirting with, toying with, desiring them. Do you say, ‘This is nothing. I can still enjoy these things and also be a part of the separated people?’ No! Friendship with the world is enmity with Me. A bride–a true bride–does not flirt with old lovers. The true bride has eyes only for her bridegroom.
You have taken the cup. Now eat the bread daily–nourish yourselves on Me alone and be Mine wholly. Because My bride is Mine, and has eyes only for me, no one else may know her.
*A quick note here. The concept of the bride of Christ is a metaphor for the church. Drinking from the cup denotes acceptance of the marriage proposal. In this case, the wine is also symbolic of the price Jesus paid to redeem His bride–His own blood, shed for the redemption of the sins of the world. Likewise the bread symbolizes the body of Christ, by whom the church is to live.
**Again, this is a metaphor. The bride (the church) must not long for nor participate in her old life in the kingdom of this world, but must forget those things which are past and look only to her Betrothed Husband, that is, Jesus.