A love story made in heaven: God and you.
The way we view God, or think about God, can shape our relationship with Him. To guide us in this endeavor, God uses many metaphors to help us come to know Him in a personal and deeper way. For example, in the Bible, God uses the metaphor of a shepherd and sheep, a father and child, a vine and branches, and my favorite, a bride and groom.
The metaphor of a bride and groom is a love story. Although the Bible contains sixty-six individual books, it is really one book with a consistent theme. It is a love story. Like every love story, this one has a beginning, some ups and downs, and then a dramatic conclusion.
Initiating the relationship:
This love story truly starts “In the beginning”. That’s where God created man and woman. He fashioned them exactly as He wanted. Using the material of earth, this Divine Craftsman lovingly formed and fashioned man out of the dust of the ground and then breathed into him the breath of life. Just like a loving father, God lovingly took us in his arms and admired His handiwork. He gazed into our eyes and examined our frame. He smiled and said, “Now, this is very good!”
Although God provided His creation with everything to enjoy, the man and women chose to reject God’s offer of relationship and wandered away into selfishness and sin. This decision created a chasm and alienation from God. Because sin now ruled and reigned, that decision was made from one generation to another.
Throughout the generations, man tried all sorts of things to satisfy the intimacy that he lost, but nothing would suffice. Without God, he experienced loneliness, bitterness, anger, and pain. He was in a cycle of despair trading love for loss, fulfillment for fruition, and intimacy for isolation. In addition, he had erected a self-imposed wall of pride and arrogance—a trophy to his self-sufficiency and idolatry. This decision caused bitter hostility between man and God (Rom. 5:10). Without intervention, catastrophe awaited.
Although man turned his back on God, oddly enough, it was God who initiated reconciliation. A loving God truly wanted a restored relationship. Because of His great love, God chose to reach out to man. (The Old Testament book of Hosea illustrates this beautifully).
But before things could be resolved, the main issue, sin, would have to be brought out into the open dealt with. Before any wounds could heal, they must be fully exposed and treated.
In addition, a price for reconciliation had to be paid. Man, on his own, could not reconcile the relationship. Only God could do that. The cost was high. It cost God everything. He sent his own Son. Someone has said, “He would rather die that live without us.”
The ultimate goal of every beautiful romance is intimacy—within the confines of marriage. And so, the ultimate goal of God’s relationship with his creation is marriage. The marriage, like all marriages, begins with a beautiful wedding ceremony.
God, who awaits his bride, is beaming with pride and joy. His bride, the church, is holy and blameless and, of course, dressed in white. As Revelation 19:7-8 notes, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear” (Rev. 19:7-8). Naturally, after the wedding, it’s time to party! That which has wandered away has come home. That which was lost has been found. A great party is planned and it will last forever.
The way we think about God can shape our relationship with Him. Christianity is not a religion nor is it about a bunch of rules. Instead, Christianity it is a relationship—and so much more than a relationship. It is a relationship that is illustrated with the bride and groom.
Think about a godly, loving couple. They are committed to each other and love spending time together. It’s hard to keep them apart. Within this relationship there is intimacy and open communication. The couple shares life and love. They possess the same dreams, goals, and desires. When they are apart, they miss each other passionately.
As we think about our lives and our relationship to God, may the idea of a beautiful love story come to mind.
After all, God does not to force us to love or serve Him. Instead, He invites us to come to Him in a relationship. As you think about God and your relationship with him today, perhaps, picture Him as a groom. See, He is standing at the end of the isle awaiting His beautiful bride to begin that walk down the aisle. He sees His bride, all dressed in white, as perfect and spotless and He longs for relationship. It all begins with that first step.