Lord of the Thorns

Warrior Bride. I love this image. Last week I challenged you with what God was saying about preparation for battle, about our readiness to go. I told you about the vision of combat boots and stepping over thorns. Check out the blog, “Get Your Boots On.”

It was odd because as I wrote it, there was a whisper about the crown of thorns upon the brow of Jesus. But an interruption stole the thought.

Later in the day,  I talked to my friend about the blog and she casually mentioned, “Jesus is our combat boots. He wore the thorns so we wouldn’t have to.”

Externally, I said, “Yes, That is so good. Amen.” Internally, I recalled the whisper in my mind that had now been refreshed. We ended the call, but the Lord continued to stir that conversation.

He reminded me of a section out of Tim Keller’s new book, The King’s Cross.  I will let the author’s words do the talking regarding the comparison among the man and woman and Jesus.

God was saying, “Because you love me, don’t eat from the tree — just because I say so.  Just to be in relationship with me. Obey me about the tree, and you will live.”  And Adam didn’t. He and Eve failed their test; and the whole human race has been failing ever since. Satan never stops testing us. He says, “This idea of self-giving love, where you make yourself totally vulnerable and you orbit around other people — that’ll never work.”

We look at Adam and Eve and say, “What fools — why did they listen to Satan?”  Yet we know we still have Satan’s lie in our own hearts, because we’re afraid of trusting God — of trusting anybody, in fact.

But God didn’t leave us defenseless. God said to Jesus, “Obey me about the tree” — only this time the tree was a cross — “and You will die.”

And Jesus did. He has gone before you into the heart of a very real battle, to draw you into the ultimate reality of the dance. What he has enjoyed from all eternity, he has come to offer you.

When Jesus wore a crown of thorns, He was saying, “I am King of all that the enemy would use to hurt, humiliate, rip and strip from you. I am letting him take his best shot at Me.” And Jesus’ whisper, “It is finished,” is the battle cry of all time.  There is now nothing in the hands of our enemy that Jesus has not already conquered. He is the Lord of the thorns.

Glory be to the God of all Ages!!!

Where Is Your Name Stuck?

Proverbs talks about “the way of a man with a maiden.”  I love how Tim Keller of Redeemer Church teaches on this and on biblical sexuality. He paints a beautiful picture of a pursuing lover, romancing and wooing his woman, providing a safe and loving place for them to truly be naked and unashamed. Known and knowing. A place where a woman freely and willingly offers herself and receives this ardent lover. Wow…what a vision of love. What a great idea from God.

But — this is not always the reality or goal of many men, or women. My husband and I have young daughters, so we are often showing them real life ways to evaluate character and to recognize selfish motives. In themselves and in others. We want them to have a healthy respect for themselves so they will know how to test a guy’s heart. (You know by the time they are in high school they are gonna be sick of us…)

Anyway, Chuck was driving the girls to school and they came upon a truck.  It had one of those painted beach scenes and stuck on the beach scene were two of the classic silver silhouettes of a woman. You know the ones, the truckers’ equivalent to the Playboy bunny. I hate  what both represent. What it reduces a woman to, what it reduces a man to.

So Chuck proceeds to tell the girls, “If you ever meet a guy that wants to date you and he has this on his truck, your answer is ‘No.’ This guy has a wrong view of women. He is just a consumer of beauty, and doesn’t value you for who you are.” (Preach it, brother!)

Of course, Charis quips, “Well what if you are dating him and you didn’t know he drove a truck like that?”  To which Dad says, “Dump him.”

And then, Chuck proceeds to tell one of his favorite stories about one of his sisters. She was going on the first date with a guy. On the side of his truck were decals. It read:  Jeff and …. The other name had been removed and you could see the sticky residue. 

In all seriousness, Jeff looked at Chuck’s sister, smiled and nodded toward the blank spot on his door. “You know, your name could be here,” he said.

WHAT???  If it wasn’t so funny, it would be tragic…And here is our problem.  We as women tolerate that. Why?  Because we settle. We hope to have our names of the side of a guy’s truck, when in reality our names have been engraved on the Palm of God’s hand.

Our desire for beauty, our need for affirmation, our hope for romance and fulfillment is best met in our Bridegroom God. He is our definition and satisfaction. And then with our hearts full of living water, and real love, we are able to enter into relationship with a man. Sisters, let’s not talk about “them.”  Let’s talk about us. Let’s start with the right Man, before we cast our pearls before swine.