“The wise bridesmaids took their lamps and more oil in jars…Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready.”---Matthew 25:4&7(NCV)
“All things are ready, if our minds be so.”---William Shakespeare
I know, right?
It’s been a minute. I mean…there’s just A LOT of warfare going on and (thanks to my brother, Jonathan, who kicked us off this year) fasting. Anyway, you all have been in my prayers, though. So much so today that here I am…with something else up my sleeve that came from the Holy Spirit’s mouth.
Several of you have heard me reference my “love brother”, Joey. A couple of you know him personally and one of you is even related to him. Well, he and I have been discussing all week that, while it seems that many women are preparing for marriage, a lot of men are not. I suggested to him, “Why don’t you write a prayer for the unprepared?” Let me just say that you can be looking for a tag on that very soon and from what I’ve heard coming from Sir Richey’s mouth already…IT’S POWERFUL.
If you haven’t read, “One Flesh…REVISITED” in my notes, I suggest that you do. It was revealed to me in that devotional that marriage is the strongest line of defense in spiritual warfare and just a little while ago, I also read that it is the strongest biblical doctrine as well. The common word? STRONG. We must be strong for marriage. Even in our waiting, God is making us strong now…to be prepared…for what’s in store.
Next Sabbath, I will be a bridesmaid in a wedding. As we’ve been preparing, helping, SERVING the bride, I thought about the term “bride” (a woman who is married or soon-to-be married) and “bridesmaid”. When I looked up the definitions of bridesmaid, there were two:
1) a young woman who attends the bride at a wedding ceremony
2) a person, group, etc., that is in a secondary position, never quite attains a goal, etc.
Then I thought about Matthew 25 (verses 1-13) and the tale of the five wise and five foolish bridesmaids; how half were like the first definition and the other, well, the second. All of us, quite frankly, fit into this scenario. For some of us, while it seems like the bridegroom is late, that doesn’t stop us from being prepared…with oil (the Holy Spirit) because we know our groom is coming. What does Acts 1:7 (Message) assure us? That timing is the Father’s business, but what we’ll get it is the Holy Spirit, right? John 14:26(AMP) tells us what benefits come with that:
“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”
This is a crucial time for many. You cannot afford to “let your oil” out now. GET PLENTY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT so that you can hear what to do and so that your lamp can shed light on where you need to go.
There are others, though, who continue to remain in the secondary position because they lead secondary lives. You’re still sleeping around. You’re still making financial debt decisions. You still don’t forgive. You still worship idols. You still have that funky attitude. You’re not attaining the goal because you haven’t conditioned yourself to reach it. YOU’RE NOT WAITING ON GOD. GOD IS WAITING ON YOU.
And so, here we go. Another project, indeed:
Because the Bible says that some things ONLY COME by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:19-20), one day a week, until, shoot…until…fast for yourself. Fast to be freed from the ties that bind. Fast away your fears. Fast for your future family. Fast for insight into the role you play in reaching that goal. I don’t have any specific instructions on what kind of fast to do this time. I do know there’s a great book, “Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough” that you can get on Amazon that takes you through different kinds of fasts for different purposes. However, I think God may custom design them for each of us based on our need/purpose/situation. Also, pray for your husband to get prepared. For many of us, it’s time for him to. THIS I KNOW. But it’s not just about preparing to be our husbands, but to be a MATURE MAN OF GOD (first), a husband (second), a father (third) and a “love covering” full of grace, mercy and humility (fourth) to be able to do/be all of these things on a consistent basis. The cite scripture for this?
“And I will make you my promised bride forever. I will be good and fair; I will show you my love and mercy. I will be true to you as my promised bride, and you will know the Lord.”---Hosea 2:19-20 (NCV)
PUT THAT SOMEWHERE WHERE YOU CAN READ IT EVERY DAY. You are promised to your husband. He is to be good and fair. He is to show love and mercy. He is to be true to you. HE IS TO ASSIST IN KEEPING YOU IN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD. You must be spiritually sober-minded to discern these qualities now.
For the women COMMITTED to doing this, I will send you a ribbon to wear on the day you are led to fast. It has been a ribbon ministry over here as of late. Interestingly enough, the colors for this particular fast is not what you might expect. No purple for royalty. No white for purity. Actually it’s red, orange and yellow:
RED is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, STRENGTH, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.
Interestingly enough, while this scripture is in reference to idolatry, this is what the Holy Spirit led me to when it comes to what red will spiritually signify:
“’Present your case,’ says the Lord. ‘Bring forth your STRONG reasons,’” says the King of Jacob.”---Isaiah 41:21 (NKJV)
Looks like we all have something to talk about (LOL) when it comes to our desires for marriage and REASONS for it. But the red also symbolizes directly our energies and awareness towards the WARFARE that we know is coming and to ignite the (proper) passion, desire and love needed for our husbands to be received, by us.
ORANGE combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with JOY, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of JOY; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”---Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
I don’t know about y’all, but sometimes I forget that JOY is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Orange symbolizes that we are encouraged, happy and determined to get what God has promised us (Psalm 37:4). And, I love that the color also symbolizes attraction and stimulation and look…at God’s right hand are PLEASURES FOREVERMORE. Marriage is to be a pleasurable experience. God is so thorough.
YELLOW is the color of sunshine. It's associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”---Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)
The wise bridesmaids? They feared the Lord. Knowledge comes as the result of that. The foolish? They hated wisdom and instruction. This is a season to TAKE HEED TO WISE COUNSEL: spiritual sistahs, HAPPILY MARRIED COUPLES, healthy platonic male friends. Rockin’ yellow means that you are open to the counsel that God provides…however he chooses to provide it.
Hmph. And what do all of these colors make? FIRE. We’re about to be ON FIRE for the cause.
“Who makes His angels spirits; His ministers a flame of fire.”---Psalm 104:4 (NKJV)
HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE. If marriage ain’t a ministry, if being the helpmate (Genesis 2:18) that brings our men favor (Proverbs 18:22) ain’t ministering, I don’t know what is! And so, as you COMMIT to this season of fasting (I think everyone’s will be different, but it will be at least over a period of 40 days whether it’s every day or once a week), when you wear your ribbon, remember all that it signifies. You are strong. You have joy. This is a time to acquire MUCH intellect: books, godly advice…wherever God leads you.
Some things only come by prayer and fasting, right? We are ministers-in-training, correct?
“We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”---2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NKJV)
The refiner’s fire, indeed. Suit up. GAME ON.
OH! And CONGRATS (for real) to one of our “classmates”, Ms. Tanya Megan Duthie who is newly engaged. God is good.
If you want a ribbon, inbox me your mailing address. They will go out in time for Thanksgiving.