In a vision I had this week, I saw Jesus standing before me. I could not see His face, but my focus was upon what was in His hands. He had dinner plates in His hands. Counting them one by one. Five in total. The next moment I saw the table set. The five plates now neatly set on a round table, close to one another. The most beautiful pure white lace draped over the table and the best silverware neatly placed in their proper place. Crystal glasses accompanied each plate. It was a five course meal, served by Him.
This vision came in the middle of writing this devotional, obviously knowing that He wanted me to include it. Words have a special and important place in my heart, as it have been defiled and butchered by the enemy through the ages. We hear it used out of context or abused in order to create affect. In the process words are cheapened and in a way fall to the ground. Devotion is such a word that has fallen by the way side, undervalued by ignorant application. It is portrayed as a deep love and loyalty, but few are able to grasp the depth of it. So instead of leaving it be, it is used in songs, one’s commitment to a project or person. However, devotion is so much more and cannot be explained unless the Spirit reveals it to us and in us.
The reason for the vision of the table, is to show that devotion is the result of eating the whole of the five course meal. It is the outflow of having been filled and satisfied by Him. I have thought for long on what the five courses could be. I know now that this five course meal is the table He sets for us before our enemies, spoken of in Psalm 23. This table represents our Christian walk and journey with Him, where He feeds us daily and as often as we come or stay. He sets the table, and serves us. This morning He showed me with pure gold name cards, placed in the middle of the plates, every course by name. They are in a particular order.
SALVATION, JUSTIFICATION, DELIVERANCE, SANCTIFICATION, and GLORYFICATION.
Each meal served by our Beloved, of which every last drop on the plate has to be eaten. No diets here, but a feast at the table He sets for those who are called. Just like a meal from the greatest Michelin chefs, the depth, height, length and breadth of each course is to be savored and to become part of our being as we feast at this table all our life. And with it, the deep red wine that He has mixed to compliment the meal, with the freshness of His living water.
The joy of this meal is that it is not a “dinner for one”, but the table is shared with the Father and the Groom Each meal chosen specifically according to what Father knows is needed. We dine with Royalty.
Revelation 3: 20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me
John 14: 23
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Just like there is nothing symbolic of these scriptures, there is nothing symbolic of the five course meal He serves us. It is reality, it is Him. I suppose through the course of life we often get up from this table, excuse ourselves and being beckoned, go eat at the table of the world. Only to see Him patiently waiting for His adulterous Bride to return. So patient, long suffering and loving, and desiring that you will feast at this table, “The five course meal of your life”, dining with your Beloved.
In writing this devotional I will be expressing the heart of the Bride, which is devotion. I can only write of that which has become so vitally part of me and in a way putting myself out there in a very intimate way. I asked Him why He wants me to write this. It is so personal. His words to me, "They need to hear it”. This devotion is in a sense the eternal bridal flame of love burning in her heart that not only consumes her, but has become the life of her life. I pray that this devotional will inspire you, draw you to Him and cause you to sit and stay at the table He has set, as we read in Proverbs 9.
Proverbs 9: 1 - 5
1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
Devotion is not something you just do but it is a disposition that He wishes to bring us all into. It is not just love, but love and loyalty unto death. The Bride has come to a place in Him where she no longer strives to do her best for Him, but have enteted into a rest, in Him. She no longer belong to anyone, but Him. When she says that she is His, it is not from out of her commitment or choice she made to be His through all His dealings with her, but rather that He has claimed her for Himself. No longer belonging to husband, wife, child, family or friends. Completely His. Having lost all, He has now become her all in all. It is not a will that has to be given over and over, but a will that has been given over once and for all. This creates in her such a sense of security and roots her identity in Him. All she knows is that she is His. Whatever way He chooses, He moves her, speaks through her…loves through her. A restful submission where she has ceased from all her works to take up only His. All desires swallowed up in Him, leaving only His will as her foremost desire. Completely given over to His will alone. She is incapable of resisting Him, not because she cannot do wrong, but she finds herself helpless to resist Him.
A devotion that sees no distinction between judgment and mercy. Between pain and joy, suffering and peace. She is equally willing for both as all has now become Him. She knows that whatever He chooses will be for His glory and to her that is all she desires. There is no consideration for self, no consideration of how she would be perceived by others. The watchman look upon her as strange and plain, asking her where they can find this Beloved of hers, Him who they know not where to find.
There is no more I or Him, but only us. She no longer search for Him or even longs for Him as all her springs has been shut up in Him. She no longer runs after Him, because she has found Him. In all her seeking, she has forsaken all to be only His. However, no longer are even that which she lost or forsaken no longer remembered, having no longer a past or even a future, but all have been swallowed up in His presence. A peace that transcends understanding envelopes her, not only in storms, but forever. For being the Prince of Peace, she has been consumed by Him. Being lost and at the same time found, in pain but with joy, in coming and going, in poverty but riches. He in her, and she in Him. She gladly bears what He causes to come over her in His divine wisdom and providence.
Her love, is His love. His love, is her love. Her peace is His and His peace is hers. There is no beginning or end in His infinity and so being in Him, she finds herself in His infinite bounty, having all her needs met, which is only to please Him. She asks nothing, simply because having given and forsaken all, possesses nothing and in the same way nothing posesses her...only He. She has returned to His bosom and is held eternally in His embrace.
Such is the mystery of Christ and His Bride. Flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone, one in Spirit and mind. She does not long for Him just as a river lacks no water once it is taken up in the sea. Only her capacity to receive Him is enlarged as she goes deeper into the unknown of Him. For she is never empty, always full. As His love increases in her, so she increases with it, so to contain the endless bounty of the pleasures, treasures and gifts He lavish on her. She is safe, hidden, secure, loved and at rest. She has found Him whom her soul loveth and He has brought her into His chamber. He fills her continually, daily, so that like Paul in Ephesians 3 she knows the depth, width, length and breadth of His love. She has her being in Him. Eternally satisfied and fulfilled, never lacking. And in this place of bliss, He is fiercely jealous over her, being of kindred heart and mind. The love He feels for her is poured out as a continuous fountain, only to be returned to the source from which it came.
In Song of Solomon 4:11 He says to her, “Thy lips O my spouse, drop as honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. In verse 15, A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters and streams of Lebanon.
She has walked the way of the cross and her garments, like Him, is fragrant with spikenard, saffron, calamus, cinnamon, frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices. The cross and her union with Him in His death, caused the fragrance of the spices to permuate her burial clothes of white linen, which ravishes His heart, her token of her love for Him, as His death a token of His love for her.
Song of Solomon 5: 1 - 2
I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
In union they have kissed, where her lips have tasted the milk and honey on His lips and He has tasted hers. Such is the feast He has brought her to. Such is the feast she continually feast on. Living from every word that comes from His sweet lips.
And having been brought to this feast, although only a Shulamite, she is His Queen. Dressed in fine, pure gold and white raiment. She has drunk deep draughts of the wine He has mixed for, intoxicated with His love, eating from the milk and honey of His wisdom and continual revelations. She has tasted the fruit and they are her delight as they are the very essence of Him. In mutual love they have feasted on each other and have come to rest not just from strife, but a rest of the Spirit. It is in this place of feasting that He reveals to her His deepest secrets and hidden ways. Together they plunge the depths of Him, always more. There is no where she will not go, even to the depths of hell, for even there He will find her. Her trust in Him secure that should He will to leave her side, she would embrace the unbearable suffering as pure joy.
Her liberty and freedom in Him is expressed in her devotion in that it is not slack in doing nothing in this rest. But rather she runs with Him and in Him. As the love He has for those He died for is continually before Him, so in her. His desire is her desire. Going out into the highways and bi-ways, feeding the hungry, calling the prodigals, giving wisdom and understanding to the foolish. She is clothed with His glory and she is ravishingly captivating in beauty as she is clothed with wisdom, a diadem set secure on her head. Yet to the world, she is plain and forgotten. Where she previously sought Him and now having found Him, she tell the young virgins where He can be found. Drawing all unto Him. Teaching them the ways that leads to this table He has set, into Her Beloved’s embrace.
Nothing can separate her from His love, for they are no longer two, but one. Joined in Spirit, the Spirit of God, who expressing with utterances through her that which no man can speak, speaks to Him in pure adoration. No depth, height, darkness, nor light can separate them, for He has become all. She loves Him now not with her own love, which was always limited, but with His love that He increases, as He increases her capacity more and more. And being His Queen, she stands in full orbed authority, fearless in battle, virtuous and strong. She rides with Him in battle, His Body clothed in His righteousness, the essence of holiness of His coming, to establish His Kingdom on earth.
The devotion she has for Him is not that which comes from a choice of being faithful or being worshipful, her devotion is His devotion. And this devotion has no end. This is the heart of the Bride. This is who she is, purified by fire, tried by trials, tested through sorrow and suffering, and raised from the dead. This devotion is not a feeling, but a person. The two have become one…the Bride and the Lamb of God.
Revelation 19: 7 - 9
7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Song of Solomon 8: 6 - 7
6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.