In the last Quick Bite (QB82), the Wedding at Cana, I brought attention to the first time the Lord’s glory was revealed. But what’s really interesting to note is that just before this occasion – Jesus had been in the wilderness. The Bible records immediately after His baptism (Matthew 3:13-17), “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1).
His time in the wilderness modelled something very profound: His preparation as Bridegroom in the desert set a precedent for those He would later betroth to follow.
Then just like His glory manifested at Cana, so shall we also exhibit a glory befitting a marriage, yet not anyone else’s marriage, but His own as His Bride, the Wife of the Lamb!
As we have learned previously, for the Bridegroom to become “one flesh” with His Bride, it requires the two to be absolutely compatible with each other, for He can only unite with those who have come from Him “bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh” (Genesis 2:23), being the same spiritual DNA “partakers of the Divine nature” 1 Peter 1:4. One definition of compatible means “capable of existing or performing in harmonious or agreeable combination. Capable of being grafted, transfused or transplanted from one individual to another without reaction or rejection.” So the question is: How do we become compatible with our Bridegroom? By allowing His life to permeate our own so we might live as He lived.
Glory comes through our association with Him, not only imputed through relationship but activated by walking in His footsteps.
Yes, we too are being led by the Spirit into the wilderness, not as a place of suffering or self-pity, but as the place of romance. It is where we are separated out from the crowds into solitude to be alone with Him. It is the place of intimacy.
Typically, when we think of the wilderness we imagine it unwelcoming, arid, and hostile. To be avoided, the wilderness is a place we seldom see as intentional or a positive experience, and yet through the desert lies our destination of fulfilled promise and hope. When the Bride comes of age, it is to the desert she is drawn, for there awaits an encounter away from the madding crowd and bustling agendas, into the unfamiliarity of real freedom and untethered expression of love for the Bridegroom. It becomes a place of romance, where the thorns of anguish are replaced by the superiority of His peace and the dreary task list by the thrill of knowing He walks beside.
There is a glory only attainable in the desert, a Bridal preparation that can come no other way. Not amongst the cacophony of religious voices but by embracing the solitude of hiddenness. Not to be alone, but to be alone with Him.
O that we might find the well in the desert and know its Source who is Christ. O that we may cherish this most holy and secret place. The Bride loves the desert. She sings in the desert and turns the Valley of Baka into refreshing springs (Ps 84:6) That’s because Creation recognises the Bride. When she sings Creation hears and responds. The Bride is drawn to the desert, because just as He looks for her, so also she craves to be alone with Him.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14