When Jesus prepares...
Would you take a moment to close your eyes and imagine Jesus washing your feet. He has everything ready - he has prepared a towel and a bowl and jug of water. He kneels down before you and begins. Stop a moment to receive this imaginary foot washing. Go on, I’ll wait!
How did it make you feel?
What was Jesus trying to show when he got down and washed his disciples feet?
His hands rubbed their feet like a goldsmith polishes gold, bringing to the surface the value and worth He placed on each one and also His desire for His bride. As the disciples received affirmation of their worth from their Master, they had their hearts burnished to sparkling ready to serve others and show them how much God loved them too.
Being Summer in the Southern Hemisphere, January and February have been abiding months for me. I have slowed down and walked rather than ran. I have spent time enjoying God, enjoying my family and friends. I have allowed God to lead me rather than fill my time with urgencies. There of course have been things to attend to and attacks from the enemy but every morning I have started my day with Him and I have been amazed at what He has prepared for the time we have together.
Why does God prepare? What is His ultimate goal?
God loves His bride. He loves her so much that He prepares for her and woos her. His desire for relationship means that He paves the way for relationship to happen. He sets out the banquet before her and He longingly waits for her to accept.
And yet so often we are too busy.
We are too fearful that we will miss out if we attend His banquet.
We assume the invitation is not for us - we are not good enough.
And so we hide in the shadows rather than accept the invite or run through fires of stress burdened and overwhelmed.
We say we may attend the banquet if nothing else happens.
Perhaps we can catch a quick snack on the way to our next meeting.
We’ll drop in later as long as so-and-so from that other group isn’t there.
And Jesus welcomes us for the snack and treats us with no less love. We fail to see His banner above the table as we gobble down the rich fare and set off with a smile and a wave and a ’see you later!’.
How He would love for us to linger longer.
He would love us to be so enthralled by His presence that we only move from that place with Him to carry out a mission together. How He longs for that time when He and His bride will be one together.
Right now He is preparing. As He woos us He asks us to help Him prepare His bride. Get her ready for His coming.
What does that look like for me?
It might be my boys who need extra grace and lots of cuddles this week as well as lots of time talking through how to choose the good path and not allow themselves to be pulled into the dark side!
It might be the stranger who begins grumbling to me in the street who needs a kind word and reminding that God still loves her and is waiting for her after all the years she has forgotten Him.
It might be my neighbor who drops by unannounced who needs prayer for breakthrough with her family and an encouragement to trust Him.
The preparations don’t have to be fancy. They just start with me accepting His preparations for our times together and allowing Him to nudge me towards those who He wants me to love today.
What has God prepared for you today that you know you should accept? Some time journalling or talking together? Reading His Word or a book together? A walk together? A time of worship and centering back on Him?
Who does God want to prepare you to serve? (If we haven’t allowed Him to wash our feet and show us our worth it is difficult to serve others in love and not striving, isn’t it?!)
My quiet times have been transformed so far this year by Beth Moore’s prayer devotional ‘Whisper’s of Hope’. I would highly recommend getting a copy of this if you are someone who wants to set aside between 40 minutes to an hour a day for 60 days to develop a deep prayer life with Jesus based in His Word. This has been just what I have needed!
My vision for my blog this year is to serve Jesus by being my small part in the preparation of His bride. In the next few weeks over Lent, I intend to look at different aspects of preparation - how God prepares for us, how we can prepare for Him and how we can lead others to meet with Him through the art of preparation. If you would like to follow this blog, you can do so on Facebook or by signing up to receive new posts by email.