Grieving In Zion

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I can say no more about the poem below than this:  there will be those who will treat it like a snack on the run and quickly move on to something more satisfying.  Hopefully, there will also be those to whom it will be more like an anticipated expensive meal, to be tasted, carefully considered and allowed to be digested in full.  By reading slowly and thoughtfully, and perhaps more than once, you may find yourself hearing and connecting deeply with the Lord’s heart.

Grieving In Zion

When the great machine rolls ever onward

Laying waste to holy ground

When souls are crushed in the race to greatness

Left trampled in the putrid dust

When good is evil and evil’s good

And truth polluted with compromise

When sacred and profane are poured

Mingled in the golden cup

 

Who is there will raise a tear

And take up a lamentation

Who’ll lift a voice of mourning

And grieve with me in Zion?

 

When love is just a commodity

To be traded for expediency

When hate hides in ideology

And dresses in democracy

When ‘Kingdom come’ is ours not His

Who will dare lament the loss

And who will stand against the crowd

When the flag obscures the cross?

 

Come all you cloistered prophets

Come you who suffer long

Amid the stench of Babylon

There are those who grieve in Zion

 

When those who say they lead the way

Never even learned to follow

When deception makes us strangers

And there’s none to heal the gap

When the freedom bell rings hollow

And justice picks and chooses

When the church has sold her soul

Who will be the greatest losers?

 

But we will dust our heads in ashes

And sackcloth we will don

Amid the proud procession

We will bear our grief in Zion

 

And when it’s all been said and when it’s all been done

When the silver tongues fall silent

And the empires crumble headlong

When there’s nothing left to fight for

And nothing left to win

And Babylon writhes in her grave

Whose name shall our allegiance claim

And who shall be our king?

 

So let us sing our song of sorrow

And let Heaven join the chorus

Till all that can be’s shaken

And the Kingdom stands before us

And let our tears fall full and free

And our steps be sure and strong

As we dance our dance of sadness

With those who grieve in Zion

 

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2016   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

The Question

Question mark background

This is not the post I planned to share today.  Today many of us are grappling with deep sadness and questions no one can answer. This weekend we were brought once again to the shattering reality that humanity is in deep, agonising trouble. While politicians promise dramatic responses, musicians comfort us with gentle tunes, and newsreaders sombrely churn out details we don’t really need to know, one question rises unbidden in our searching hearts:

Why?

We hear talk of swift and unrelenting retribution. We watch world leaders speaking of unprecedented unity. We see flags flying, hear anthems being sung and deck out our social media in special colours. Some urge victory in solidarity. Others preach defiance. But the question remains unanswered:

Why?

We are quick to offer our opinions on ideology, radicalisation, religion, marginalisation, death cults and what needs to be done about all of them. But these are symptoms of something much deeper, much darker in the collective heart of humanity, that has been there longer than any of us can remember. War, destruction, hatred and murder. This is our history.

Why?

Some say the only answer is love. They are right. But Love has walked among us and we did to Him what we wanted. We crucified Him. Do we really think we can love without Him? Really?? Do we really believe this human race can find our way out of the darkness within us –  apart from Him?

WHY?

The question is screaming at us and we stop our ears, desperately hope someone will turn up to solve the problem, and sadly limp on. We cannot answer the question, but are we at least ready to ask it? If not, one thing is guaranteed: we will grieve, collectively, again.

And the question will remain hovering menacingly in the air, spoken only by the brave and truthful.

When Jesus Wept

When Jesus wept at Bethany

What sorrow did His heart conceive

Was it unbelief in all its masks

That caused His overflowing grief?

That human eyes that day conveyed

While human tongues unknown betrayed?

When Jesus wept at Bethany

Did He weep for you and me?

 

When Jesus wept at Bethany

What aching filled His gentle soul?

Knowing well our history

Did He glimpse the unrelenting toll

Of pain and grief and misery

That death has cost humanity?

When Jesus wept at Bethany

Did He weep for you and me?

 

When Jesus wept at Bethany

Did creation gasp with soft surprise

And angels gaze with puzzled eyes?

Did earth and Heaven hold their breath

While tears rolled down the face of Him

The Resurrection and the Life?

When Jesus wept at Bethany

Did He weep for you and me?

 

When Jesus wept at Bethany

Did His tears fall down to stain the land

To mingle with the sinless Blood

That Calvary would soon demand?

Did blood and sweat from Gethsemane

Join their flow into the flood?

When Jesus wept at Bethany

Did He weep for you and me?

 

When Jesus wept at Bethany

Perchance He stood by all of us

And mixed His tears with yours and mine

And claimed our suffering as His own

That none of us who weep and ache

Could ever say we wept alone

When Jesus wept at Bethany

He wept for you, He wept for me

 

When Jesus wept at Bethany

His weeping crossed eternity

And entered every human tear

That was or is or soon will be

That in our loss and in our pain

We should know the cost is paid

And sorrow’s depth was plumbed by He

Who wept with us at Bethany

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2015 and beyond.   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

Featured Poem for July: Creation

Creation

 

Creation is groaning

Laden with weariness

Like a prisoner confined to shadows

Aching with indefinable loss

Haunted by elusive memories

Of a distant day of brightness

When nothing hungered

And Adam’s touch

Was free of fear

 

Creation is listening

Straining to hear again

The laughter of innocence

Echoing like a melodic song

Summoning every creature

Into its irresistible chorus

Of unfettered worship

Man and creature bowing together

Before Creator’s throne

 

Creation is praying

For futility to cease

For an end of fear in the night

For hope restored

For all to be as it once was

When God and man

Spoke as one

And the air was fragrant

With their mutual delight

 

Creation holds its breath

In pregnant yearning

Labouring with every new dawn

For one more day

Not to succumb

To hopelessness

 

Creation remembers

And remembering, trembles,

For deliverance

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:19-23)

 

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2012, 2013, 2014   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission

The Longsuffering of the Lamb

IF

Some years ago I had a powerful dream in which, wearied after a long climb, I arrived at a hilltop house. Entering through the front door I found, to my amazement, Jesus was waiting for me inside. On seeing one another we started running toward the other until we met in a spontaneous embrace, somewhat like very close friends who have been unwillingly separated for many years might do. (This was not an indication of our actual relationship at the time which was close and intimate).

In the dream we held one another closely for a very long time, sharing the deepest joy I have ever known, after which I politely went to release my hold and pull back slightly in order that we could talk. To my great surprise, I found the Lord swiftly pulled me back into the tight, reassuring grip of His arms and would not let me go even slightly.

In the years since then I have thought often about that dream and even more so in recent times. It has been a source of deep comfort during difficult seasons. One of the most beautiful aspects of the dream, for me, is the realization that the Lord had chosen to wait patiently for me to arrive when I wasn’t even aware He was doing so. I would compare this revelation to something like being presented with a multi-course gourmet meal when you’ve expected nothing more than a piece of toast. I can’t count the number of sermons I‘ve heard, or the many scriptures I’ve read, about the importance of waiting on God. I don’t ever remember anyone telling me how long, how patiently and how longingly He may have been waiting for me however!

The longsuffering, or patient endurance, of the Lord is not exactly a hot topic at the moment. I can’t recall seeing it included on a conference flyer, or highlighted on a church billboard as next Sunday’s sermon topic. Call me cynical, but if the choice is between “Forty Ways to Grow Your Church” or “How Long Will God Bear With Us?” I think I have a pretty good idea which one’s going to pull the crowds.

The idea that the Lord actually suffers want in His relationship with us, and suffers it willingly, is often beyond the range of our spiritual radars.

And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you…” wrote Isaiah (Is. 30:18a). Why should the Creator and Lord of the entire universe wait for anything or anyone? Yet, of His own will, He does often wait for those He calls His own. The old fashioned Bible word for this is ‘longsuffering’, which pretty much means what it sounds like: suffering long. Longsuffering is even included, along with goodness, truth, mercy and grace, in the revelation of Himself God gave to Moses (Ex. 34:6 KJV).

On the evening before His crucifixion Jesus told the twelve “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you…..” (Luke 22:15 NKJV). We tend to “pass over” (pun intended) those particular words expressing Jesus’ heart as if they are of little importance. Jesus was using a typical Hebrew form of expression here: “with desire I have desired.” It means ‘earnestly have I longed for”, or ‘with the greatest desire have I desired this”. In other words, Jesus was extraordinarily passionate about sharing these final few hours with His intended Bride and had waited with great eagerness for this occasion.

Jesus had shared other Passovers with His apostles, but this one was to be different. With greatest desire He had wanted to share THIS Passover with them. Why this Passover in particular? We understand that it was to be His last meal with them. but there is more here. This Passover was not about the end of something, it was about the beginning of something even better.

This intimate meal together in an upper room away from the crowds and the controversies had been so eagerly anticipated by Jesus because it was this occasion He had chosen as His betrothal ceremony. (For a fuller discussion on this please read my article: The Bride: Her Betrothal.)

With much longsuffering and patient endurance He had watched and waited while His disciples strove to understand His parables, jostled with one another for importance, and struggled to comprehend a coming Kingdom that was completely foreign to their natural understanding. He would wait even longer for them as one would soon deny Him and others would flee in fear.

Jesus knew their weaknesses and the failures that were to come, yet still He had earnestly longed for and anticipated this special time with them. He knew they did not understand they were the first fruits of the Bride His Father had promised Him; He knew they would not initially perceive the reasons for His impending death; He knew in the days immediately to follow they would suffer confusion and despair and wonder why He had abandoned them; He knew also that centuries in human time would pass before He would eat and drink again with His Betrothed at the great Marriage Feast. And knowing all these things, He was prepared to wait, and still waits.

Such is the longsuffering of the Lamb.

There is an Old Testament passage that paints a poignant prophetic picture of Christ earnestly anticipating the first glimpse of His long awaited Bride in Genesis 24:63-67.    Isaac, an Old Testament type of Christ, is found out in a field, surrounded by his vast inherited domain, meditating (sometimes translated as praying, or lamenting). On what is he meditating? Could it be the bride he knows his father’s trusted steward has been sent to find for him? It is evening, the end of a long day, and looking up from his meditation he sees a caravan approaching, carrying the bride he has so long pictured, planned for and desired. How will she respond? Will she willingly leave behind every trace of the life she has known to embrace the new life he longs to give her? Or does she come to him halfheartedly, looking back over her shoulder, wondering if he will be worth the long and difficult journey she has endured?

As a young Christian in my mid-teens I remember becoming deeply aware the Lord was placing a call to ministry on my life, but I was reluctant. I wanted desperately to be a wife and mother, to build a life centred around a secure and warm family environment that was lacking in my own life at that time. I pleaded to be allowed to do those things first, and the Lord allowed me what I asked for.

Many years later, in middle age with children grown and any thought of ministry long forgotten, to my great shock, He suddenly asked me to go on a teaching trip to Africa. At that time I had never even travelled outside my own country of Australia. His very clear message to me was: “I granted you the things you asked of Me, and I have waited for you all these years. Now it’s My turn.”

Do I regret marriage and children? Of course not. Does the Lord regret His choice to give them to me? Again, of course not. He did not waste those years, teaching me many precious lessons and granting me four greatly treasured children through the path He allowed me to take. The Lord often has more than one route to the same destination. But He chose to wait for me because He somehow considered me worth waiting for, and I did not even know it until the day He told me He had done so.

On that day I learned something about Christ I had not previously understood: that He is longsuffering and His longsuffering is intrinsically linked to His grace.

And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted…”

When such immense grace has been revealed to us, the last thing we will ever want to do is take advantage of it by giving Christ anything less than His rightful place of pre-eminence in all things.

And yes, He is more than worth the journey, no matter what course it takes.

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2014   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

Featured Poem for February: All The Way Home

Bread for the Bride will take a short break for a couple of weeks while I am away teaching in Asia.  In the meantime here is the  featured work of poetry for this new month of February.  This is a new poem called All the Way Home, previously unpublished.  I hope it blesses you immensely.

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All the Way Home

I have known Your smile

Dancing like fiery embers

Across my tepid soul

Like sudden sunshine on a winter day

A fountain of unexpected Light

Splashing spontaneously over my half-heartedness

Dispelling the blanketing fog

Bidding me drink deeply

And bask in the beaming glow

 

 

I have known Your tears

Wrenching, flooding

Tearing deeply

In raw and brittle brokenness

In unutterable sadness

As wounded Innocence overflowed

And Love misunderstood poured out

Spilling down and down

In rushing torrents of unbounded sorrow

 

 

I have known Your touch

Tender and mysterious

Pulsating with the Life that You are

Familiar yet unpredictable

An irresistible fragrance

Compelling me to follow

In dangerous abandonment

To run with You across golden galaxies

And watch the sun rise from a distant dawn

 

 

I have known You

But so much more infinitely

Have You known me

Before the foundation of the world

You found me

Took me by the hand

And gently led me

 

All the way home

 

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2014   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

To The Church In Kenya

This message has just been sent in an email to Christian friends in Kenya.  I feel the Lord wants it shared here also.  If you do not believe that the Holy Spirit gives prophetic messages in these times, or you are not interested in current events in Africa, you will save yourself some time by reading no further.
If, however, you do believe that the Lord speaks to His church in these days through prophecy, and care about what He is doing and saying to His Bride, please feel free to read on.  I would also ask  if you are Kenyan or in touch with Kenyan Christians, that you would pass this message on for their prayerful and sincere consideration.
Cheryl McGrath
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Dear Kenyan brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,
You are all heavily on my heart at this time in the aftermath of the Westgate tragedy.  I know that now the siege has been declared over and you enter a time of mourning and deep reflection, many questions will be asked in Kenya.  Many people are still in shock, many will express anger at the perpetrators and also possibly at the governing authorities concerning issues of how the situation may have been handled better.  This is the normal reaction of people after such a traumatic national event. 
 
I am writing to encourage you to not be distracted at this time by becoming involved in such things as criticism of governing authorities, politicians or particular individuals.  Please leave those matters to those who are in the world.  You are not in the world, you are in Christ.  This is a time when the Kenyan people need spiritual leadership from the Christian church as never before.  Therefore it is imperative that you act and speak from your eternal position in Christ, even more than your temporary position as Kenyan citizens.  It is vitally important that as Kenyan Christians you seek the Lord in travailing prayer, both individually and corporately, for understanding of why this terrible event has taken place, and how you can best represent Jesus Christ in your nation during these days of sorrow and into the future.
 
I write as one with a deep love for Kenya and for the Kenyan people.  Since 2001 I have visited your nation on five separate occasions to minister the word of God, the last time in October 2011.  Personally I am deeply committed to seeing the Kenyan church established on solid foundations in the Word of God and flourishing in abiding, faithful  relationship with Jesus Christ.  The ministry set up by my husband and myself is demonstrating this commitment practically through facilitating support for a children’s home in Kitale, and through the provision of teaching materials and Bible training in rural churches in association with local leaders.  I share this information only so you will know I do not speak as a stranger, but as a friend and committed supporter of the Kenyan church.   Though separated by many thousands of miles, part of my heart always remains in Kenya and I grieve deeply with you over the senseless loss of life, injuries and trauma experienced in Nairobi over recent days.
 
In 2005, when I ministered at a conference at Bikeke in Western Kenya, I shared a prophetic word which had been given to me by the Holy Spirit for the church leaders in Kenya.  I asked the leaders present at that conference to take that word, share it, and carry it prayerfully in their hearts so that the church would be prepared for what was coming.   To what extent that request was followed through I cannot say. However, I believe it is time to again present that word to you as the disciples of Jesus Christ in Kenya.  In doing so I want you to know how deeply seriously I take the responsibility of sharing this word with you now, just as I did in 2005.  I present this to you once again from a place of tears, with the deepest love for the Bride of Christ in Kenya.
 

Word for the Kenyan Church As Delivered November 19, 2005, at Bikeke, Kenya

Relevant Scriptures: Exodus 14:21,22; 1 Cor. 10:1-2; Acts 27:12-15; Psalm 138:1-3 & 7-8

The Lord spoke to me of an east wind coming to His church in Kenya. We see in the scriptures that an east wind was always a harsh, rough wind. When it blew across Israel it stripped the crops. It was also known for setting ships off course. The east wind was not a welcome wind in Israel. Therefore the Lord says this is not a word that you will want to hear, nevertheless it must be heard. He is allowing this wind to come in order to cleanse and purify His Kenya church.

In Exodus 14: 21-22 we see that God sent an east wind to divide the waters of the Red Sea when Israel was coming out of Egypt. In scripture, Egypt is representative of the world and all its compromises. 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 tells us that when the Israelites crossed over between the walls of water, they were baptised into Moses. In other words, this crossing over was a shadow of water baptism. The sea became a place of baptism, and that place was provided for them by the strong east wind which parted the waters. The Lord is saying there is a coming “baptism of fire” for the church in Kenya which will come with this spiritual east wind He is sending. Through tribulation a Bride will come forth in Kenya fit for the Lord.

Furthermore in Acts 27:13,14 we read “and when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. So when the ship was caught and could not head into the wind, we let her drive.” By a word of knowledge, Paul had warned those in charge of the ship that they were headed for disaster (v.10), but his advice was not heeded. Deceived by a peaceful south wind, those on board believed they were safe. But suddenly a tempestuous head wind arose and set the ship off course. The name of this wind, Euroclydon, means “north east wind”.

I believe the Lord is saying it shall seem for a time to many in the church that they are headed for peace and safety, and this may be so for a season. However, this is not a time for the church to slumber. It is a time to prepare for what is coming, for the east wind will surely come to Kenya. The church leaders are to take these days of relative calm to prepare and strengthen the church so she may stand in Christ when the future time of testing comes.

The Lord also gave Psalm 138:1-3 and 7-8, and said there is revival coming to the Kenyan church and it will be a revival of the pure Word of God. Fear of the Lord will settle on the true Kenyan Bride. Kenyans will go forth to other African nations and to the world bearing a pure and uncompromised Word of the Lord spoken in all truth and authority. But this revival is coming forth through tribulation. The Lord will have for Himself a Bride-church in Kenya who reflects His holiness and His glory.

The Lord’s message to the Kenyan church is “prepare a place for Me”. It is to be the first place, the pre-eminent place, the same place Mary of Bethany gave Him as she sat at His feet and learned of Him. Leaders should take stock of their lives and their ministries, and should prepare their people. He is coming to find a place for Himself, not just to visit, but to dwell. You shall see the Lord high and lifted up over Kenya, but in the midst of trouble. The Lord says “when you see the east wind begin to blow across your nation, know it is I, and prepare for Me.”

The Lord did not give me any specific time frames for the coming of this “east wind” and I do not set forth dates or seasons. This word, as all prophetic words, should be brought before the Lord in prayerful intercession, and tested by the Spirit and the Word by the Kenyan church.

End of Prophetic Word

Brethren, it is sad to realise those who came to carry out evil plans in Nairobi this week travelled from the country geographically east and north east of Kenya.  I believe the spiritual east wind has now begun to blow in full force.  It is time for the church in Kenya to put away the false gospels of prosperity, lying signs and wonders and personal kingdom building.  It is time to forever forsake lingering witchcraft, greed, tribal rivalries and other compromises, and seek first the Kingdom of God.  Kenya is a key nation into Africa, and the Kenyan church has a key role to play in Africa.  The Lord has a specific purpose for the Kenyan church but first the church must be soundly established on His pure Word. In relation to this,  please also take time to read a subsequent prophetic message which was given for the African church in 2011 here.

I would ask if the prophetic message shared above finds witness within your spirit,  please share it among your church families, and other Kenyan Christians who can be trusted to take it to prayer, and make whatever changes and take whatever actions are directed by the Holy Spirit.  Know that my sincere love and prayers are with you as you stand together in Christ in the coming days.  May He be truly glorified in your midst and may your joy in Him run over abundantly.

In Christ,

Cheryl McGrath, Australia

Great South Land MInistries

 © Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2013   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

We Are for Signs and Wonders

White Rose

Signs and wonders.  They certainly have been a subject of controversy over recent years. 

On the one hand there are those who vehemently reject the notion that signs and wonders have any place in today’s church.  They seem to believe God doesn’t reveal Himself with signs and wonders today because we are so much more sophisticated and wiser than the people of Bible times.  The very idea of a supernatural God offends their intellectual pride.  We now have seminaries, commentaries and great theological minds to explain God to us so signs and wonders are obsolete.

On the other hand there are those who zealously pursue signs and wonders.  They seem to believe any supernatural occurrence is better than none, even if it doesn’t align with the character and words of Christ.   So hungry are they to experience signs and wonders first hand they gather eagerly around any ministry leader appearing to produce such events with little or no trace of any spiritual wisdom or discernment.

Neither camp realizes that both these extremes are simply different manifestations of the one carnal spirit:  religion.  Yes, I did say both.  The religious spirit in man is not always about austerity, legalism and hard heartedness.   It can just as easily be found among those who seek experiences over seeking Christ and value spiritual gifts over spiritual fruit. 

Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom” wrote Paul to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1:22). The Greek mindset was to elevate intellectualism and disdain anything that could not be understood through natural human wisdom.  The Jewish mindset was that God must first prove Himself God by signs and wonders.  The Pharisees and religious leaders of Jesus’ day demonstrated both viewpoints, sometimes questioning Jesus’ lack of religious instruction and at other times demanding He perform signs and wonders (Jn. 7:15-17; Jn. 6:30).  Both these attitudes are rooted in carnality, both are the religion of the flesh rather than the Spirit of God, and both are still very much active within modern Christianity.

(For the record I am not at all anti ‘revival’ or the manifestations that sometimes accompany a visitation of the Holy Spirit, as long as Christ is kept central and signs, wonders and manifestations do not become the main event.) 

So zealous for signs and wonders were the Jewish leaders they could not recognize the greatest sign and the greatest wonder when He stood among them.  Jesus came as a sign to His generation and to ours (Luke 2:24).  A sign points the way or announces something.  He came pointing the way back to the Father and announcing the coming of the Kingdom. 

Jesus came as a wonder. A wonder is a mystery, something that cannot be understood or explained by natural human thought.  Over and again it was said of Jesus “Who is this?”  or “By what authority do you do what you do?”  (Matt. 21:10; Mar. 4:41; Luke 5:21; Luke 9:9;  Luke 20:20;Jn. 12:34).  Humanity, including the religious leaders of the day, simply could not wrap their minds around Him or rationally explain Him.  He was a phenomenon like no other that has appeared on earth before or since.

Likewise the Bride of Christ must grow up into the understanding that she, herself, is the greatest of God’s present signs and wonders.  She points the way to Christ, she is a mystery upon the face of the earth.

“Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me.  We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts who dwells in Mount Zion” cried the prophet Isaiah (Is. 8:18).  Isaiah knew a little bit about being a sign and a wonder.  He was required by God to walk naked and barefoot for three years as a prophetic sign of God’s judgment against Egypt.

I’m not in any way suggesting followers of Christ need to discard their clothing and go barefoot.  But the Bride of Christ is a prophetic company.  And, as all you aspiring prophets out there will be painfully learning, being prophetic and being a sign and a wonder go hand in hand.  A prophet points the way and announces something. 

The Bride is naked in the sense that she is being made into one who walks the earth transparent in motive and character.  She is barefoot in the sense that she is casting off all man-made religious works to run unhindered heralding the gospel of the Kingdom.

Jesus came as the sign to the world of another Kingdom….a Kingdom where ‘zoe’ life, the supernatural life-essence of God, is the life source, where sacrificial love has replaced legalism, where death cannot enter.  The current emergence of His Bride on the earth bears witness to the Kingdom He first proclaimed, and announces the imminent return of the King and His Kingdom to rule and reign on the earth.

This called, chosen and faithful Bridal company, are for signs and wonders.  It is not for us to concern ourselves with pursuing signs and wonders as if they are something strange and alien to us.  We are the sign, we are the wonder, and as such, supernatural life will flow naturally from our midst.

A day is also at hand when many current methods of spiritual warfare will pass away.  Jesus didn’t need to focus on engaging principalities and powers.  He was Light and wherever He walked the darkness scattered and could not remain (Jn. 1:5).  Even so, spiritual darkness must scatter and make way before the Light manifesting through the Bride of Christ as she walks this world.

We are for signs and wonders on the earth from the Lord of Hosts who dwells in Mount Zion.   Heaven watches, powers of darkness worry, and the world will soon wonder as the Bride of Christ comes forth by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Do you hear what the Spirit is saying?  We, you and I, are for signs, we are for wonders!  And though signs and wonders will flow freely forth from this emerging bridal company, they shall fade in comparison to the great sign and wonder that is the Bride herself.  If we can receive it, this, with suffering, is our appointed destiny.

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2013   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.