Dear beloved and highly esteemed of our Lord Jesus, yesterday we began a new series on the Bride in the wilderness, although we didn’t look at the wilderness yesterday, but instead I wanted to bring our attention to the occasion when Jesus first manifest His glory. As we saw, it was at the wedding in Cana, when Jesus turned the water into wine. One of the reasons I began our journey there, is because of the connection between the manifestation of Bridegroom glory, and the place which He had just come from which was the wilderness. Looking at the Gospel accounts of when Jesus began His earthly ministry, we learn that it was after His baptism (Luke 3:21-23). And immediately after His baptism the Bible records in Matt 4:1 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” So, the wedding in Cana would have been after His baptism, and therefore after His time in the wilderness. I don’t want to get caught up on dates, but the point is that the wilderness temptation of our Lord was a necessary part of His preparation as the Bridegroom, and we see that His glory was made manifest on the first of His miracles at the Cana Wedding.
As we have learnt previously, for the Bridegroom to be made one with His Bride, requires that the two are absolutely compatible with each other, for He cannot unite with anyone other than that which has come from Him, the same spiritual DNA, that’s why we are “partakers of the Divine nature” 2 Pet 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 for our Bridegroom? Well, let me share a simple principle with you.
We are transformed to be conformed and we are conformed to be compatible.
Now here’s our lesson for today: our Bridegroom prepared in the wilderness for the ministry which lay before Him, and immediately after during a wedding His glory was made manifest. If the woman is the glory of the man, and therefore the Bride the glory of the Bridegroom, and if as Jesus said in John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” Then the Bride must also be prepared in the same way that Jesus was. Yes, we too are being led by the Spirit into the Wilderness so that we can be transformed. And we are transformed so that we are conformed, conformed to His image (Rom 8:29) and we are conformed so that we are completely compatible for our Beloved.
The wilderness is not a place of suffering or misery or self-pity, but it is the place of romance. It is the place where we are separated out from the crowds into solitude so that we can be alone with Him. It is the place of intimacy. 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, she turns the Valley of Baka into refreshing springs (Ps 84:6) Because Creation itself recognises and responds to 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.” Hos 2:14