12/2/09

A Better Focus on Prophecy

I write for a prophecy ministry, so my head and heart are fine-tuned to world events that point to the End Times. I love the predictions and prophecies of the Bible. It is a love instilled in me from youth by my mother, Patricia, who shared the truths she heard from great prophecy preachers in the past. But lately, though I still study the signs of Christ’s coming and other End Times themes, there is a subtle nudge in my spirit that there might be a better focus for my time.

I believe the Holy Spirit is reminding me that if I’m truly looking forward to Christ’s coming, I need to “stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model” for my own (1 John 3:1-3, the Message). The Bible says there is a special crown for those who “love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). If we love the soon-appearing of our Lord, we’ll continue to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith (4:7).

But what if we don’t love His appearing? How do we change our hearts? We love Jesus’ appearing more and more as we fall in love with Him (1 John 4:19), abide in His loving presence (John 15:9), and obey Him (John 14:23).

My husband leaves for weeks of ministry in foreign countries, and I miss him because I love him. It’s not really any different with Jesus—only magnified beyond our ability to express it. The more we know our beloved heavenly Bridegroom, the more we miss Him and long for his return.

When I was younger and immature in my faith, I prayed that God would delay His return and allow me to get married, to have children, to do so many things. Later, He did a work of grace in my heart, and today, though I’m sometimes distracted by the baubles and pursuits of earth, there’s really not anything else I long for in life. I’ve realized that I’m just passing through a short space of time, and nothing will last except my relationship with the Lord. I just want Him—I want to see Jesus! I want Him to snatch me up into His presence in heaven. The Bible tells me He will, and I believe it will be soon (1 Thess. 4:16-18).

The disciples knew Jesus in a precious, intimate relationship. They spoke often of their love for Him. Paul and James encouraged believers to keep working hard for Christ, and to establish and purify their lives until His return (1 Thess. 4:12-13; Titus 2:12-13; James 5:8). We don’t know when Jesus will return for His Bride. Even Jesus, while on earth, did not know the exact time when that would occur (Matt. 24:35-36). But the promise of His coming is powerful—an encouragement, comfort, and incentive toward holiness and faithful service.

It’s not hard to imagine the Apostle John, saying, “Yes! Come, Master Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20 The Message). That’s my prayer, too.

See: "Anticipation," a Christmas message that focuses on the return of the Lord.

2 comments:

Marja said...

Thank you for another great post Dawn. There are times indeed when I look forward to His return, but sometimes I wish He'll postpone because so many have not yet made the decision to follow Him...
Blessings to you!

Dawn Wilson said...

Yes, I think we ALL get in that "Even so, Come Lord Jesus...but not until uncle Hank receives you" mode.