“Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build for Me? And where is the place of My rest?’” Isaiah 66:1
The Lord is looking for a place to rest – a prepared people that have made Him and His purposes central. The place that He has chosen to rest is the regenerated heart of the surrendered soul – the New Testament ekklesia, both individually and corporately. Even though we are the temple of God individually and corporately (see 1 Cor. 3:17; 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1), the Lord is still looking for that place that has been prepared in every room and closet to be His abode where He is welcomed and made the central focus.
Our Inheritance of Abraham’s Promises through Christ
…and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son–blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Gen. 22:16-18).
When the commanded blessing is released, the promises given to Abraham become an experiential reality in the lives of those who are in Christ. The blessings promised to Abraham include physical, mental, emotional, financial and family prosperity and blessings, as was demonstrated in the blessing of the Lord upon Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all their progeny. But there is another blessing promised to Abraham that all those in Christ have available to them: complete dominion over every enemy (“your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies”). This means there remains a promise yet unfulfilled that the Lord Himself said would happen.
What is transition anyway? It is a defined leaving of the familiar we have been in, and going through a narrow, confining passage, to an unfamiliar place. It’s a place that holds no name because it is the space between where we were and where we are going. If we observe a bundle of smashed grapes, we can no longer identify the distinct, beautiful, plump, ripe fruit. It is not what it was; it is not yet what it is to become — juice or wine. More grapes, additional ingredients and time all play an integral role in the transformation of the grapes to the desired, new state. Many of us are like these grapes; we are ripe fruit presently being squeezed through a narrow place. Just like the grapes, the Lord is changing us into who He has called us to be. Transition is what we pass through to become; it is the place of transformation.
We are a Bride Awaiting Our Bridegroom
Jesus is returning for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle. We know that Jesus must have a bride that bears His image. The bride, who is the church, must make herself ready (Rev. 19:7-8). If we examine the betrothal process of the Hebrew culture, we can begin to understand how to embrace the intimate relationship the Lord desires.
It was customary for a Hebrew young man to prepare a Ketubah, a marriage contract (a covenant), which he presented to his intended bride and her father. Included in this covenant was the Bride Price, an appropriate gesture in Jewish society meant to compensate the young woman’s parents for the cost of raising her. In addition, and more importantly, the payment was considered an expression of the man’s love for his intended bride. This betrothal covenant was legally binding once the bride and her family accepted the terms of his Ketubah.