The following is a recap of Revive 2014 written by Michelle Paradis. May it be an insider’s view for those who missed the retreat and a reminder for those who attended.
Why is it easier to tell a friend that she is holy and beloved than to tell myself I am holy and beloved? I suspect more than a few of you know what I mean. When I tell my friend of her precious identity in Christ, I am confident, certain, undaunted. When I tell myself, I am hesitant, anxious, and mousy.
During our retreat we dove into the book of Colossians and we heard verses that are worth revising and having sink into our souls.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
We were once all penniless paupers, wearing dirty soiled rags, dragging along a torn suitcase full of heavy sins. But our redemption unfolded, and we were turned into holy and beloved brides whose bright lineage was established. I loved Eileen’s story of her sister as a bride. See, I’m getting married next month, on the first day of Spring, and I had experienced the putting on of a wedding gown fairly recently. I had searched high and low for the perfect dress and when I found the right one, I knew it because as soon as I was wearing it I felt more the bride than I had felt up to that point in my matrimonial journey. Putting on the dress felt a lot like Colossians 3:10: Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
We were told by Suzie from the beginning of the retreat that putting on the new self is not about works and it’s true. We are already brides and putting on our new garments is a response to who Jesus is. He is the bridegroom and we are the bride, which we became as soon as we accepted him to be our Savior. You see, God already views us as the bride. We don’t need to do anything to earn it. No bride is stained. Every bride is pure, beautiful, and perfect. That’s you! It is worth noting though that a bride who wears her wedding gown is indicating to the world that she is indeed a bride. So we choose to respond to the invitation to put on our new wedding robes because it is who we already are and who we are meant to be; it is our God-ordained essence.
We are royalty already, the bride of the most high King. God’s royalty, queens and princesses. We are brides whether we don tattered rags or we are robed in glorious bridal gowns. But we choose now what we will adorn ourselves with. Will we don His robes of love? When we choose to put on the new robes of love, of compassion, of kindness, of humility, we are choosing to take part in God’s divine rule and order, we are choosing His best for us. And one day we will take part in the royal wedding. We will wait with bated breathe, but for now, put on your glorious robes because you are the beautiful, beloved, holy bride of the most high King. Who we are is defined by God and God only. This is a fact whether we realize it or not. We are not defined by the culture, by what other people tell us, or even what we think of ourselves. We are defined only by our Creator.
You are holy and beloved. You are set apart just for Jesus. You are His chosen precious bride. Believe it, let it reverberate in your soul. Let your face shine with the knowledge that you are His bride. And step into your glorious bridal robes.