One morning while I was spending focused time with Jesus, a strong desire rose up within me to experience His affections. I picked up Mike Bickle’s book, The Pleasures of Loving God, and turned to the chapter that describes the longings of the bride of Christ. The following is a paraphrase of what I read:
Something powerful is awakened in us when we truly know and feel our Bridegroom’s enjoyment of us, and we respond in abandonment to Him. Even a little knowledge of how much He enjoys us goes a very long way. Our love for Jesus rests on the assurance that we are not only wanted and pursued by Him, but that He also enjoys and delights in us.*
Hmmm … I am wanted, pursued, enjoyed, and delighted in by Jesus. My heart was stirred as I read this, and the thought went through my mind, The only way we can truly enjoy our relationship with Jesus is to experience His enjoyment of us. This caused me to pray, “Lord, help me experience Your emotions for me. I want to feel what You feel for me.” Have you ever heard the expression, “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it”? I was totally unprepared for the kiss I was about to receive from my affectionate Bridegroom.
I turned on some beautiful music, got on my knees, and just sat at His feet, worshipping Him. I was moved to tears, and in my mind’s eye I could see them wetting His nail-scarred feet. All of a sudden, this overwhelming emotion came over me. I saw Jesus (also in my mind’s eye) clothed in the royal garments of a prince, much like we see in movies set in medieval times. He was trying to get to me so that He could lavish me with His love. But something was holding Him back.
I began to realize that the barrier was not a something but a someone. It was the hand of Father God. I wondered why He was restraining Jesus. In response to my unspoken thought, I heard a gentle voice in my mind, If I allowed My Son to lavish you with His full affection while you are in your mortal body, you wouldn’t be able to bear it.
Even now, as I reflect on this vision, it brings tears to my eyes. Although we will not be able to experience the fullness of His intense affection for us until we are clothed with our glorified bodies, it doesn’t hurt to ask Him to help us experience as much of it as possible while we are on this earth (1 Cor. 15:50–55). Go ahead, ask! You won’t be disappointed.
Not long after that personal revelation of the magnitude of Jesus’s affections for me, I shared this experience with a close friend of mine, who also has a heart for the romance of our Bridegroom. Later that evening, along with our good friends, Ben & Jerry, we were watching a remake of the Cinderella story called Ever After. At the end of the movie, Prince Henry of France has just left his botched, arranged wedding to a Spanish princess, where they both realized that their hearts would not allow them to go through with the ceremony. Each of them was in love with a commoner. In this scene, Henry has just arrived at the brooding castle where Danielle, the peasant girl he has fallen in love with, is being held captive by a sinister villain.
Danielle manages to escape at the same time Henry rides up on his horse. As he dismounts and walks toward her, she bows her head in shame, painfully aware of her soiled appearance. With an orphan shoe in his hand, Henry drops to one knee, declares that she is his match in every way, and asks her to be his wife.
As I watched this tender scene (which, by the way, is our love story), I realized that Prince Henry’s attire was the same as what Jesus was wearing in the vision He had given me. I told my friend this, and her face lit up as she grinned and said, “Those are his wedding garments!” I understood then that the vision had an even richer meaning: It is the Bridegroom love that our physical bodies would not be able to endure if we were to fully experience it while on this earth. Oh, how He loves us!
Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking, “Have you ever personally experienced Jesus’s affection for you, where you could actually feel what He was feeling?” If so, I would love to hear your story. If not, go ahead and ask Him! You won’t be disappointed.
If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.
Until next time,
P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.
*Mike Bickle, The Pleasures of Loving God (Lake Mary, Fla.: Charisma House, 2000), 111.
MY CONTACT INFORMATION:
Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070