Bridal Preparations & Intercession - Originally Released Oct 17/20
I truly believe that we the church are living in the days of bridal preparation, the church is being prepared as a bride for the day of the Bridegroom. In Jewish tradition, preparation for the betrothal ceremony, the bride (kallah) and groom (chatan) are separately immersed in water in a ritual called the MIKVAH.
Jesus was immersed into a baptism of complete surrender to the will of the Father. Mark 10:38, "But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
Just as the Bridegroom was immersed in the waters of surrender, the Bride too is immersed into a baptism of complete surrender, refining, and separation for the bridegroom. John said in Matt 3:11, I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
In this season of bridal preparation, the Lord is refining the bride in many areas, but a few that have been brought to my attention are those of Character, Anointing, & First Love.
2 Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Rev 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
The Lord has been highlighting to me the record of the life of Queen Esther, She is a type and shadow of the church, the bride of Christ. To summarize the life of Queen Esther, first of all she was a jew and despised by her cultural society, she was orphaned, but yet she was summoned with all the other virgins to the Kingdom to seek the favour of the King, through which she underwent intense preparation for a time through the care and oversight of Hegai the custodian of the women. She gained favour in the sight of the king and became queen only to learn of the plight of her peoples future was to be one of destruction because of their scheming, hateful enemies. Under the direction of her adoring uncle Mordecai, Queen Esther again prepared herself through fastings and many tears to intercede for the fate of her fellow kinsmen the jews, that she might find favour in the eyes of the king to bring her cry before him. Her preparation and beauty was found delightful in the sight of the king and her intercession for her people brought a great deliverance in the land!
Lets look at the scripture text in Esther
Then the king’s servants who attended him said: “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king; and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women’s quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king’s eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them.
I want to highlight, and point out to you 2 things from this scripture as we continue to read.
#1. Let’s look at Hegai, a type of the Holy Spirit
#2. The Beauty Preparations under the guidance of Hegai
Esther 2:8-9 So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.
Esther 2:12 After she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
Esther 2:15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.
I see 4 Takeaways from the Scriptures above.
#1. The Oil of Myrrh: Represents our Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Myrrh was the main ingredient that the priests used in the temple for anointing oil and anointing oil represents Holiness.
This time of preparation that Esther underwent with the precious oil and perfumes for her beautification represents our preparation as the body and bride of Christ, the purification and beautifying of the bride! We are to be well acquainted with the baptism of oil, the Holy Ghost and fire.
#2. Perfumes & Preparation: Represents the prayers of the saints. This aroma is sweet in the nostrils of God and our prayers are stored in vials in Heaven.
We are to be a praying church releasing the perfumes of prayer and worship arising to the very throne of God. Interceding on behalf of one another, interceding for governments and the nations
#3. Best Place: (in the house of women) Represents our encounter in the secret place, our communion and relationship with the Lord.
Esther was provided with a “place” for her beautification, allow the Holy Spirit to draw you into the secret place, a place of fellowship, peace, communion, worship, protection from chaos of what might be happening on the outside, a “place” of encountering God.
The Lord really stirred my heart a few weeks ago to create a literal space in our home that is a dedicated area to the presence. I chose our living room. I have my piano set up in there, so a lot of worship already comes forth from that place already, so I removed the tv, and I dedicated that space to worship and prayer.
#4. Esther Appropriated Only What Hegai Advised: Represents our dependance on the Holy Spirit to advise, teach and guide our lives with distinction.
We as the church must recognize the role of the Holy Spirit as Custodian of our lives just as Esther recognized the role that Hegai played in her preparation.
And All of this!!!! The Bible says was “provided for her from the Kings palace.” As we look to the Kingdom of God and set our gaze there, we will find Kingdom provision.
I find it interesting that Esthers time of preparation was 12 months. Reminds me of the 10 virgins in scripture in Matt 25:6, “And at midnight (or the twelfth hour) a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out (come out from your “Place of Preparation”) to meet him!’ Upon the completion of the chaste virgins preparation and beautification, the cry was sent forth that the Bridegroom was coming! Their lamps were filled with oil, even though for a moment they slept in the waiting, they were prepared and ready upon Bridegroom’s arrival.
In closing, let’s briefly look at “For Such a Time as This”
The Lord had been whispering in my ears for the past several weeks, “For such a time as this!” On the 4th day of this week, Oct 14th, I couldn’t get away from my spirit crying out the words, “for such a time as this”, so I looked up the text in scripture. Much to my delight I realized that it was found in the 14th verse of 4th chapter of Esther! Thus confirming to me further that the Lord was leading me into study on this powerful story! To top it off, like icing on the cake, as I’m sitting their on my bed with my bible opened to Esther 4:14, I randomly picked up my phone and turned on facebook and there was a memory reminder that pops up! On Oct 14/17 we recorded the video for my sister’s song Chosen “Israel” downtown Fredericton in front of City Hall. Chosen “Israel” is a beautiful song of prayer and intercession for Israel! Amazing amazing! When the Holy Spirit is speaking, He has a way of getting our attention!
Looking in context at Esther 4:14 we realize that Esther is now queen and wicked Haman had been sent with the destructive decree that decimation was to be served to the jews! The kings command and decree sent the people of God into a frenzy of great mourning, weeping and fasting. Once again Esther finds herself in a place of receiving “admonition” from a source of leadership in her life, only this time it wasn’t coming from Hegai. This time it was coming from her uncle, a type of “Father” figure in her life. These were his words to her.
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your fathers house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
Let’s take a moment to look at current events. There has been a modern day Mordecai cry released from the Fathers of our faith in the hour in which we now live. To name a handful we have heard this cry being released Jonathan Cahn, Franklin Graham, Dutch Sheets, Bill Johnson & David Demian, but there are many many more releasing this call of intercession!
Esther responded to Mordecai’s call with action! She took the advice of the “Father Figure” and admonished that all should pray and fast and seek the Lord in such a tumultuous time! Esther chapter 5 says that on the 3rd day she adorned herself in her beautiful royal robes and stood in the inner court of the the king’s palace! When the king saw her standing in the inner court she found favour in his sight! Could it be that in all her preparation from the beginning of her royal journey that God would anoint her to be the intercessor for an entire people? Could God be raising up anointed, prepared Esther’s all over the world in every nation to stand in royal robes of righteousness and beauty in the inner court of the King and intercede for the peoples? The king said to her, “Esther, what is your request? What is your petition?”
God has placed you for such a time as this in His kingdom right where you are, to bring the Esther anointing into the earth! I believe our Kings response will be, What is your request? What is your petition?
Here is one final scripture to portray the beauty of how God tenderly prepares those He loves.
Ezekiel 16:8-14 'When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,' says the Lord GOD. “Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord GOD.