"Put on the whole armour of God…" Eph. 6:11
"…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Rev. 21:2
The church is compared to many things in Scripture, but two of the most common are the warrior and lover.
Paul often uses military terms in describing our relationship with the world. We have to put on the whole armour of God to fight against the wiles of the devil. We know that we are not using physical weapons, but spiritual weapons which will impact both the spiritual and physical worlds.
Sometimes we get careless. We forget the danger of the war we are involved in. Yes, if we are genuine believers our eternity destiny is secure, but the Christian life is far more than that. We walk through this world like moving through a minefield. We have the map [Holy Spirit and the Bible] to get us safely through, but a careless step and things can blow up in our face and injure others as well.
We are warriors, fighting under the command of the Lord Jesus Christ and those He has placed in spiritual authority in our lives. No successful warrior fights alone unless there is no choice. We need to take this very seriously. Not only fighting for the justice of Christ in the world, but also fighting against sin in our own lives.
In this war, we need to keep in mind that we are not fighting against people, although we may have to oppose evil people. Those people are being activated by unseen evil powers and used as pawns. We focus on the spiritual where the headquarters of the war is located.
Men usually [but not always] find this aspect of the Church easier to identify with.
Another aspect of the Church is the lover, the bride of Christ. With the world we are at war, but with Christ we are in love. We want to come into His presence, feel His warm embrace, know that we are accepted and loved. We enter into praise and worship. Worship is how we make love to Jesus. It is a skill and an art that many of us have lost or not developed.
Remember, men, that we are the bride of Christ, not the groom. It is hard for us to look at things from a female perspective. We are not the initiators, but the responders. Jesus is the Initiator, we respond in love and worship and living pleasing to Him. For men who are married, this may be an area that we can learn a lot from our wives.
Women usually [but not always] find it easier to identify with the bride/lover of Christ.
Whether we are male or female we need to know that both these aspects of the Church are to be in our personal and corporate lives. We tend to focus on one and neglect the other. We need a balanced life. We are both warriors and lovers at the same time. And we need to learn, cultivate and develop both aspects.