Max Lucado tells a story from ages past about a stately prince and a peasant girl who fall in love. This really a difficult one to understand. On the one hand is a prince who literally had the world at His disposal. There has never been a more perfect specimen of a man that ever lived. Nothing about Him was common. You wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that He is a perfect catch.
On the other hand there is a peasant girl. She is nothing more than average. At her best she is plain, but at her worst she can be just plain ugly. There are times when she is cranky and moody, and she rarely ever achieves all she could. To look at her from anyone else’s eyes you would never believe she was worth much. But if you could see her through the eyes of the prince, you would believe that she is “to die for.”
Because the prince determined that He couldn’t bear to live without her, he asked her to be His bride. The angels in heaven listened expectantly as she accepted his proposal. The prince promised his bride that He would come back for her soon, and the peasant turned princess pledged to faithfully await his return.
To this point the story could be any of a number of fairy tales, but now the plot takes a bizarre twist. You would expect the bride to be always thinking about the coming wedding, but she rarely ever mentions it. You would think that her every waking moment would be lived out in anticipation and preparation for the coming of her prince. However, by the way she lives you wouldn’t even know she’s the bride of a perfect prince. More frequently than not, you can’t even tell the difference between the bride and any of the other peasant girls in the village. There are even times when she can be seen flirting with the other men of the village in broad daylight, and who knows what she is doing when nobody is around to see!
Can you imagine a peasant girl fortunate enough to be the object of a perfect prince’s eternal love? You would expect her to be captivated by His love and filled with a sense of wonder that she was fortunate enough to be loved by Him. You would think that she would be careful to remain pure in anticipation of the return of her royal groom. Instead, to look at her you might wonder if she even remembers she is engaged at all. How could a peasant forget about her prince? Is it possible for a bride to forget her groom? (Lucado, When Christ Comes, p. 138)
In order for us to change our behavior, we need a change of heart. When Saul had his encounter on the road to Damascus in Acts 9 it changed his life, his name and his behavior. Until the Bride of Christ has an encounter with Jesus, her behavior won't change.
This is why I do what I do. This is why I have a passion for sharing the message of Jesus Christ. We have heard, "People don't change until they hurt enough they have to, or learn enough they want to." Pain is a megaphone, but knowledge is a much more pleasant way of learning. Then, changing behavior because of the knowledge acquired takes time. Thank God, we serve a patient and long-suffering Savior.