Monday, August 12, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: A Proposal, An Engagement Ring and Eternity

Holy Engagement

A devotional by Amanda Wen

“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” 
–Ephesians 1:14 (NLT)

Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe we’ve been married that long; it seems like only yesterday I was floating down the aisle toward his smiling face, secure in his love and confident that God had prepared both of us for exactly this moment.

That moment, though, wouldn’t have happened without another, equally precious moment: the night he proposed to me. New Year’s Eve, 2004, he dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife, a question that garnered an immediate and enthusiastic “Yes!” from me. As a symbol of his promise to marry me, and my commitment to marry him, he gave me a gorgeous diamond ring (my engagement ring)!

That ring’s presence on my finger didn’t mean we were married. We still lived separately. Still reserved certain activities for after the wedding. I still had my maiden name. But that sparkle on my left hand meant I was spoken for. I was committed. It meant that I had promised my husband-to-be that I would be his forever. We were already committed, but not yet married. It was sweet to be engaged…but the sweetness wasn’t complete until we made our vows and became one flesh in the eyes of the law and of God.

It is this already-but-not-yet tension in which we believers find ourselves. From the moment we trust Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ presence dwelling within us, working to guide us, to teach us, to be the voice that whispers, “This is the way. Walk in it.” His presence actively molds our character to be more like His. 

Having God’s presence inside me is sweet indeed… but it isn’t complete because I am not yet perfected into the image of Christ. I do not yet stand face to face with Him. The Groom has not yet returned to Earth for his Bride, the Church. We are not yet enjoying the wedding feast with Him in a new eternity free from sin and death.

However, The Holy Spirit’s presence within us is a deposit. It is a guarantee from God Himself that one day we will be with Him in perfect union. One day, He will come back for us, gather us to Himself, and take us to the perfect home He has created for us. One day, the Bride of Christ will walk down that aisle toward Jesus’ smiling face.

In a sense, the Holy Spirit is our engagement ring.

So when we doubt, when we wonder if God’s promises are true, when we wonder if God even cares about us at all, we merely need to look within, to the sparkle of the Spirit’s presence, to know that the answer is “Yes!” He does care about us. He loves us. He sees us. He knows us. 

And He chose us to be His Bride! Saying "Yes" to God commences a marriage that starts on Earth and carries on throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity after Jesus Christ returns to take you home to Heaven. It's the perfect union filled with promise, hope and endless love.

Author Bio:
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of contemporary inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. 

A first place winner in the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, she also placed first in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, the 2017 Great Expectations Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest.

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship team at recent ACFW conferences. Amanda is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

In addition to her writing, Amanda maintains an active and rewarding career as a freelance cellist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team. She lives in the Midwest with her amazing husband and their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets.

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