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by Judith Bronte

When two people enter the state of matrimony, they make a mutual promise that customarily goes like this: "Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?" Of course, this part of the wedding ceremony centers upon the vows which the Bride makes, but it is upon this point I wish to address.

In Deuteronomy chapter thirty, verses nineteen and twenty, we find Moses exhorting Israel to follow after God: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days." If the people choose life, that is, to follow after God as they know they ought, then their children will live, as will they themselves.

God chose Israel from among the nations, thus the name, "The Chosen People". Just as God chose Israel, so the groom in our make-believe wedding chose his future wife. Our couple must pledge to obey, love, and keep themselves for each other, forsaking all others. In the covenant Moses presented to Israel, God has already chosen them. Now, they must choose Him. They must Love, Obey, and Cleave to the Lord their God, and forsake their false gods and idols. I call this L.O.C., or, Love, Obey, and Cleave. All these ingredients are necessary for any marriage to work, whether it is in the literal sense, or in the spiritual sense.

A proper understanding of this awesome relationship God calls us into, is paramount for any Christian to maintain his or her walk in Christ. We must love HIM, obey HIM, and cleave to HIM, in order to receive His life.

This relationship is not one-sided, though. Christ requires L.O.C. from us, but this is only half of the wedding vow. If the bride accepts the groom, then the groom, in turn, accepts the bride. The Bible is bursting with loving promises and demonstrations of God's willingness to be a Husband to His people. In Jeremiah chapter thirty-one, verse thirty-two, the Lord identifies Himself as the Husband of Israel: "The covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an Husband unto them, saith the LORD." Israel was not faithful in her marital vows, for her Husband revealed that she had broken them. For any relationship to work, both must be faithful to their promises. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3) The true Christian walks in tandem with Christ. Both are joined to each other by their promise to Love, Obey, and Cleave to each other, a.k.a., L.O.C.

Obedience to Christ is necessary for this covenant to be valid, for God made it one of the conditions of the union. However, there is a sense in which Christ promises to obey us, (we of course, being the weaker sex of this relationship, for Christ is the Groom and Head). Did Jesus not say, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it," (John 14:13-14), and, "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and His Maker, Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me" (Isaiah 45:11)? This is the level of confident access that the groom and bride have with each other. "Christ Jesus our Lord: In Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him." (Ephesians 3:11-12)

Our life here on earth is as a drop in the endless ocean of eternity, for us to experience the fullness of Christ's faithfulness, love, mercy, grace, patience, holiness, truth, beauty, friendship, fellowship, companionship, and unmitigated contentment in the person of Christ. "Christ is all" (Colossians 3:11).

To all who would accept Christ's offer, remember, L.O.C.!

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