This is a very intimate post for me. It speaks of my process but it is also a look into the state of the church now as well. I had shared this with a body of believers when invited recently and truly was not going to post it, as I believe it is a chapter from my book but after reading the last two posts on www.definingwords.wordpress.com, I think it is necessary. So, heads up! You may read it twice, both here and on paper later!
The Lover and His Bride
Song of Solomon is a beautiful picture of how the Lord courts us and of His desire for us and of what our desire should be. I’ve been spending much time there, simply for me and Him.
I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. If my life has a message, I want it to be that.
I want to ravish His heart. I want Him to always see my eyes looking to Him alone.
Read the 5th chapter with me.
I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
“Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night.”
3I have taken off my robe;
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet;
How can I defile them?
4My beloved put his hand
By the latch of the door,
And my heart yearned for him.
5I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock.
6I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart leaped up when he spoke.
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
7The watchmen who went about the city found me.
They struck me, they wounded me;
The keepers of the walls
Took my veil away from me.
8I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
That you tell him I am lovesick!
(The Daughters of Jerusalem)
9 What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
O fairest among women?
What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
That you so charge us?
This is both my dilemma and my delight…because I have finally been diagnosed. I am love sick. The original KJV says, I am sick with love.
Crazy to say that isn’t it? To use the words dilemma and delight in the same sentence but there’s no other way to state it! It holds a two fold meaning.
The love that this passage speaks of is
1. Human love for human object
2. Man toward man
3. Of man toward himself
Let that just settle in for a minute.
That’s my dilemma. There are human objects that I have loved more than God. I’ve been loving others more than I have been loving Him. And I have been loving myself.
I’m sick of it!
But this is my delight! That I know it! To be sick is to be weak, diseased, emotionally grieved, and thankfully sorry.
Note here that she said, “Tell Him! Tell Him that I know and that I’m sorry!”
And the response that came from this was…
What is your beloved more than another beloved?
What is your beloved more than another beloved?
What were the daughters of Zion saying to her?
What is He, more than all of the things I can acquire? More than a better house, a better car, more stuff, stuff, stuff?
What is He, more than my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children, my friends?
What is He, more than me?
This reminds me of Matthew 22:37-39
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
God brings a very clear distinction here. He didn’t say to love our neighbors as we love Him. There is a love reserved for only Him! This is the make up of that love: with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind! We are not to love ourselves that way or anyone else! Yet we do.
Look with me at Matthew 25: 1-:13
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Again, there are five wise and five foolish, we understand that. Obviously, there was something that brought a distinction. What was it because according to what I read, they were all virgins, right?
When you think of a virgin, what comes to mind?
1. Generally, a virgin can be a man or a woman.
2. A virgin is someone who has kept themselves for their spouse only.
And… they all had lamps. All of them.
What do those lamps represent?
To me, the lamps represent:
1. Their lives.
2. Their ministries.
3. Their callings.
4. The law.
5. Everything outward.
You see, they were virgins. They were keeping themselves.
They believe in Jesus.
They were living right.
They had their ministry.
They were called by God.
No one could say that they weren’t a Christian!
They didn’t have any other God’s before them. (or atleast none that anyone else could recognize.)
They never killed anyone.
They never committed adultery.
They never lied, cheated anyone or wanted what wasn’t theirs.
They even keep their confession right!
They go to church on Sunday.
They pay their tithe.
They give to the poor, feed the hungry, a cloth the naked.
What was it they were lacking?
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
I have read this a million times and always thought, that the lamps themselves were empty. But the Word doesn’t say that. It says the vessel was empty.
We are the vessel. The ones who were wise are full of oil.
You see, each of us are called to carry a lamp and throughout our lives, we can do everything right, say everything right and carry that lamp but let me just say, the lamp, in the end, the lamp will have meant nothing without the oil.
When the Lord comes, when I finally see Him face to face, all of this will fade.
Even after “keeping myself”….the door could very well be shut to me.
How easily we can be fooled. And we’re not alone in this.
Luke 13:23-28 says, “ 23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”
And Matthew 7:22 tells us even another scenario…Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
I don’t know about you but this is startling.
They knew His presence! They ate and drank in it! He taught in their streets!
This tells me that we can come to church and feel His presence and not know Him. Our Pastor brings the Word, we attend revival services, tune into He’s Alive Radio, watch God TV, eat and drink it all and still not have the oil.
What’s worse is we can prophesy, cast out devils and even do wonderful works… witness, heal the sick, you name it and still no oil. God will always honor the name of Jesus.
So, what is it? What is this oil?
Each of these passages we have read, if you will notice carry a common thread.
They all will say “Lord, Lord”.
It startled me to find that the word Lord in this passage in the Greek is and it means Sir or Mr.
We see here, that by calling Him Lord, Lord, they were calling Him Mr. Lord. Mr. Jesus.
They new His name but they had no idea who He was.
They lacked the oil. They had forsaken the grace that He had given them to know Him. They had full access to Jesus himself but settled for being in His presence, rather than being a vessel filled with it!
They settled for prophesying, casting out devils and wonderful works…over Wonderful Himself!
Jesus warns us to enter through the straight gate. That word straight means narrow.
That means, nothing is going to fit through that door with you! Your pastor can’t get you in! Your mother can’t get you in! You can’t take your trophies! You can’t take your accomplishments! You can’t take a single compliment!
All He wants is you and it has to be alone. You with Him alone. Before you get dressed.
5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” 6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
I love that! We are granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright….to do all the acts…the wonderful works, after we have made ourselves ready! After we have spent time with the Lord.
Did you know that the Holy Spirit is our engagement ring that enables us to have that intimacy and to fellowship with Him? He is what the Lord has given us, to empower us to get dressed? A woman doesn’t put on a wedding dress without having first been given an engagement ring.
Ephesians 1:14 tells us that we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance. In the footnotes of my bible, I read that the Greek word for guarantee can also be used to indicate an engagement ring.
It’s time to let Him shine! It’s time to wear Him for all the world to see! When a woman becomes engaged, the first thing that people want to see is the ring.
And believe me, when the world finds out who you are getting married to, they are going to want to see His power! It’s time to show off the ring! We have been endued with power from on high!