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photo credit: Mr. T in DC via photopin cc
photo credit: Mr. T in DC via photopin cc

How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love than wine,
And the fragrance of your oils
Than all kinds of spices!

Song of Songs 4:10

It was all the way back in the second line of the Song that our Shulamite maiden called out to her heart throb, this Shepherd King that His love, then just an imagination to her, was better than wine.

She looked at Him from afar, dreamed of a day when He would hold her, when she would breathe Him in, when they would spend luxurious mornings together talking, laughing, loving.

Now they are married, on their honey moon, and the dream is a reality, and the words echo back to her from her past, and from His lips.

This wonderful Shepherd King has taken His place in her life as her King, her Love, her Brother, her Everything, and He breaths those words back to her.

How much better is your love than wine.

This brings me back to the realization of how far Jesus travels to make our relationship work.

Many speak of the Christian life as though it is hard work to keep up our relationship with the Lord, a struggle, a striving, just to keep your faith.

But in this wonderful Song, this picture of the relational nature of faith, we see that her (our) moves are slight, and He (Jesus) is the one leaping over mountains, bringing army’s to bear, and making call after call, pursuing us relentlessly.

One turn of her head, and glance of her eye toward Him and His heart beats faster.

I love that the Lord travels all the distance that separates us when we turn our desire toward Him.

The work of faith is to look to Jesus, turn your eyes on Him.

What a great Savior!

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

Walk in blessing in 2014.

Ben

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Many Waters - SoS header

Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away,
Turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether. ~ Songs of Songs 2:17

So here we are – the moment of truth.

Remember back to verse 8 the Shepherd King came to our maiden fair climbing through the mountains and leaping across the hills. He invited her to come out. He described the glory of the newly sprung spring, fragrances, sounds and colors, beauty on every side. He promised to keep her safe, to hide her from the danger, and expose her only to the wonder and glory.

Sadly her answer is "I am not quite ready."

She tell Him, her gazelle, her young stag, to turn, leave her there and head out to the mountains. You can come back home this evening and I will have dinner ready.

God’s design for our lives is to move from glory to glory. He has a path we can walk that will take us to new levels of intimacy, to grow in our relationship, in our reliance on Him. He does not however drag us kicking and screaming. There are always choices we can make.

He is calling her to drop her concerns about foxes and flocks and follow Him, to join Him in what He is doing. Come and climb the mountains, leaps among the hills with me.

Nevertheless she sends Him on ahead. “No, you go, I am not ready, I don’t have enough practice, I am not prepared, my garden is a mess, frankly, I am afraid.”

The excuses all boil down to that last bit, “I am afraid.”

What kind of excuses do you make when you are simply afraid to step out into something completely new and foreign to you?

Have you been in this place?

Let me be completely clear here. We are going to see, by the way Jesus deals with her here that this is not a huge “sin issue” in her life. She is not staying at home because she is lazy, or lusting after other things.

She is desperately in love with Jesus, and wants to step out, she simply can’t stir up enough courage to take the plunge. At this stage in her story, it is not that she is unsure who is calling her. She knows His voice, and she is not confused about what He is calling her to do.

When we come to these places there are a couple things we need to know.

  • Jesus does not react in anger toward her.
  • Jesus is not surprised.
  • Jesus does not love her any less.
  • Jesus does not punish her.
  • Jesus does not move on to someone else.

In fact we are going to see (it may take a couple sessions to get there – but we will) that Jesus is simply going to give her more reasons to trust and answer her fears until she is strong enough to go for it.

If you find yourself frustrated by your inability to say “Yes” to the Lord in some area,  and the opportunity has moved on, don’t despair! All is not lost. Yes, there was a better choice you could have made, but our Father is all about growing us, and growing our relationship with Him.

Is the Lord inviting you to step out into something new?

What are you going to do?

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping in today.

See you again soon.

Ben

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