"I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken my love Until she pleases."
Song of Songs 8:4 NASB
This couplet comes up three times in the Song. The first two times there is a third line added:
"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you do not arouse or awaken my love Until she pleases."
Song of Songs 2:7 and 3:5
Each time this injunction follows the embrace of the Lord. He’s not speaking to her, but to the daughters of Jerusalem.
As she grows in her love and trust of Him, after each new demonstration of her faithfulness to Him, He lavishes affection on her, and then sets her aside for a time. Not out of circulation, but safely set in a place of intimacy.
It’s important that we never lose this place of intimacy.
She entered into life with her Lord way back at the beginning, when she knew nothing of Him except His embrace. He let her stay there, in the chamber for a while, before He set her to work in his kingdom. Then she was full of fear and alarm at the idea of leaving this holy place.
Those who saw her, who interacted with her, found her to be fully consumed with this Lover. She was useless to the kingdom, but desperately in love with the King.
Now that she has taken her place in ministry, taken her rightful position as full partner in ministry with the King, it would be easy for her to get caught up in ministry—to eat, drink, and sleep ministry, and forget her first love.
The Lord brought this very failing to the attention of the Church of Ephesus. In Revelation 2:1-3 we see that the Lord is pleased by her actions:
To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: 'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. Revelation 2:1-3
But there is a problem:
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. - Revelation 2:4
They needed to go back to the chamber—back to that intimate place that led them into all those wonderful acts.
We go through seasons in our Christian walk, but our seasons should be punctuated by His presence. It’s more important that the work itself.
If we allow ourselves to drift away from the secret place, our works slide from being the outworking of our intimacy, to something religious and dead. As Paul warns Timothy, one of the dangers of the last times would be people who looked like they had it together but had no power:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. ... holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. - 2 Timothy 3:1, 5 NASB
The ‘power’ comes through connection to the vine—intimacy with the Lord.
Is this a time when you need to reconnect with the the power source—the vine? Don’t let Christian activity lull you to sleep in your relationship with the Lord. Now that our maiden is mature, it’s more important than ever for her to stay connected to the Lord, and bask in His embrace.