Tell me, O You whom my soul loves, Where do You pasture Your flock, Where do You make it lie down at noon? (Song of Songs 1:7 NASB)

Three major detractors pulled our maiden away from spiritual vitality into a kind of religious funk. She didn't like what she saw in the mirror, her elder brothers and sisters were dousing her enthusiasm and finally, her own relationship with the Lord suffered neglect. The intimacy she brushed up against in her first encounter with the Lord faded in her memory. The pull of ministry stirred by her early passion, under the pressure of her peers, caused her to step away from her first love.

Like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2, she was getting the good stuff done, but leaving ‘One Thing’ undone.

Today, she get’s it. It drives her to prayer. And check the focus of her prayer

Tell me, O You whom my soul loves, Where do You pasture Your flock, Where do You make it lie down at noon?

The fastest way to bring life back to a withering vine is to reconnect to The True Vine.

Above the din of her distress, her heart cry makes itself audible once again—I just want to know Your tender care.

Let’s walk right through it.

First – You Lord are the ONE my soul loves – she identifies herself as a Jesus Lover. She knows her life has been out of balance. But her desire for intimacy with the Lord takes back the ground her distresses gave up. Her vineyard succumbed to the chaos of nature—the old nature.

Next – Where do You pasture Your flock? I want to be where You are. I know you will care for me. I know you will help me prune my vineyard. I know time in your presence will recenter my heart and life.

Finally – Where do You make it lie down at noon? I understand a sheep will only lie down and rest in the heat of the day after it has been thoroughly fed and watered. For the sheep to lie down it must be completely satisfied!

Here Solomon inserts into this Song of Songs a throwback to his father's wonderful Psalm, the Psalm of the Shepherd.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3 NASB)

Her heart cries out for His tender and loving care.

If you're like me, the business of life and ministry can get you running so hard, you edge away from time spent with the Lord in the secret place. You see that Jesus, who faced every temptation we do, faced this pull too. When He learned of the death of John the Baptist, He longed to be alone with His Father, but the press of the crowd kept Him from immediate retreat. He pushed through ministry, not brushing anyone off, but still focussed on getting into the quiet place. (Mark 6:17-46)

Don’t let life and ministry be the undoing of your vineyard.

Call out today and tell Jesus, the Great Shepherd, that you want to be fed in the green pastures, and drink from the still waters.

BenSee you next week!

Ben

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By Carl Heinrich Bloch (http://masterpieceart.net/carl-heinrich-bloch/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

But He needed to go through Samaria. - John 4:4 NKJV

Last time we spent most all of a post looking at the word “needed” in the above verse, and found this definition:

“Necessity established by the counsel and decree of God, esp. by that purpose of His which relates to the salvation of men by the intervention of Christ and which is disclosed in the O.T. prophesies.”

…with this addendum:

“moral obligation which arises from divine appointment.” [i]

You see Jesus tells us that the Father directed all His works and actions.

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. - John 5:19 NASB

He needed to go through Samaria because that is where Father was going.

Jesus followed the Father to green pastures, beside still waters, as willingly as He followed His Father into the valley of the shadow of death – or should I say onto the hill of shame and death.

We will see as this passage unfolds that Jesus truly does have a divine appointment, which will culminate in the salvation of a city. We will even find that what appears to be a chance meeting at a well in Sychar is indeed the fulfillment of Old Testament foreshadowing.

For today though, I want to put a spotlight on what Jesus NEEDED to do.

How did Jesus decide where to go and what to do?

He asked Dad.

My kids do that.

Especially when we are on vacation, they will look at me and say “what are we doing today, dad?”

Often we will talk it out, I may present options that my dear Corinne and I have talked through. Sometimes we will ask early on, what would you really hate to miss while we are here in this place at this time.

But in the end, it comes down to “hey dad, what are we doing today.”

Not a bad way to run your Christian walk.

My prayer:

Hey Dad, what are we doing today?”

Sometimes He let’s me have a voice in the plans. Sometimes He leaves it completely up to me. Other times, we NEED to go through Samaria.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

You are a blessing.

Ben

 

[i] "Greek Lexicon :: G1163 (NASB)." Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 1 Jul, 2014. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1163&t=NASB