It has been a year since “Come with Me From…, Part Four” was written and shared. I paused then with Note: I beg your grace. This portion will be done when it’s done. I do not mean ‘complete’ by any means, but only as that which is prompted finds its way onto the page. To your and my heart He says: “But wait, there’s more…” Twelve months and a pivotal year later, the thread is picked up again to finish “Come with Me from…, Part Five”. Written with God’s grace gift of hindsight – of decades before and recent as yesterday.
“Come with Me… from the lions’ dens and the
mountain haunts of the leopards.”
Song of Songs 4:8 – NIV84
Inked by this verse in my Bible are the defining phrases* that captured my attention, now a few years ago. Like aspects of the vineyard, sometimes an aging process must first take place before the winepress releases the flow.
As for the world at large, and friends and family in particular, I think most – if not all – agree this year has been full of challenge. And some days, sheer willpower. The best days, though, are the meltdowns when we have come to the end of ourselves. That is when, if quieted and listening, we hear Shepherd Lover aka Bridegroom King saying:
“Come with me from the lions’ dens you are *wont to go“. Those places – whether external or internal – that are all too familiar and comfortably welcoming, like a LazyBoy recliner for the soul. Places we think of as refuge and abode (Hebrew notations), but are – according to Shepherd Lover – the lions’ lair.
I have not forgotten He is the Lion of Judah; let us also not forget that He is the Lamb slain, and we are His sheep.
- He knows danger no matter what form it may take. The Lamb has fully catalogued the enemy’s devices.
- We know danger, largely when it shows up in ways we can’t miss. Even so, some choose risky responses.
- The greater danger is the subtle one that would purr us to sleep and quietly move us off our guard.
Don’t be fooled. The enemy of our soul is a calculating one. You don’t pet a lion with soft murmurs of nice kitty and not put yourself in harm’s way. In whatever manner we identify with the lions, the Lion still compels, “Come with me…from.” Listen or lull. The choice is ours.
We still possess free will. He still has not spaced out His mission: not losing any of all those the Father gave Him, save Judas. Even then, Judas served the higher purpose of God so Jesus could complete his mission on earth.
but He wasn’t finished…
There are leopards too; thus, the urging call to come with Him from the *habitual haunts of the leopards. The original Hebrew describes a steady dripping that results in spot and stain. A few thoughts come to mind:
- Inherent in Shepherd Lover’s come with Me from, is His presence with the Shulamite. She’s not alone. Personally and with deep gratitude, I confess it’s hard to wrap my finite mind around his patient waiting. His staying present while acutely aware of the fullness He yearns to share with her.
- The idiom that “a leopard cannot change his spots” (from Jer. 13:23) infers one cannot change their innate nature or character. How true this is. Our habitual haunts will nip at our heels until the God of peace crushes the head of Satan under our feet.1 In every place the deceiver studies us to snare us, we have One who enables us to walk free. Understanding this is needful. The experiential applying of His victory to our lives is essential. We don’t change ourselves. We are transformed by the power of Holy Spirit as we embrace Christ’s nature.2 One foot-stomping truth delivered to the father of lies at a time.
- Christ, our Bridegroom King loves his church – His called out ones, His glorious assembly. So much so that He already yielded up His own life for her, committed to making her holy, purified and consecrated. All that He might present her to Himself without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.3 We are what He’s about.
No spot and stain that results from steady dripping can remain in those being continually washed in the pure, clean water of the Word. How the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart4 testify for or against us when exposed. What steadily drips within, without, and around us? How often do we return to Him for cleansing in the fountain filled with blood that flowed from Emmanuel’s veins? The life is in His blood, my fellow Shulamites. His blood, 5the better word spoken; stronger, nobler, and ours to stand in.
“Come with Me from…”
I remain grateful for the revelation of Molid (see my invitation below). The span of time passed since I was restrained from hiking past him one verse prior, is indicative of the process the Lord uses with each of us to bring us to His state of flawless: with no Molid in us. As affirmed before, this becomes our new way of living, if we will.
At times in the process the Lord seemingly stops time (and forward movement, to our great chagrin – and on a bad day, angst) in order that He might continue His workmanship at deeper levels. Scripture tells us we are His workmanship... 6 And He is timekeeper while intent on His pottering and carpentering. Choose to trust His timing.
Vineyard Days are also days of discovery of what good and beneficial ways He has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. I’m telling you, He does not give up or give in. Only we have the free will power to do so.
Thank God, the Shulamite didn’t. She listened. She continued. So can we as we answer Christ’s “come with Me from…” with our determined decision to emerge from the ways of thinking and behaving we are wont to go and habitually haunt.
A new year is upon us; a new season of spiritual growth if we desire such. For the Shulamite of scripture, Shepherd Lover stands poised to declare even more of His love for her.
May it not remain or ever be that we choose to resist such Love. The best is yet to grow.
~ Gracefully Free
1 Romans 16:20
2 Romans 12:2
3 Ephesians 5:25-27
4 Psalm 19:14
5 Hebrews 12:24
6 Ephesians 2:10
Before the series of “Come with Me from…” posts, there was Molid (Mo-leed) of the Flawless posts.*I encourage taking some quiet, devotional time to refresh in your mind and heart the working of Holy Spirit in you, and why.