“Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the
mountain haunts of the leopards.”
Song of Songs 4:8 – NIV84
No one loves us like Jesus does.
Until we settle that truth in our mind – the essence of true believing on the Lord Jesus Christ – we will find His next call to “Come with Me from…” humiliating at best, achingly difficult at worst; and often, traversing a range of emotions from one extreme to the other.
It is true in life that where there is a void, something will rush in to fill it. What ‘fills’ that void is largely up to us, even as the Lord patiently waits to see what we will choose. Each time that, by our choice, we overcome self in all its many faces and the preservation of our flesh nature, His love comes rushing in, and we grow.
While His heart of love yearns that we choose His will over our own, He does not sit in the seat of abuser or controller. He honors the free will that He gave each of us. Wherever we still feel abused or controlled after coming to faith in Christ, we have not yet learned – or need to be re-reminded – that no one loves us like Jesus does. In His presence, resistance is futile. Surrender is healing.
Each time Truth’s reality lands in one’s heart, there is a corresponding “Come with Me from…”
In this journey of the heart, there’s both an ascending and descending taking place. Together with Christ, they comprise the development of our spiritual heart, out of which the wellspring of our life flows. Many of Christ’s followers know with a deep knowing, and can testify, that they are no longer who they used to be. Where pride has been laid low and the axe put to the root, humility’s effect is a cleansing of the inner life.
Jesus, who ‘loved His own and they received him not’, delivered truth to the scribes and Pharisees when He grievously charged them for cleaning the outside of the cup (so as to look good outwardly) while inside it was (they were) full of dead men’s bones and uncleanness. He equated their righteousness with decorating graves and dressing up a dead body, only for show.1 Our day has its Pharisaical share of dead men walking. As Matthew Henry stated in his commentary, “We are really, what we are inwardly.”
In contrast, the Lord declared that where the heart and spirit are made new, there will be newness of life. While and where death reigns, Jesus declares that He has come to give life, and that more abundantly.2
Those who find life are those who answer His call to “Come with Me from…” In dying to the world, the flesh, and the devil, they find the true Source of life – eternally, and on this side of the veil – as He promised.
“Come with Me from…”
It’s difficult to descend from the mountain summit where all that is bright with promise is clear and undefiled. It’s equally as hard to leave something we’ve come to know so well, ie. our flesh nature.
Once again, I find myself grateful for the inclusion of the Shulamite’s story in Holy Scripture. S(he), who at every stage of progression toward the depths of Bridegroom Lover’s heart, keeps it real so we can identify.
As we journey with the Shulamite through the Song, lest at any time we think more highly of ourselves than we ought,3 there is a cast of characters vying for time on the stage to keep her, and us, humble:
- the daughters of Jerusalem – those with whom we are surrounded;
- the watchmen – thorny hedges, wounding where they misapply the Word to awakened consciences; and
- the Lover/Bridegroom King, intent on teaching us that He alone can satisfy and cause us to become
Join me next time as we explore the significance, and the application to our lives, of the mountain ranges upon which the Shulamite finds herself. The Bridegroom calls from our will to His – where real life is found.
It requires shedding the decorated grave clothes we have wrapped around ourselves in self-protection. It will be stinky work for awhile; yet eventually, a new fragrance begins to waft about.
It is the process of redeeming to ourselves the reality of what Christ bought us out of and desires to effect within us. One day, where we have embraced His sanctifying power, there will be glory revealed. It is this for which the Bride is being made ready. To some we will smell of death. To others, the fragrance of life.
14 I am so thankful to God, who always marches us to victory
under the banner of the Anointed One;
and through us He spreads the beautiful fragrance of His knowledge to every corner of the earth.
15 In a turbulent world where people are either dying or being rescued,
we are the sweet smell of the Anointed to God our Father.
16 To those who are dying, they smell the stench of death in us.
And to those being rescued, we are the unmistakable scent of life. Who is worthy of this calling?
17 For we are nothing like the others who sell the word of God like a commodity.
Do not be mistaken; our words come from God with the utmost sincerity,
always spoken through the Anointed in the presence of God.
II Corinthians 2:14-17 The Voice
~ Gracefully Free
1 Matthew 23:25-29
2 John 10:10
3 Romans 12:3