Within the heart of every man there is a longing after God. Regardless of how it is understood, or how many wrong paths are taken, the heart is responding to the Father’s call of, “COME HOME.” In Psalm 90:3 we read, “You turn man back into dust (crushed, broken very small) and say, “RETURN, O CHILDREN OF MEN.”( NAU) There may be dust or destruction for the body, but more than that because our Father is calling all creation to come Home to Him, as a song I heard years ago said, MY HOME IS GOD.
Most of us who have received Christ have been taught that once “we receive Christ” we are on the way to heaven. If heaven, as commonly taught, is the goal, then let’s hurry up and die. Heaven as a goal is self-serving immaturity. The implantation of HEAVEN - the rule of God, within us is not! It speaks of growth and RELATIONSHIP. A brother in Argentina, received a vision of his church. It was a “nursery full of babies.” Most had been there year after year, without any growth or development, and with no change into the IMAGE OF CHRIST.
Madam Guyon said, “Most Christians do not feel that they have been called to a deep inward relationship to their Lord. But we all have been called to the depths of Christ as surely as we have been called to salvation.” Yet, we often settle for the baby’s rattle, the quick fix, with no desire for more. This is against the natural order of nature! It is also against the inner longing of spiritual nature.
Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” The Psalmist wrote, “As the deer pants [longs for] the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.” (Psalm 42:1) Is there that hunger, that longing in each one of us after more of Christ? At times along the journey our Lord takes us it is easy to assume that we have arrived when we but stop at an oasis, or we get some fresh revelation of truth. We must go on past the oasis and past revelations into Christ.
Because Moab was “at ease since his youth” and no change had come God promised to send wine-workers who would “tip him over, and they will empty his vessels and shatter his jars.” (Jeremiah 48:11-12). This speaks of the strong dealings of God to those who are at rest in Zion. When He said, “Return, O children of men,” He intended for man to return to all that was lost by the fall, and then to go on to sonship and the fullness of relationship.
The Song of Solomon is a love story which many believe is meant to typify Christ and His church. The heart longing of the Shulammite begins, “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” The mouth kiss here, is an intimate touch and speaks of the longing for further intimacy. This is what returning to one’s “first love” is all about. (Revelation 2:4) She then describes his love as better than wine, his fragrance and his name as purified oil. The Hebrew word used is the one used for “anointing oil, “the oil of the Spirit, and so the maidens [virgins - pure ones] love you.” The cry is “Draw me after you and let us (corporately run together.” (Song of Solomon 1:2-4)
The Shulammite wanted more of Him, but, her center was immature. In SS 2:16 we read,”MY beloved is MINE, and I am his;” The tendency of the Adamic nature is to relate all that Christ can give to SELF. Our desire is for US and only for HIM as the Blesser and Provider of ALL we want or need. The Shulammite woman had placed a claim on him, and yet hadn’t give him the highest place in her life. So change must come!
The condition in SS 2:16 is like that the Shulammite’s brothers describe in SS 8:8. “We have a little sister, and she has no breasts;” She is either very young, or immature for her age, like the spiritual babies in the brother”s vision. After many years, spiritual growth is missing, and SELF is evident. The gospel of what Jesus can do FOR ME is all that was wanted, and so she too figuratively, remains in diapers, drinking only milk.
When we turn to SS 6:3 we find, “I am MY BELOVED’S, and MY beloved’s is MINE, he who pastures his flock among the lilies.” SELF is still evident, yet she is beginning to realize that she belongs to HER BELOVED who pastures his flock among the pure lilies.
True change and growth is seen in SS 7:10. “I am MY BELOVED’S, and HIS DESIRE is for me.” She now recognizes that she is the POSSESSION of her beloved, and so his desire is for her. She has come to Ephesians Chapter One. Self is no longer at the center, only Christ. As Madam Guyon said, “He has changed me into himself.”
Unlike the little sister of SS 8:8, the Shulammite can say of herself, “I was a wall, and my breasts like towers [Look I had strength and maturity, but from what?]; then I became in his eyes as one who found peace.” Now TRUE growth and maturity had come, it was no longer her strength, or based on religious self-help, or self-growth, or the various spiritual, and Biblical exercises that one can prescribe. The striving for things, for spiritual experiences, or new revelations, has been exchanged for Christ alone. She has entered into peace because of her relationship with the Prince of Peace. She had come HOME to Our Father.
Are we prepared to say as the Shulammite, “Awake, O north wind [speaking of disciple or adversity], and come, wind of the south [speaking of healing and restoration]; Make my garden breath out fragrance, let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into HIS and eat its choice fruits.” SS 4:16 We want the “south wind,” but resist the “north wind,” and remain as the wine vessels in Jeremiah, with the stench of the Adamic smell that no deodorant - religion - can change.
Paul the apostle wrote in Philippians 3:10, “that I may KNOW HIM and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship (participation and sharing) of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” This is what it is all about, KNOWING CHRIST. John 17:3 tells us, “This is eternal life, that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” ETERNAL LIFE is NOT “pie in the sky,” it is RELATIONSHIP. It is KNOWING GOD, and then partaking of His glory. THE Greek word for “know” used here is “ginosko” which speaks of a continual knowing, and an intimate knowing.
In the early 60's as Our Father was preparing many hearts for a further revelation of Himself we sang, “Only to know Him, Only to know Him. Is the cry within our hearts. Not just in a measure, But in His fullness. This O Lord is the cry of our hearts.“ As we drew close, He unveiled more of Himself and of His glory, yet in a short time, many drifted back to the comfort of religion.
After my father died in 1987, I was looking through his Bible, I found the words of an old song he had written down. It was one he had sung many times. “Deeper in Thy love Oh Jesus, Doth my spirit cry to go. Until all my life is hidden, Deep within the cleansing flow.” The chorus, “Deeper in that holy life, Till I’m lost with Christ in God. Hidden with my blessed Lord, While I walk this earthly sod.” (Composer unknown) This was his heart cry, and he is in the fullness of LOVE now.
Can we hear the voice of the Spirit saying, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has come for the pruning of the vines, and the voice of the turtle dove has been heard in our land.” (SS 2:10)
“For even that which I have spoken of by My Spirit in days of long ago, I shall surely fulfill. Learn not that which you can learn of your self, learn that which I would speak to you. For truly it is the day of My appearing, and I shall pour forth rain upon the thirsty heart. Hold not back, to cover yourself with the security of your baby blanket, for I shall destroy all such things that are not of Me. Listen for My voice, for I desire to speak to you and to bring you into a new day, a fresh and living way before Me.”
“Now I would further say, “Rise up and be strong!” for I have not called you to weakness, but I have called you to maturity, I have called you to sonship, I have called you to glory. For I shall fill this earth with My glory, and I shall make My Name known among all the peoples. Let your hearts and minds rest in the Lord your God, for He is the Holy One of Israel.”
May Christ be your portion! May we all as the prodigal son, arise and go back to Our Father for He has been there all the time waiting our return. (Luke 15:20) He let us have our toys to learn that they were NOT the answer, but in His love there is fullness of joy!
Our Home is God Himself!