In the book of the Song of Solomon (5:2,6), we have the picture of the bridegroom/shepherd, arriving home, and seeking His bride. He stands at the door and speaks. She recognizes His voice, and as she puts it, “…I sleep, my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh.” It is at this point, that, even though the bridegroom says, “Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled…,” that the bride responds sluggishly, hesitatingly, and slowly goes to the door. When she opens it, she says this, “I opened to my beloved: but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone.” We might say at this point that the bridegroom did not really love the bride, and demonstrated this by not waiting for her. But the opposite is true. The bride’s hesitation reveals what was most precious to her. True love has to do with being wrapped up with the person loved, not with the “trappings.” When Christ calls us, He does not call us to an easy life, although there are times when as the Psalmist (16) declares, “…my lines have fallen in pleasant places.” The love that the bridegroom has for the bride, and the realization of the highest of all callings to have communion, fellowship with her, will not allow a substitute. Christ is willing to go wherever necessary to save us, but He is not willing to allow us to have fellowship with Him on our terms.
If we would know that which is most precious to God, that for which Christ died, we must understand that to KNOW Christ is not easy. The Lord will work in us in such a manner as to save us from all that is secondary, that we might KNOW Him, abide in Him, love and serve Him. This is why Paul would declare, “For to me to live IS Christ, and to die is gain.”
In Ezekiel 3:22-24, we find that the Lord instructs the prophet to, “Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.” The result of Ezekiel’s obedience, in the place of God’s choosing was, “…the glory of the Lord stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar: and I fell on my face.” It is only as we are surrendered to God, to be His in the place of His choosing, that the revelation comes to the heart. We find this principle consistent in Scripture. After the resurrection of Christ, when Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, came to the tomb, the angel said to them, “…go your way, tell his disciples and Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee: THERE shall ye see him, as He said unto you.” (Mark 16:6-7). Where does the revelation come, but in the place of God’s choosing. A very godly missionary by the name of William Burns, who labored in China for many years, shared that the thing which distinguished one place from another for him was the manifest presence of God. So, what is the lesson here? Jesus made very clear to the Samaritan woman that the “place” of worship was not really the issue, but worshipping the Father in Spirit and truth. (John 4:21-24) But here the issue is surrender to Christ, with regard to where He would have us serve Him, and worship. It is in that place of “certain good,” that place in the will of God, whether in a jungle, desert, garden of Eden, or other, that the Lord will unveil to us the reality of His presence. And this should motivate us to be those who do not live “sluggishly, hesitatingly, slowly going to the door,” but those who are IN the place of His choosing, trusting Him wholly for the full outworking of His will and purposes, for his glory.
Dear Lord, the Almighty God of Abraham, “mighty God and Prince of Peace,” bring us into conformity with Thy will, Thy purposes, and Thy ways, that we BY the Spirit may truly know Thee…It is then, out of that abiding life, in the place of Thy choosing, and in the service according to Thy design, that Thou wilt reveal Thyself in Thy beauty, and wonder. Indeed, it is then that others will truly “taste and see that the Lord is good,” and turn to Thee. Amen.
Have a wonderful “…running to open the door day…” In a very real way, Christ is waiting to be wanted today…and whole-heartedly so…