Tuesday, December 16, 2014

If She be a Wall... If She be a Door - What Does it Mean?

In recent months, I have been entirely too busy to update my blog considering three consecutive holidays in as many months.  It's been crazy!  But I'm taking a break from Christmas planning to offer a new study on the doors and walls of Scripture.

What verses am I referring to?  The passage in Song of Solomon 8:8-9 which says:

We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

Now, believe it or not, this study began in the book of Ezekiel.  I was reading the final chapters, and realized the temple described is very similar to the one described in Revelation.  The passage from Ezekiel 48:31-34 reads:

And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi.
And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan.
And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun.
At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali.

I wanted to cross-reference it with the verses in Revelation that describe the Heavenly temple.  My first thought was that this is a wonderful way to show the continuity between what's written in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  It's a second witness, if you will, in the Scriptures.  The cross-reference is in Revelation 21:12-14:

And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

And just like that, folks, I'm not even kidding, I heard a whisper in my spirit, "If she be a wall... if she be a door..."  I wasn't even thinking of Song of Solomon at ALL - I'm convinced it was the Spirit of God breathing on His Word to help me understand the mystery.  I've wondered about the wall/door reference in Songs for a LONG time.

Notice - it is the Jewish tribes who are written on the doors.  Notice it is the names of the Apostles on the foundations of the wall.  Could the interpretation of this little passage in Songs be so easy to understand?

Let's look at Songs 8:8-9 again:

We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

The "little sister" with no breasts assumes immaturity, or a young maiden who hasn't yet been spoken for by the Beloved.   We know she will be of the family of God, however, due to the familiarity of being the Spouse's little sister.  She might not be the Beloved's now, but she will be one day.  The rest of the verse assumes this - "What shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?"

Then it goes on - "If she be a wall..."  Could this mean one who sits under the teachings of the Apostles?  "If she be a door..." Could she be a Messianic Jew?

Notice the wall gets a palace of silver.  The door gets boards of cedar.  I do not believe this is necessarily an imbalance for the wall verses the door.  Remember, the cedars of Lebanon were choice wood.  Very expensive, very fragrant.  Likely these trees were part of the "fragrance of Lebanon" found in Songs 4:11.  Could the silver allude to the Bride's heavenly inheritance?  Could the cedar allude to the Jews' earthly inheritance?

The Kingdom of God for Christians is a spiritual kingdom.  It's a way of life, a way of bringing God to the people, and often, it's referred to as Heaven itself.  The Kingdom for Jews, however, is the Messianic Kingdom, the thousand years of peace after the Tribulation, when the root of David (Yeshua) shall sit upon the Throne of Jerusalem for a millenia after His Second Coming.

This study, while not overly long, came out of nowhere and prompted me to write a blog about it.  I thought it was rather "deep", and I'm not even sure this is the true interpretation.  So pray about it and be a Berean - research it for yourself.  One of the rules of hermeneutics is that Scripture interprets Scripture.  Perhaps this little nugget tucked into the Song of Solomon is indeed meant by the Holy Spirit to be interpreted by the passage in Revelation.

I just love Bible study.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The King is Enthralled by Your Beauty, Part II

When I wrote my last blog, I didn't foresee there would be a second.  I was content in my "revelation" of God's love.  I didn't think there was much more I could add.  And like I do when I finish one blog, I often wonder what my next one will be.  Usually, I wait to blog until I feel compelled to do so by the Spirit.

You can understand my surprise when, during last night's Bible reading, I had another insight into why God loves us so vehemently.  I am currently studying the book of Ezekiel.  I'm a little over halfway through it.  Ezekiel and Jeremiah were contemporaries.  God gave them both to Israel to be His prophets, warning them that they were about to be conquered by the Babylonians as God's judgment against their wicked ways.

Israel's heart had grown "adulterous" as they leaned toward other gods, and they now trusted their idols more than they trusted Yahweh.  In one rather disturbing passage, the Lord God declares in Ezekiel 23:36-39:

The Lord said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Declare to them their abominations. For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up to them for food the children whom they had borne to me. Moreover, this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my Sabbaths. For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And behold, this is what they did in my house.

God tells Ezekiel who "Oholah" and "Oholibah" are in verse 4: "Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem."

I believe God relates Samaria and Jerusalem to women because the sins they commit are more heinous that way.  The charge of adultery goes much deeper into their hearts in light of God's analogy of unfaithful women.  When seen in this light, they can no longer claim they are blind to their own sin.  But that's beside the point.  Look at what they're doing in the passage above.

They're literally worshipping idols and sacrificing their children to them.  And on the same day they come into the Lord's sanctuary profaning His holy Sabbaths.  This is a seriously shocking sin!  God Himself tells us why He sends the Jews into exile into Babylon in Ezekiel 23:46-49:

For thus says the Lord God: “Bring up a vast host against them, and make them an object of terror and a plunder. And the host shall stone them and cut them down with their swords. They shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses. Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done. And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and you shall know that I am the Lord God.”

In order for God to turn Israel back to Himself, He had to break their hearts.  He had to smash their idols into bits, proving they had no power to protect, preserve, or provide.  He had to make known to their hardened hearts there is no God but Yahweh, that He alone holds the power.  To get through their blindness, God had to rip them from their land - the very land He promised to Abraham - to finally open their eyes to their profanity.  God delivered them from Egypt.  God brought them into the Promised Land.  How can it be they are being evicted by the Babylonians?  How can it be anything other than God's punishment for their deeds?

Often, God must break our hearts to get through our pride.  He must bring us low before we'll look up.  There are more people seeking Him at a funeral than a party.  It's just they way the sinful heart works.  When things are going well, we don't need God.  That is, until things aren't going well.  We are such a fickle people.

(Bear with me through this study, I will get to the point eventually.)

Thankfully, the exile of the Jews only lasted 70 years, and their hearts were indeed restored to Yahweh in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  God even allowed them to build a second temple, which is the one Zerubbabel built, an ancestor of Yeshua of Nazareth. 

After studying all that shocking sin by God's chosen people, I had a deep depression come over me.  I almost wanted to weep with the prophet regarding those child sacrifices.  Was the blood even dry on their garments before they had the audacity to come into the house of God on the very same day they killed their babies?  And people nowadays actually question the character of God for chastening His people in the Old Testament, painting Him to be bloodthirsty and cruel...?  No, His people had hard hearts and a thirst for idolatry.  In order to keep His worship pure and His name holy, He had to time and again smash the idols of the land to prove that only Yahweh reigns On High.

The Hebrews of old were a stubborn people of stony hearts.

It has always interested me that God relates idolatry to adultery and harlotry throughout Scripture.  He uses such harsh language to show us how detestable it is to Him when we worship anything other than the true Creator of all things.  This is such a deep subject that I could go on and on, but I won't.

When I had finished these passages in Ezekiel, I randomly flipped through my Bible just reading here and there, and ended up on the woman in Proverbs 31.  I've studied her before, but with the backdrop of Ezekiel in my head, I read these verses with a new outlook.  One shining jewel caught my eye:

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. ~Proverbs 31:10

And that's when it hit me.  Those who love God are not harlots--they are virtuous.  Those who love God do not commit adultery--they are faithful.  Those who love God are very rare, and He views their worth far above rubies.  I literally teared up.  This is one of those moments when the Spirit opened the Scriptures for me in such a way that I understood what it means to be cherished by God.

Why is He so enthralled by your beauty?  Because He is your One True Love.  Why does one glance from your eye take His breath away?  Because He is the Lover of your soul.  God cherishes those who cherish Him.  It's so simple, a child could understand it.  After millennia of pleading with His people to worship and adore Him, when God finds that one heart after His own heart, He will protect it vehemently, love it unconditionally, and restore it magnificently.

Psalm 145:20 says, "The Lord preserveth all them that love him".

Wow, what a promise.  Our hearts and our love for Him shall be preserved.  He will not let our love die.  Even if we stray, like the Jews of old, He cares too much to leave us in our idolatry.  He will draw us back to Him, no matter what it takes.  

As I close this second study, I want you to really think about the question posed in Proverbs 31:10.  In this world of selfish gain, of abounding idols, and rebellion against God, indeed, who can find a virtuous woman?  Who can find the one who loves God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength?  This goes far beyond "women" only, as this metaphor isn't limited to gender.  We, as the Body of Christ, are the Bride of Christ, and no one got that analogy better than the Apostles (who were themselves all men).

In Psalm 45:10, it states:
Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father's house,
Notice she hears of Him, she considers Him, she inclines her ear and learns of Him.  Notice she leaves her people and her own father's house for Him (which is reminiscent of Luke 14:26).  In God, she has found all she needs.  In Him, she is complete.  She runs away with Him, without looking back.  Her eyes are upon Him, her heart is turned Godward.  He is her family now.

Finally, we close with the very next verse, Psalm 45:11:
and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
Her beauty reflects Him as stated in the previous study, but it also lies in her singular eye toward the King of Glory.  God Almighty desires a virtuous woman.  One who doesn't stray.  One who will honor Him as her LORD.  One who is willing to leave everything behind to adore Him.  He's been crying out for her through the ages, even before time began in the cool of a Garden.  And when He finds her, He esteems her far above rubies.  Why?  Because she is even more rare than they.  A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30).

She is more valuable to Him than all the stars in the sky.  For while they shine His glory throughout the heavens, they shall each eventually die.  Only the heart of God's virtuous woman can shine with the flame of an eternal love (Songs 8:6).  When put in that light, our bright, vibrant love for the Lord Jesus Christ is the rarest, and most valuable of all His possessions. 

He cherishes us, brethren, likely more than we'll ever know this side of Heaven.  What an amazing eternity we have waiting for us - where locust does not eat and rust does not fade.  Where the arms of Yeshua are open wide, and we will lose ourselves gazing into His tender, loving eyes...forever.


Friday, October 17, 2014

The King is Enthralled by Your Beauty

How is it that God Almighty is enthralled by my beauty?  Don't we all ask that question?  I'm not beautiful.  If He really knew all about me...  Wait, He does know all about me... He saw that thing I did.  He knows my thoughts.  ACK! 

Intellectually, we all know Christ has given us His righteousness.  We now stand justified before God (Romans 8:33, 2 Corinthians 5:21).  However, until we're glorified, we remain sinners.  The Apostle Paul likened our sin nature to a "body of death" (Romans 7:24), and that while our outward man is wasting away, our inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).  The great Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, has this to say on the subject:
Every man of God is two men in one.  That new part of him, which is born of God, that new nature which was implanted in regeneration, cannot sin because it is born of God.  It is the incorruptible seed, which lives and abides forever; but, as far as the man is still in the flesh, it is true that "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be."  The old nature sins through the force of nature; but the new nature sins not, because it is born of God."
It is interesting this life that we live is two natures in one - a life of flesh and a life of Spirit.  Even though we are still in this flesh, we walk by the Spirit.  It is a daily battle of denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Jesus.  The Spirit of God certainly helps us by bestowing mercy and grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16) so that we can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). 

While our righteousness in Christ makes us justified before God, I have always struggled with why God sees me as altogether lovely if I am still sinful.  True, He sees Jesus when He looks at me.  The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).  I have died, and my life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

What didn't make sense to me is that Christ wouldn't be looking at me, He would be looking at Himself.  So how can I be found beautiful by the Lord if He's just looking at His own accomplishments and righteousness?

But then God clarified His own position on His love for me one day during my prayer time.  I got a sudden understanding of what it means to be loved by God Himself in such a mighty and awesome way.  Yes, God sees Himself in me; our bodies are the temple of God after all (1 Corinthians 3:16), but it's like sunshine through stained glass windows.  Each window is different, from glory to glory, yet it is the same sunshine pouring forth, making each window a breath-taking work of art.  I'm sure you may have heard this analogy before.

Yet the love of God goes even deeper than comparing us to colored panes of glass.  It is not a bad thing that God sees Himself when He is enthralled by our beauty.  Scripture says we are adopted into God's family, that we are now called sons of God (Romans 8:15, 1 John 3:1-2).  Have you ever heard sermons where the pastor talks about the Godhead, and how each member (Father/Son/Spirit) were perfectly loving each other in relationship?  That God didn't need to make us, because He was complete in Himself.  He wanted to create us.

If God loves perfectly within the Godhead, therefore, He loves us by the very same standard, as we have the Spirit of God living within us and we were bought by the cross of Christ.  He cannot deny Himself.  We recognize that God sees Christ when He sees us, but we don't often internalize that God also loves us AS HE LOVES CHRIST. 

Think about this for a moment.  When God made a covenant with Abraham, He swore by Himself, as there is no greater name to swear by (Genesis 22:16-17).  There is no greater Love.  There is no greater Joy.  There is no greater Peace than God Himself.  Therefore, even God enjoys Himself.  The Father delights in the Son.  The Son delights in the Spirit, and the Spirit precedes from both, therefore delighting in both.  And in the same way, the entire Godhead delights in His children through the sacrifice of Christ.

There truly is no greater love than the love God has for Himself.  While this sounds egocentric and vain to the world, if one truly knows that God is meek and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29), then they will know the truth of it. 

While we each live the life of Jesus through our faith in the Son of God, we are each unique, different members of the Body of Christ.  We will never be elevated to God's level of Glory, but we shall one day be glorified, higher than the angels.  Only God Himself will be higher than us in the universe and beyond.  We are now a part of God's family, as high as any created being can possibly go (Ephesians 2:6, Revelation 3:21).  Quite literally, we are united with Christ in God as our Bridegroom. 

The two shall become one flesh.  The Two shall become one Spirit.

This is the measure by which God loves us - He loves us as if we were members of His Godhead.  He is enthralled by our beauty because our Beauty comes from God.  There is no higher beauty.  He loves us because He shines through us, but also, because He painstakingly created the stained glass window that we are.  And while we're sanctified by His Truth here on earth (John 17:17), He is continuing to create us to reflect His image.

Everything in this universe begins and ends with the most glorious Being in existence -- the King of Glory.  And if our glory reflects His Glory, indeed we reflect His Beauty, and in that, we take His breath away.

Praise the Lord!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

You're A Reformer

Does this describe you? Because it sure describes me. No longer satisfied with "playing church", I want to BE the Church! I want to set people on fire, I want to wake people up and compel them to love the Lord. I want to soar on wings like eagles, I want the Word of Christ to dwell in me richly.

Not to us, but to Your name, be the Glory. \O/

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why am I Me?

When I was a little girl, I used to stare at my hand and ask myself, "Why am I me?"  A little profound for a little girl, but I wanted to know.  Why wasn't I someone else?  Why these parents; why this life?

The answer?

Because God willed it so (1 Corinthians 12:18).

God wanted me for His purpose, for such a time as this.  It pleased Him to give me certain gifts, to look a certain way, to have my personality. 

It was all for Him.

It humbles me that He willed me to exist.  It never ceases to amaze me that I breathe His air, eat His harvest, and live His life (Galatians 2:20) - simply because His will is for my heart to continue beating that I may advance the Kingdom of God.

Who am I that God thinks such thoughts of me?  That He planned all this for me?  That He wants me to be a part of His Grand Design?  Doesn't He know I'm forgetful?  Unfaithful?  Isn't He aware that I have a mean temper?  Cant He see my selfish streak or that I let people down -- all the time?

Doesn't He know I'm broken with sin? (Romans 3:10)

Of course He knows.

He came into the world to take my sin, to clothe me with Himself and give me His eternal Life (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Again, who am I?  Not even a mote of dust before His eyes and yet He condescends to love me with a fervent, passionate, everlasting love. (Songs 8:6)

"Why am I me?"

To be the object of His Love so that He will ever be the Object of mine.
(1 John 4:19)

Forever and always, Yeshua, You have my heart.  I love You. 

Praise the Lord.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Are You a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

I've had something on my mind for quite awhile.  What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ?  Most folks believe a disciple is anyone who has faith in the Lord Jesus.  I think in a broad sense, they're right.  However not every "disciple" is being "discipled".

I think there's a huge gap between calling yourself a disciple and actually being discipled.  A "disciple" is what you are - a noun that implies you're sitting under the lordship of a Master.  "Being discipled", on the other hand, is a verb, an action, a daily pursuit to learn from that Master.

To give an example, it's safe to say every child in a classroom is a student.  But not every child studies.  You might have the slacker, the class clown, or the one who's always asleep in the same class as the child who actively seeks to excel.

There are so many people in this world who profess Christ and claim to be disciples.  Perhaps they are true believers, only God can read their hearts.  However, it's not too hard to discern they aren't making an effort to disciple themselves by the Word of God.  Famous singers and actors profess Christ, yet their music is laced with profanity and their movies are morally ambiguous.

I realize there's a disconnect between real life and fiction.  I used to write fiction, after all.  But I cannot for the life of me picture the Apostle Paul writing erotica, singing songs with foul or suggestive language, or acting in questionable movies.  If the Lord Jesus Christ Himself wouldn't do these things, then why do His followers?  It might boost one's career, but it does nothing for one's relationship with Christ, and in fact, these types of behaviors actually harm that relationship.

I'm not just talking about famous people, but everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus.  As disciples of Christ, we represent Him here on earth.  Scripture calls us ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  That means our citizenship is in another world and we're representing our homeland here on earth -- the Kingdom of God.

If you were an ambassador for the United States, how would you act to represent this country?  It is no different as an ambassador for Christ.  We are His Body here on earth.  If someone knows you're a believer, yet witnesses your half-hearted commitment to our Lord, what does that say about you, about your salvation, and about your love for Jesus?

God made it clear through Christ's Two Great Commandments what true discipleship looks like.  We love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.  This isn't some passing fancy.  This isn't lip-service.  We don't love God in the same way we might "love" our roommate.  Think about the measure of devotion one must have to love another with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Think about how difficult it is to be selfless rather than selfish.  But that's what God calls us to do.  He wants us to love Him with every last atom of our existence and pour ourselves out for others.

That means all affection, adoration, and devotion belong to God.  Heart.
All your prayers, worship, and eternity belong to God.  Soul.
All your thoughts, studies, and entertainment belong to God.  Mind.
All your willpower, all your perseverance, and all your ability to follow belong to God.  Strength.

All of these are accomplished when we earnestly seek God.  He promises over and over that if we seek Him, He will be found (Deuteronomy 4:29, Matthew 7:7).  No one can do this on their own.  We need to pray for God's help to love Him in this way, as we cannot make ourselves do something that is foreign to us.  Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we're bound to fail.

For myself, I asked God to help me love Him like the Apostles.  It was a genuine prayer, from my heart, and God granted it because it is His will for every child of God to know Him as the Twelve knew Him.  In fact, you can be sure any genuine prayer you pray to better yourself for the Kingdom of God will be heard and answered.  The Apostle John told us if we pray according to the will of God, we have what we've asked of Him (1 John 5:14-15).

We might not know God's will for our lives in the day-to-day, but I'm confident in this, that God's will for each of His children is to know Him.  If we point our prayers in that direction, for God to reveal Himself to us, to give us a love for His Word, to fan the flames of our hearts, to learn more about Jesus, to do good works for His Kingdom, to love others, to be a light for Him, to equip us with knowledge and wisdom in Him, then He will honor these prayers and by His will, the Holy Spirit shall begin discipling you.

Being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ is not easy.  Likely that's why many don't disciple themselves.  I used to write erotic romance.  When I decided to disciple myself, I retired.  And it was a joy to do so.  Remember, I had prayed for God to help me in this.  When I laid down my writing for Jesus, I knew I was doing so for His glory, and not my own.  I no longer wanted my mind to be filled with such thoughts.  I no longer wanted to be an accomplice of filling the minds of my readers with such thoughts.

In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul talks about food that's been offered to idols and whether or not it should be eaten.  My issue wasn't with food, but the concept was sound -- don't live so as to make your weaker brother or sister stumble.  I saw the vanity in what I was doing, that the Kingdom wasn't advancing through me, that Christ wasn't glorified through me, that others couldn't see Him in me.

As a Christian, I quite literally disgusted myself.

But the Lord takes what the enemy means for evil and works it for good.  I'm still a writer, but now I write for God.  And pretty much everyone who knew me before knows what I do now.  If I had retired quietly, God wouldn't have been given the glory.

The point I'm trying to make here is that Christians need to be discipled.  We have it in our heads that we need to do it in groups, have a mentor, or have an older Christian to guide us.  While those are wonderful resources to have, I have learned the Holy Spirit is quite capable of discipling a child of God all on His own (1 John 2:27).  Everything you read on my blog I've learned under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.  I retired from writing romance in 2011 and these past few years have rushed by like a hurricane - God has restored the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25) and used me to reach you.

Everything I do on my blog, I do out of love for my brethren in Christ.  I truly feel as if the Lord is moving through the candlesticks of His Church and fanning the flames in the hearts of every true believer.  I have an intense desire to urge His Bride to wake up, stand up, and look up for their Bridegroom and know Him as I do.  I meet a lot of disciples of Christ.  But it is rare to find those who are actively being discipled.

If you are a Christian, you must grow in the Lord.  Don't be content to be a withered little sproutling in a dark corner of the Lord's garden.  Endeavor to become a mighty oak, planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither (Psalm 1:3).  Ask God to make you a Christian who abides in Vine, one who has the Word of Christ dwelling in them richly.  Ask the Lord to make rivers of Living Water flow from your heart.  Ask God to mold you and shape you into a mature Christian who actively seeks Him in both prayer and study.  

If you do this, then Christ can and will use you mightily for the Kingdom of God.  And at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Son of God - The Love of My Life

For everyone who's reading this, I wanted to give you a glimpse into my heart.  I have prayed often to God that He's the only One who truly knows the extent of my love for Him.  I rarely talk about Jesus among friends, as sadly I don't have many close, godly, Christian friends--at least ones who have a desire to talk about deep theology and the things of God.

So, like Mary, the mother of Jesus, I hide these things in my heart (Luke 2:19).

Upon reading a journal entry of mine that's about six months old now, I felt the nudge of the Lord that it was time to share it, that perhaps by my example, others can know there are more Christians out there like them.  Perhaps they can know they're not alone, that there are Christians who, like King David, pant after and long for the heart of their God.  There are those who aren't blinded by the emotional outbursts of some, or the false pretenses of others.  There are those with discernment and the gift of faith, who stand tall upon the Rock of their salvation--who see Christ high and lifted up, and magnify His holy name.

Or perhaps this can be an example to others who don't know Christ in this way, who have never considered loving Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.  Maybe they've stumbled upon this blog by accident, maybe they're a Christian, and yet have never beheld a mature believer who's not simply "on fire for Jesus", like many a charismatic may claim, but rather, has surrendered their life unto Him in total and complete trust and devotion.

Therefore, without further adieu, here is my own personal journal entry from March 20th, 2014:

After reading the account of Sarah Edwards and her love affair with the Lord God, I was inspired to write down my own thoughts and feelings regarding the Treasure of Heaven.

Yeshua Messiah is everything to me.  He is my all-in-all.  In Him, there is nothing I lack; I have all I need.  I see His beauty everywhere - the sky, the birds, the flowers.  He speaks to me in gentle, lilting ways, igniting my heart as well as my mind.  The angels speak true - the whole earth is full of His glory!  

The depth of my closeness to Him is as an ocean, bottomless and vast.  No matter how deep I go, there is more depth to plunder.  No matter how far I go, the far shore is never sighted.  And yet I know my finite brain has only seen God as through a key hole, just a glimpse of His majesty, just a taste of His sweetness.

But that is all it takes to make me hunger for more, a famine for the Word of the Lord.

The Bible is a feast - the Word is bread; it is the table that God has prepared before me in the presence of my enemies.  Every page, every word, a glittering gem, a thread, a rabbit hole of deeper and fuller understanding of the character of God - through Yeshua our Lord.

God's truths have been made manifest to me - no longer written in a Book, but upon my heart, real and everlasting.  And through these promises and knowledge of His character, I spend so much time in prayer, adoring my Maker, my Husband, the God of the whole earth.  The Lord of Hosts is His name!

The sky is His tabernacle; my heart is His Holy of holies.  He dwells before me, beside me, within me, closer than my very breath.  There isn't an atom in my body which does not adore Christ.  He is my daily pursuit, my magnificent obsession, the Lover of my soul.  No book is more precious to me than the Song of Solomon, of knowing Yeshua so thoroughly that I can say with confidence -- "He is my Beloved and my Friend, the Chiefest among ten thousand!"

And yet He condescends to love me unconditionally, the chiefest among sinners.

How can I not be fascinated by such devotion?  How can I not be moved to know that God Himself did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, that He counted it all as loss in order to win His Bride - to win ME?

God's love is better than life - now the psalmist speaks true.  To live is Christ, but to die is gain for we shall ever be with the Lord.  What sweeter reality is there?  What earthly promise can compare?

Communing with Christ brings Heaven to earth.  Entering His presence is both weighty and wonderful.  His love is tender, it is true, it is so fulfilling to heart and soul.  A saddened heart becomes joyous, an agitated heart becomes at peace, an offended heart melts with love.

Christ has saved the best of my walk with Him for now, when I can know and appreciate Him as my Bridegroom and not just as my Father, Brother, or Friend.  He has brought me into His chambers and His banner over me is love.  He has clothed me with the gold of Ophir and tells me that one glance from my eye ravishes His heart.

It moves me to tears to know I mean so much to the Starbreather.  That I reside within the heart of my God just as He lives in mine.  He is my Fortress, I am His temple.

I feel Him all around me - at all times - wherever I go.  He is my garment and my fragrance.  He has visited me in dreams, and He is glorious.  The longer I sit in His presence, the more aware I am of His holiness compared to my sinful nature.  I feel the divide between us, how far I am from Him in righteousness, and yet, He says, "Look at Me."

But I say, "No, Lord, do not look upon me, for I am black with sin."

He answers, "My dove, there is no stain upon you."

He has blessed me far beyond all I could ask or think - I am the object of His affection and at times feel Him very close to me.  He loves me, and while I know I do not deserve Him, He has given Himself to me and for me, so I may be with Him where He is.

I was created for Him.  I was created to worship and adore Him.  And I do, wholeheartedly.

He is the object of MY affection, and may it never be otherwise.  I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine.  I have found the One whom my soul loves.

Yeshua Messiah, Son of God, Lord of Hosts, King of Kings, Ancient of Days.

Words are not adequate to describe my devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.  I praise Him that He can read my heart, for He is the strength of my heart, and my portion... FOREVER.