Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Am My Beloved's and My Beloved is Mine

I have found in my walk with Yeshua that abiding in Him is more than praying a lot.  It's more than reading Scripture every day.  It's more than listening to praise, going to church, or discipling the brethren.  Abiding in Yeshua is LOVING Him.  When one truly lives by the First Great Commandment, they are abiding in Yeshua.

I'm not talking about a love we might feel for a friend or a relative.  I'm talking about a Love much, much hotter, more zeal, more passion, more unshakeable.  The only love that can compare to the kind of devotion God longs for in us is the love between a husband and wife.  Truly.  Madly.  Deeply.

Anyone can know the length and width of Christ's love.  It is the backbone of Christianity.  But one doesn't always know the DEPTH of His love, and I believe finally knowing and plumbing that depth is what true abiding is all about.

Let me just say that I'm NOT talking about Yeshua as our "boyfriend" or even thinking any improper thoughts between Him and His children.  While there should be an intense intimacy between our hearts and God's Heart, that intimacy does not involve fleshly desires.  The metaphor of the Bridegroom and the Bride exists to explain how we are bound to Him at the cross.

Marriage itself is a picture of Christ and His Church.  Ephesians 5:31-32 says: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church."  We see this "one flesh" picture again when we are told Christ is the Head and we are His Body as explained in Colossians 1:18.  Our fates became "tangled", for lack of a better word.  He took our sins, we gained His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Because of this "oneness" between Christ and His Church, we share in His destiny as coheirs to Glory (Romans 8:17) and we are allowed to sit on God's Throne after our glorification (Revelation 3:21).  Because He rose from the dead, we, too, shall rise (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).  We are "one flesh" with Him.  Therefore, where He goes, His Church follows.

The moment we believe, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us.  We are told in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies become temples of the Spirit.  Paul goes on to liken our bodies to jars of clay that hold a tremendous treasure in 2 Corinthians 4:7.  How many of us have ever thought of God as our "Treasure" before?  Christ told us in Matthew 6:21 that "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Think about it.  As Christians, we have the Spirit of the Living God within us!  We can talk to Him any time we want to, and we are assured that He hears us by what Christ has done for us at the cross.  Yet how many of us treasure that privilege?  How many of us instead take it for granted, so "familiar" with God that we no longer have any reverence for Him?  Remember, it was due to our sin in the face of God's perfect Holiness that Christ had to come and die for us.  If we truly TREASURE God, our lives will reflect that.  We will abide in Him, living the abundant life Yeshua promised, and "out of our hearts will flow rivers of Living Water" (John 7:38).

But how does one come to treasure God?  It's not necessarily something you resolve to do one morning, although I'm sure you probably could.  I believe treasuring God starts with knowing how very much YOU are loved by Him.  "We love Him because He first loved us" is what the Apostle John tells us in 1 John 4:19.  Therefore, truly coming to love God with a deep intimacy grows from fully understanding the Gospel.  How salvation belongs to Him alone, and not by any work of your own.  That this work is finished, and that Christ did it all for YOU specifically.  He died for His Church, but we each come to Him through a single-file narrow gate.  

Once you fully digest that the Almighty God of the Universe became a helpless baby to live a perfect life without spot or wrinkle and died in your place, then you "get it".  And I believe it is a certain grace that God bestows to come to this knowledge.  We can have the head-knowledge of the Gospel all the day long.  But the Spirit-knowledge, which includes the incredible cost to Him and the unfathomable depth of His Love for you, comes by the grace of God.  

I believe this is the meaning of Song of Solomon 8:4: "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."

Treasuring God is treading the deeper waters of mature Christianity.  And it does not happen until one wishes it to happen.  It is beyond the infatuation of a baby Christian, and it goes beyond the old, comfortable love of being a believer for years.  When one finally sees the true Worth, Glory, Beauty, and Majesty of God, that realization not only humbles them, but brings them to a place of absolute adoration.  

A lot of Christians don't live life this way.  It's actually not a requirement of salvation.  But it IS the abundant life Yeshua promised.  How can one love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength if He is not their Treasure?  Christ outlines what God wants in the First Great Commandment and builds His ministry around that idea.   Don't look back, He says (Luke 9:62), hate all other relationships in comparison (Luke 14:26), and don't value the idols of this world but give them all up for Him (Mark 10:21).

However one thing is for sure.  A Christian who sees God as their Treasure and knows they are God's treasure in return (Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:6, Malachi 3:17) is a lonely Christian.  No one understands you, no one can relate to a person who values God this much.  Even fellow Christians who claim to really love God think you might be going overboard.  You rarely get to talk about the One who lights your soul on fire.  So you don't talk much when others are around.  Everything you do is just something to pass the time until you can be in His presence again.

God becomes altogether Lovely to you, and nothing else in this world compares.  Like gazing at the sun makes you blind to what's around you, gazing at the Son of God has the same effect.  When His Glory is beheld, colors seem a little dimmer, joy seem a like brass, and the only peace you find is in Him.

Perhaps that is why God fashioned storms to have a calm, center eye.  When God is the center of your life, even though troubles and hardships might rage all around you, the sun is shining, the winds are calm, and the seas are favorable.  

He is your Treasure and you are His.  A royal diadem in His hand, a crown of beauty for your God (Isaiah 62:3), and a pillar in His Temple (Revelation 3:12).

"I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine."  ~~Song of Solomon 6:3

Consider this verse in Song of Songs for a moment.  "I am my Beloved's..."  You belong to Yeshua.  He purchased you on the cross.  Your fate is tangled with His.  Wherever He goes, you now go.  His inheritance is your inheritance, just as it would be if you married a Crown Prince.

But the flip side of that beautiful poetic coin says "...and my Beloved is mine."  The God of the whole Earth, the Creator, the Starkindler, the Lamb, the Lion, El Shaddai, Elohim, Adonai, Yahweh, Yeshua, the Lord of Hosts...  is yours.  He WANTS to be your Treasure, your All, your Everything.  HE is the Pearl of Great Price one sells everything to obtain.  HE is altogether Worthy, there is none higher.  Heaven is Heaven because HE is there.  Blessings are blessings because HE gives them.  Love is beautiful because HE is Love.  Everything good, pure, holy, humble, generous...  it is HIM!  And He is yours!  ALL yours.  Say this out loud:  "Yeshua is mine."

Do you know how RICH you are, Christian?  Within your heart is the Greatest Treasure of all.  The Treasure of treasures.  Infinite, eternal, glorious, amazing, there are no words to describe the wonder of our God.  We do not come to God to get stuff, we come to God to get more of God!  When you are at that place in your life where God sits enthroned in your heart as King of kings and nothing else satisfies but the warmth of His smile, the Love in His eyes, and His rivers of Living Water, then Yeshua has become your Treasure, and you have just barely begun to crack open the gilded chest of Heaven's infinite riches.


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