Returning to The “Who” Of Our First Love

The Song of songs, which is Solomon’s” ~Song 1:1

The Song Returns Us To The Who Of Our Spiritual BeginningsHistory tells us that King Solomon was known for writing 1005 songs.[1] But incredibly, the only one knowingly preserved unto this day is called the “Song of songs!” Obviously, this makes it very important. In Hebrew, the term “of” is superlative, emphasizing preeminence and choiceness. Other examples are: “King of Kings” and “Holy of Holies.” What this means for us, is to pause, and here consider the life-changing implications of treading further. How would it feel to suddenly come upon a door that reads, “You are entering a sacred place. This is the Song of Heaven itself”? This is essentially what the first part of verse 1 is communicating.

What is YOUR experience with the Song of Songs?

I believe anyone starting off on a journey of faith knows, deep down, that the “Song” is uniquely special and useful for their spiritual life. But unfortunately most don’t have the tools to properly understand it. When I was a young girl, I remember reading the Song in secret, and how it ignited desires in me for what was spiritually possible in my love-relationship with Christ. But being in a strict religious environment, I didn’t have a mature place to talk about the details of sex, let alone a book like the Song of Songs! So it was largely something that I “put on a back burner,” while meanwhile pursuing a more intellectual and dispassionate approach to studying the Bible.

I once heard it said, that a newborn’s spiritual journey begins with a revelation of a “Who.” The simplicity of this newly awakened love is pure and unadulterated. Then as we begin to mature, we take more of an interest in the “What’s” and “Why’s” of our beliefs: What do we believe in? Why do we believe them? This often takes us down more religious/church paths, as we seek out people to teach and guide us. But sadly, more often than not, a relationship with Christ is taken for granted. A revelation of spiritual family is replaced with “church” family, and we fall into pursuits and distractions that are non-intimate by nature: even good things “about” God, but that somehow leave us destitute of a truly meaningful interaction with the “Who” we were once in love with.

This has worked itself out in history, too. Listen to this quote:

“Undefiled religion started off in Palestine as a Relationship,
traveled to Greece where it became a Philosophy,
traveled to Rome where it became an Institution,
traveled to Europe where it became a Culture,
and then to America where it became a Business.”
– unknown

I believe we are in a time of history right now, revealing a remnant of people who are no longer wandering in this wilderness, but instead focused on the “Who” of their first love. They are weary of never-ending opinions on politics, philosophy, and culture. They have shed the garments of dead religion. And they have repented of their fearful wanderings – returning with a whole heart to truly be a part of God’s “intimate Kingdom.”

It is for this remnant that the Song has been locked for, waiting to be released!

My prayer is that in the days ahead, I/we will be aware of any remaining reservations to fully entering into this deeply submitted, and fruitful love-relationship that we were born for.

He taught me how to sing the latest God song,
a praise song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.
~Psalm 40:3

[1] 1 Kings 4:32

This is only one post, in a weekly series on the Song of Songs. Interested in getting them all? Subscribe to theIntimate Kingdom” email list today! :-)

Breaking from a Village Focus

What do you think of when reading the following quote? It was something posted on Facebook by an old family friend who we fondly called, “Uncle Sam.”  That he’s not my real uncle, yet had a spiritual role in my life as one, is only a confirmation of what I personally thought of when I first saw the quote. (I’m still interested in what you see in it, as well)

Kingdom of God and Village Quote

Jesus said the same thing in so many words: that the Kingdom of God is not where you can have one foot in, and one foot out. His disciples had to literally leave their old lives and many relationships, (“villages”) in order to literally follow Him for the three intense years He ministered on earth.  I assume some spouses came along. Some did not. Generally, it was close family members that had the biggest problem with the radical new thing Jesus was bringing about,¹ and they were the sorest source of resistance and  “pull” from fully following Jesus.

When Peter felt the need to remind Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you,” Jesus had no argument. Only an encouragement. His encouragement was that you don’t leave the smallness of one’s “village,” to enter a place of emptiness. You come into a large Kingdom with an abundance of spiritual relationships.

Truly I tell you, anyone who has left homes or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for Me and the gospel, will not fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land—along with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life.  ~ Mark 10:28-30

Unlike a generic “brotherhood,” (an orphan substitute commonly offered in “church” life) the Kingdom contains true, and everlasting family that can only be discerned and enjoyed when there is a shift in one’s priorities away from the “village mindset” that keeps us fearful, limited, and walking in the concerns of the flesh all the time.

It’s not easy to live in the Kingdom now. Especially when in doing so, one may have to endure condemnation, misunderstanding, or grief from those you love, and even respect.

“Forgetting” What Lies Behind

In the Song of Songs, there was a beautiful woman who either left, or was taken from her village, who later became the bride of Solomon. To say she did not struggle a little may not be accurate. In fact, I can hear the voice of the aged David saying to this woman:

Listen, daughter, pay attention and consider: forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty, and honor him… Psalm 45:10-11

It’s a hard saying, but as the Bride of Christ, it’s just not possible to endlessly seek for the approval of others, and be fully engaged in Kingdom work. Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?  Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10.  This does not mean literally abandoning family, or being callous and unloving to those we are in relationship to – but it does mean being aware of one’s affections, and how they may be divided from Christ and His Kingdom.

His Bride… has dove’s eyes only for Him.  It may be possible to do this, wherever we are, but the expectation of challenges and persecution should always be counted on.

¹ Matthew 10:35-37

For more reading, see: The Fellowship of Dove’s Eyes