Leaning on the Beloved

design (20)

A few weeks ago, I was searching the word for scriptures on love, and I stumbled onto Song of Solomon 8. Looking for more understanding of the text, I began looking up different commentaries.  As I searched online, I found a commentary written by enduringword.com, and as I scrolled down the page, my eyes landed on verse 5,

“Who is this coming up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved?” Song of Solomon 8:5a NKJV

As I read further, there was a quote given from the preacher Charles Spurgeon who was known for his radical preaching and style. He beautifully paints an illustration of his understanding of this bible verse and how it compares to Christ and His church. 

“She leaned because she was weak and needed strength. She leaned because the way was long. She leaned because the way was perilous. She leaned because the path was ascending, going higher and higher. She leaned because her progress took her more and more away from others and more and more to her beloved’s side. She leaned because she was sure her beloved was strong enough to bear her weight. She leaned because she loved him.”

“Beloved, there is no part of the pilgrimage of a saint in which he can afford to walk in any other way but in the way of leaning. He cometh up at the first, and he cometh up at the last, still leaning, still leaning upon Christ Jesus; ay, and leaning more and more heavily upon Christ the older he grows.” (Spurgeon)

The picture Spurgeon painted set a fire in my soul and has helped me understand more and more of what our life with Christ should look like. When I read the scripture for myself, I see the trust and reliance the women placed in her beloved. She knew she needed him to make it to her destination and she loved the closeness her dependency brought. She knew that he could hold her weight (her baggage) and she willingly rested on him without fear. She was not frustrated with his help, but instead, she welcomed every ounce of it. She even trusted his navigation skills, without question, to get her to the place she needed to be. She did not fight against his hold, but instead, she sunk into it allowing his body to be what kept her standing and going. She was okay with the help of her beloved and she did not refuse it. What a beautiful picture that has been set before us.

But I now wonder, what my walk with Christ looks like. Does it mirror this depiction or does it clash with what God truly desires? How about yours? Does it exude the beauty portrayed above, or does it pale in comparison? Be honest with yourself.

In a world that tells us we must be independent at all times and stand on our own two feet, and if we want something then we have to make it happen on our own, this picture causes a conflict to arise against the lifestyle we have become so accustomed to. Though the world tells us one thing, God desires something entirely different.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14 NIV

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

 “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” Psalm 127:1 NIV

In all of these scriptures, the common thread is that apart from dependency on God, we can do nothing and can go nowhere meaningful. I don’t know about you, but being successful according to man’s standards, yet missing the plan and purpose of God for my life, is something I don’t want to be a part of. No matter how rich or seemingly influential I could become, if it’s at the expense of my purpose in God’s will, then the world can have it all…no matter how big or how small it may be. Truly meaningful success and influence in the world can only come from being in the will and purpose of God. God told the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Leaning on Christ, as we walk through this life, will bring us to the expected end that God Himself has ordained for us. Think about it, it’s nothing like following a set of directions only to get to the end and the final result is not at all what you expected. But many of us live our lives like this, and Jesus, our Bridegroom, just wants us, His Bride, to look like the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon 8:5. He wants His love (that’s us) to lean on Him as we journey through the ups and the downs, the mountain tops, and the valley lows, in this thing called life. Our lives here on earth is only temporary, and then we’re gone. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to get to the end of many days and realize I leaned more on myself and the ways of man and not on the One who gave me life. And because of this, many people were left untouched by Christ through my life, my purpose left no mark in the earth for the Kingdom of God, and ultimately my life meant nothing because it was not lived out the way God desired. 

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days FASHIONED for me, When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16 NKJV

In this scripture, the word fashioned means, “to mold into a form, to plan and to frame. Did you know that God has already written the days of your life? That He has already shaped the path that He wants each of us to live out? We are not always mindful of the activities we choose to take part in and if they are what God wants us to do, and because of this, we are not always walking on the path He designed for us. But know that He has created a path specifically for you with your purpose in mind. Every manufacturer knows the purpose of their product. They know what they created it for, what it can do, the limits it can go without breaking down, and the work it is able to do at its maximum capacity. In the same way, God knows what we are capable of, but it takes a leaning and dependency on Him to bring it forth in the earth.

He knows the journey is not always the easiest or the most enjoyable at times, and He even knows the loneliness that comes with life, and that is one of the reasons why Christ walks beside us. He wants to be there to support us, to walk with us, and be the strength for us when we are weak. He desires to be our resting place and our guiding light. We can get nowhere fast without Him, but it’s only with Him, leaning against Him, can we make it to the expected end He has fashioned for us; journeying together and leading us to all those He desires for us to influence and share the Gospel to. Directing us, in His strength, to make to impact He designed our lives to make. 

So will you lean on Him, and journey with Him? Will you trust Him with your life and destiny, no matter the cost? 

 

All scripture passage were retrieved from, https://www.biblestudytools.com/.

Advertisements

Love is___________

While reading my devotional yesterday from “100 Favorite Bible Verses”, it suggested that wherever you see the word love or it, place your name there. As I inserted my name, I realized how easy it is to miss the mark of giving out and showing the love that God gives to us. I realized that even the smallest shifts in our attitudes can taint that love that God desires to be seen through His children. I repented, asking God for forgiveness and help to show His love to the world, even in the tough moments of life.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

To show love to people, is to show Christ to people. Today, do your own personal love inventory and place your name where you see love and it, and in your weak places of love, repent and ask the Holy Spirit for help. We aren’t meant to do this on our own; loving people can be hard. This is why it is so key for us to lean on the Holy Spirit for strength and help. It is in our weaknesses that God’s grace comes in and bridges the gaps in our lives. It is not by our own might nor by our own power but we overcome bleak areas in our lives by the Spirit of God. So let us lean on the One whose love is perfect, and allow Him to teach us, bridging the gap and developing in us His perfect love.

God Bless!

Known

Do you know that you are fully and completely known by God? David said in Psalm 139 verses one through four:
Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”
then he continued in verse 16,
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
What a revelation! There is nothing about us that God is not acquainted with; not our attitudes, our insecurities, our stubbornness, our confidences, or even the things we ponder on deep within our heart. Nothing about us is unknown to God, and nothing about us surprises Him either.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” Psalm 139:17-18
Even after knowing everything about us, the good, the bad and the indifference, we are told that God’s thoughts of us are still GOOD, and that they outnumber the grains of sand in all the earth. How can God love us this much?! I cannot fathom the awesome wonder of His majesty. I am mind blown every time I read this passage. To be loved beyond our own humanity is the nature of who God really is, and knowing that is such a comfort to my soul, like a hot cup of cocoa on a blistering, cold day. It just melts all of my worries away.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
He sent Christ into the word to save us because He loves us. Not because we are perfect and make the right choices and we are kind to everyone, but because He loves us and He knows we can’t get it together on our own. The manner of love He chooses to love us with supersedes our own understanding.
Below are the lyrics to a song called ‘Known’ by an artist named Tauren Wells, along with a link to its YouTube video. On rough days, and days that I just need to be reminded of God’s love and presence in my life, I put this song on repeat. And by the third or fourth time it plays, I am up on my feet, and singing with joy to the top of my lungs. I hope that this does for you what it somehow always does for me. Save this song to a YouTube playlist, or add it to your phone, because there will always come a day that we will need our chins lifted up and be reminded that we are not loved in a limited way by God, but that we are fully loved and fully known by Him! God Bless!
Known by Tauren Wells
It’s so unusual it’s frightening
You see right through the mess inside me
And you call me out to pull me in
You tell me I can start again
And I don’t need to keep on hiding
I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You
It’s so like You to keep pursuing
It’s so like me to go astray, ooh
But You guard my heart with Your truth
The kind of love that’s bullet proof
And I surrender to Your kindness, oh
I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You
How real, how wide
How rich, how high is Your heart
I cannot find the reasons why
You give me so much
How real, how wide
How rich, how high is Your heart
Now, I cannot find the reasons why
You give me so much
I’m fully known (fully known) and loved by You
You won’t let go (no you won’t let go) no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You
It’s so unusual it’s frightening
I’m fully known and loved by You
Lyrics taken from google.com. Bible passages taken form biblegateway.com. Video link taken from YouTube.com.

 

God Over Everything

design (17) “Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” John 15:4

Before we were born, God created us in our mother’s womb with a predisposition to Himself. He created us in such a way, that at our core we would have a desire for something greater; something greater that could only be filled by Him. And if not attended to, it would get covered up by all of life’s responsibilities, desires, and demands.

During some personal time with God, He helped me understand how important it is to have Him in the right position of my life. He spoken into my heart, “All you have to do is stay connected to the Vine and the fruit will grow. Spending time with Me should become a habit like brushing your teeth, or filling your stomach with food. Our time together develops a regular appetite for Me in your life. Over the course of your life, habits that draw you away from Me have already been developed. So even though I created you with the natural disposition to My presence, it can become covered up by things in life, like boxes stacked one on top of the other; putting the box you think you need the least at the bottom of the pile…Me. Then, life’s other responsibilities begin to get piled on top of My box. So when life gets crazy, and you need Me, you have to fight to get passed all the other “boxes” that have covered Me up. There has to come a time when a re-positioning happens in a person’s life when all those other things get removed and I become a priority, and placed in the highest position.”

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 NKJV

Many times, we decide to take care of our own business first, and when we feel up to it, or if we have the time, then we take care of God’s business. This is not what He desires. He wants true fellowship with His children. He craves for us to be close to Him at all times.

He doesn’t want what is left of us, but He wants all of us.

We tend to put God on the back burner because of the things piled up in our lives that overshadow His presence and importance in our lives. As a result, we become  self-reliant and dull in comparison to what He originally intended. He longs to be our one and only source and for us to cling to Him, but instead we have allowed life, in many ways, to make us blind and deaf to Him.

“For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.” Jeremiah 13:11 ESV

Reflect on your life and ask yourself, “What has caused my ears and eyes to be closed to Christ?” Then ask Him to search you and reveal the root of this.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24-25

God loves to examine us. With every examination, our eyes and ears open up more and more to the areas of our lives that we have become closed off to our Father. This draws us into Him, and it strengthens our relationship. He is our lifeline, and we can do nothing truly good and fruit producing without Him. 

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

One day while sitting at the lake, as I quieted myself to hear the Lord speak, He told me, “When you spend time with Me, it gives Me the opportunity to pour things into you, and to also take some things out of you; things you don’t even realize are present in your life. It allows Me to place things on your heart to pray for, in your life and in the world. It brings humility and plants seeds within you. And when you continue to come to Me, even when things are rough in your life, I am still able to produce good fruit in your life for people to eat on and be nourished.”

Our Creator loves working on us, even in the harsh weather life brings. Some of the greatest adversities in our lives produce some of the most amazing fruit. Some of the greatest pain we experience has the potential to create incredible beauty in the lives of others.

 It’s not easy staying connected to the Vine in the midst of all of lives responsibilities and burdens, but the only way to produce Godly fruit is to stay in continuously connected to Christ. He wants to show His glory through us and to us. Reflect on where you have placed Him in your life, and ask Him to help you put Him in His proper place. Draw closer to Him and watch the beauty that begins to blossom through and in your life.  

If God

“If God” by Casey J made my heart smile the other day, and I thought I’d share it. It reminded me of how much God loves and cares for us, and when we feel like no one is there, His Spirit is always present. Enjoy! The lyrics are below with a link to the music video. Happy Sunday and God bless.

“If God”

What shall we say to these things
There’s still cancer
And so much disease
What shall we say to these things
There’s so much violence
It’s getting hard to believeSo many questions
But still one answer

If God be for me
Who can be against me
If God is with me
Whom shall I fear
If no one knows me
Still His heart adores me
I am safe, I am loved, I am healed

If God be for me
Who can be against me
If God is with me
Whom shall I fear
If no one knows me
Still His heart adores me
I am safe, I am loved, I am healed
It’s only because

Oh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

You said You’re for me
Who can be against me
You said You’re with me
Whom shall I fear
If no one knows me
Your heart adores me
We are safe, we are loved, we are…

If You’re for me
Who can be against me
If You’re with me
Whom shall I fear
If no one knows me
Still Your heart adores me
I am safe, I am loved, I am healed

If You’re for me
Who can be against me
If You’re with me
Whom shall I fear
If no one knows me
Still Your heart adores me
I am safe, I am loved, I am healed

 

Casey J – If God / Nothing But The Blood

Lyrics taken from http://www.azlyrics.com

The Potter’s Touch

design (18)

Isaiah 64:8 says, ““But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” This is one of my favorite verses. It’s so amazing to be able to see oneself as a piece of art, and to God, we are just that…we are works of art created by His hands. A friend of mine encouraged me on a rough day and said, “When you fall off the wheel, God picks you back up and places you back on His wheel. An artist loves keeping his hands on his work; perfecting and molding it until it becomes exactly what they desire”.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Philippians 1:6 NLT

God told me, “There is nothing you can do to make me want to stop working on you…leaving My signature on you in the Earth. The world will know whose you are”.

So, if today is one of those low and down days, if this time in your life feels like you are continuously falling off the Potter’s wheel, be encouraged. He has no intention of allowing you to stay on the floor.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” Proverbs 24:16 NKJV

His loving grace enables us to keep getting back up again. I praise the Father for this truth, because every day is not easy, joyous day for me. Today, this reminder from God has breathed fresh wind into me. I hope you let it do the same for you.

Below are lyrics to a song called “Potter and Friend” by Dante Bowe with a link to the youtube video for the song. Read them, listen to the song, and allow the Spirit of God to pick you up, wipe the tears from your eyes and remind you of how loved and precious you really are to God. You are His child. Let Him embrace you like the Good Father He is.

God Bless.

“Potter and Friend”

Potter oh potter…
You saw this heart from the beginning
But still you put this clay in your hand
Even though it was ugly and filthy
You called it the best kind
You called me the best kind
So I’ll sing

Hallelujah to the potter who came and made me new…
Hallelujah to the potter who came and made me new
Thank you…

So put me on your wheel now…
And spin me around spin me around
Place me in your flame now…
Until you see through me
And I’m ready to come out
And all that was broke…
It won’t be broken after this no

Not after this
And all that was dead…
Is finding life again
And a true friend that so happens to be a potter
ohhhhh

Hallelujah to the potter who came and made me new…
Hallelujah to the potter who came and made me new
Thank you…

Cause you take broken things.
And make them beautiful.
Oh you take broken things.
And make them whole again.
Oh broken things.
And make them beautiful.
Oh you take broken things and put them back together again

So I’ll say

Hallelujah to the potter who came and made me new…
Hallelujah to the potter who came and made me new
I look just like you…

So come and go with me…
To the potters house…
And you best believe…
Oh he’ll something good…

Oh he’ll make something good…
Yeah he’ll make something good…
Oh he’ll make something good off the dust

Potter and Friend By Dante Bowe Ft. Jesse Cline

All Bible verses have been copied from my.bible.com. 

Hit, but Not Destroyed


design (16)
Someone said this to me one day when I was at church. They walked right up to me and gave me a word from God at a time when I was feeling less than wonderful. Have you ever had one of those days when nothing about you seemed to be going right? When your esteem was down, your head hanging low, and then all of a sudden, someone steps in and helps you see yourself as God does? Well for me, this was that time. Now, being reminded of this time in my life by God, I want to share some encouragement with you all.

YOU ARE GOD’S MASTERPIECE! CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS IN CHRIST JESUS
AND SEALED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

Have you ever seen something spill on a laminated piece of paper? If it’s sealed in completely, the document inside remains untouched by whatever got spilled on it. Once the lamination gets wiped off, the document looks brand new and untouched. The spill happens, but it is unable to destroy what remains inside. Did you know, the Holy Spirit is to us what the lamination paper is to document? He is our protection and our sealant.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16 NLT

As we walk in the Spirit of God, meaning, we are in living in agreement with what God has said and wants us to do, we are kept under the sealant of the Holy Spirit. Life may happen, things may shift for better or for worse, but nothing will be able to reach in and snatch us from the hand of God and communion with the Father. As sons and daughters of God, we have been brought into His family through adoption, and living with the Holy Spirit leading our lives is proof of this. I heard it said like this, “the Holy Spirit is our [adoption] paper as proof that we belong to God”.

Do you know that you are valuable to God? So valuable that He was willing to sacrifice His most prized possession, His Son Jesus Christ, for your redemption just so you could be brought into a restored relationship with Him?

“ And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:18 NLT

YOU MATTER TO GOD!!

Your life, your soul, your mind; all that concerns you matter’s to Him. Your character, your self-esteem, your self-worth, the state of your being; it ALL matters to God.

You are His joy, His jewel, His love, His marvelous work, fashion by His hands and set apart for His glory.

You have been created in such a way that your very presence and existence is an answered prayer to a problem in the earth.

You are so loved and cared for that His thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand in all the earth. He knows you in every way possible, and His love for you has never changed. Your beauty is matchless and your purpose is uniquely divine. You are an exquisite work of art, brought forth by the hand of the Master Creator.

You were created on the tapestry of creation. Once you invite Christ into your heart to be Savior and Lord, you enter into the gallery of priceless artwork and you become enclosed with the frame of the Holy Spirit. Its frame is one that is embroidered with the love, grace, and mercy of God. Held together by the sacrifice of Christ. You are set high on display to shine the grace and splendor of your Creator. You are a living, breathing, moving, in penetrable, piece of art. You are matchless in all of your splendor.

Pause for a moment, and breathe in the truth of who you really are.
There is nothing that can be done to take God’s love away from you. There is nothing that can be done that will cause Him to look at you less than who He has created you to be. He wants you near Him, and He wants you to share in all that He is and in all that He has planned for you.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5 NLT

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT

He wants you near Him. Being close to Him is the only way you will ever truly be able to accept who you are.

No matter what happens to us, no matter what life brings to spill on us, we are covered and sealed and by the Spirit of God. Every life event, every hard hit, every bad day and broken heart, can only cover us for a moment. They may seem like they will overtake us and destroy us, but God is always there covering us with His protection. That’s His promise.

“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” Proverbs 30:5 NLT

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17 NKJV

Things may get on us, but it cannot blot us out..we cannot be destroyed. We are God’s and God’s alone. Let this sink in.

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Psalm 91: 4 NLT