Wednesday, March 31, 2010

awaken our hearts

i have been reading the song of solomon again lately and i have been struck with this thought:  i cannot even desire to love Him without Him giving me the desire.  without His beckoning and imparting the grace for me to desire, i would live my life in cold apathy.  in order for me to even realize that i am not experiencing the fullness of life, He must come and awaken my heart and open up my eyes. 

so many times i find myself like the young bride in the song of solomon.  i do have that initial desire that He has given me, but i get so caught up in life that i find myself grasping for the comfort of my routines and slumber (sometimes figurative and sometimes quite literal).  often i need that gentle kick in the pants to go seek Him out. 

i was asleep but my heart was awake. a voice! my Beloved was knocking: 'open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one! for my head is drenched with dew, my locks with the damp of the night.'
"i have taken off my dress, how can i put it on again? i have washed my feet, how can i dirty them again?" song of solomon 5:2-3
so many times i have that initial desire - even though i am lulled to sleep by the rush and churning all around me, deep down my heart is awakened to love Him.  yet i cannot muster up the motivation to go to Him even when He comes to me.  the cares of this life, good and bad, lull me to sleep and it is so hard to get myself to come out of it.  how i wish i had the strength of will and courage to follow through on my desires for Jesus every time.  but so many many times i do not follow through.  so many times none of us do.

but here is the amazing part:  He keeps coming back to call us to Himself.  you see, there is a difference between rebellion and immature love.  He is so faithful to seek me even in my rebellion.  what i am suffering from is not rebellion.  i am simply immature in my love for Him.   i have the initial desire to love Him, but i do not have the strength to carry this love out. 
the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. matthew 26:41

if He is faithful to seek me even in my rebellion, how much more faithful is He to come to me again and again in my immaturity.  He awakens this love inside until it is not only a warm feeling when He draws near, but a blazing fire of active mature love.  here is the good news:  He is faithful in my weakness.  He is there to make me strong.  not strong in the independent "i can take care of myself" type of false strength.  strong in the dependent, "who is this coming out of the wilderness leaning on her Beloved" type of strength that draws curiosity from all onlookers.

immediately after my lazy excuse to not pursue Him whom my heart loves, He comes once again:
my Beloved extended His hand through the opening, 
and my feelings were aroused for Him. 
song of solomon 5:4
this time i am stirred to get up but He is gone.  yet again, this is exactly the beauty of His love.  He will do what it takes to bring me to higher and higher levels of real love, even if it means removing His immediate warm fuzzy feeling presence for a short season.  if i can love Him when the warm fuzzies aren't present, i am starting to learn what is real love.  He does not withdraw Himself forever.  He always returns to His bride whose heart yearns for Him.

i will leave you with a mike bickle quote that comes back to mind over and over again when i think about the trials of life that draw me to the Lord, even the withdrawing of His nearness for a time.

God uses the least severe means possible
to bring forth the greatest amount of love 
at the deepest level.

awaken our hearts that we might love You.



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