Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Our Insides

 

 

"We long to see him too. Where may we find him? We will follow you as you seek after him."

Song of Songs 6:1 (TPT)

I'm so excited to share the next chapter of Song of Songs with you! I think it is lovely. Right away in the first verse the Brides maidens are talking to the Bride. They are inquiring about the Groom, for they too want to find him. They promise to follow her, the Bride, so that they too will find him. Isn't that lovely? The influence that you have as the Bride of Christ, the light that shines within you, is so beautiful that others want to know what it is. They too want that light and they are willing to follow you in hopes that you will lead them to this beauty.

The Bride responds: "My lover has gone down into his garden of delight, the place where spices grow, to feast with those pure in heart. I know we shall find him there. He is within me-I am his garden of delight. I have him fully and now he fully has me!"  verse 2-3

She knows Who she belongs to. She knows that she has become One with the groom, Jesus Christ. She knows He lives inside of her and she has become his Garden of Delight. This is you, my friend! Jesus looks at you and sees a beautiful garden; it brings him such delight!

The Groom responds: "you have ravished my heart, stealing away my strength to resist you."  verse 4

Have you ever considered that the heart of Jesus is completely ravished  by you? Whoa! I looked up the word ravished and this is what I found: 1)" to fill with strong emotion, especially joy."  Did you know that when he is with you he is filled with many emotions, joy being the prominent one?  He says you are "more pleasing than any pleasure, more delightful than any delight, you have ravished my heart..." verse 4

I've known that Jesus loves me, of course! But, the more I discover how completely in love he is with me, the more I love him!  The more I pursue him, the more delighted he is. When the pain overtakes me, he is still there, ravished. 

"For your undying devotion to me is the most yielded sacrifice. The shining of your spirit shows how you have taken my truth to become balanced and complete." verse 5-6

The decision to follow Jesus, and to keep following Jesus no matter what is not always easy. He sees the sacrifice it takes, and he sees the way that sacrifice brings a certain shine to our lives. He turns our sacrifice of pain into joy; it's his speciality. He moves within us, transforms us, and uses us to lead others to him. He grows us up into maturity with the fullness of him deep inside of us. He uses us to bring his glory to places where it is most needed. The deep longings within our hearts moves from the selfishness of this world to the glory of our King. Wow, what a story!

Today, I hope you are able to see the love he has for you, the sheer delight he has in you, and when you do, your life will never be the same. 

 

 

When We Are Wounded

"As I walked throughout the city in search of him the overseers stopped me as they made their rounds. They beat me and bruised me until I could take no more.  They wounded me deeply and removed their covering from me. Nevertheless, make me this promise, you brides-to-be: if you find my beloved one, please tell him I endured all travails for him. I've been pierced through by love, and I will not be turned aside!"

Song of Songs 5:7-8 (TPT)

Well, you may have figured out by now that I am loving Song of Songs! With each chapter I fall more in love with Jesus, and I'm amazed at His adoration for me. This stuff is the ultimate of all love stories! Have you checked it out yet?

Chapter five begins with the King of Kings inviting His friends to see her beauty. "Feast on her, my lovers! Drink and drink, and drink again, until you can take no more. Drink the wine of her love. Take all you desire, you priests. My life within her will become your feast."   When we, the beautiful Bride overflow with the life of Jesus, we want to invite others in to see who He is. Family, friends, cities, nations, they all want to have a glimpse. 

The Bride recognizes that even in the darkness of night her Beloved came to her, and awakened her.  He beackons her to arise and move into a deeper space with Him. He sees her as a flawless Bride, one He longs to be with all the time. Isn't that so true? Have you slumbered in the darkness of night only to know that God is there calling you to something deeper?  Have you felt His intensity seep over you in such a way that you know His thoughts for you are pure and tender?

The Bride answers: "You have cleansed my life and taken me so far. Isn't that enough? My beloved reached into me to unlock my heart. The core of my very being trembled at his touch."

Sometimes in our walk we come to a standstill. God has cleansed us, He has journeyed with us, and all of that is so good. But, then, He touches us in unexpected ways, and suddenly, our hearts open up in places we may not have known were even locked. It causes our world to tremble, it shakes us up. And, then we are left to walk a new and unexpected path. I've been in this place too.  God comes along and opens my heart to new ideas, perspectives, thoughts....and then as suddenly as He came; it feels like He leaves. And, I am left to wonder....I can call out to Him, but there is only silence. I can find myself searching for Him, in the church and in others, only to be wounded and hurt by the very ones I trusted. Evenso, His love for me has taken me to such deep places that I cannot be turned aside.  "I've been pierced through by love, and I will not be turned aside!"

When those around us see the deep devotion and love we have for Jesus, even in the painful traumatic times, they too will want to know who He is. They will marvel and question his hold on us. And, we can tell them our story. We can share the unconditional love of Jesus. We can say, just as the Shulamite Bride said "The way he leads me is divine, His leadership-so pure and dignified as he wears his crown of gold."

It is true. God is our divine leader. He knows the way to go, and He is steadfast in all he does. He is delightful in every way and perfect from every viewpoint. Why do I love Him? "Because there is none like Him to me. Everything about him fills me with holy desire! And now he is my beloved-my friend forever."

Praying today that as He beackons you to arise from your slumber, you will arise. You will glow with His love and others will seek all that you have. You will be able to tell your story of despair and the victory of His love on the other side of that. 

 

You Are His Darling!

"Listen, my dearest darling, you are so beautiful-you are beauty itself to me! Your eyes glisten with love, like gentle doves behind your veil. What devotion I see each time I gaze upon you." 

Song of Songs 4:1 (TPT)

Chapter four of Song of Songs has a great beginning, don't you think? I mean, the King of Kings is calling you His dearest darling!  He doesn't stop there though, He also is affirming your beauty.  "You are so beautiful-you are beauty itself"! You, dear friend are the very definition of beauty to God. Wow!

If you haven't read Song of Songs yet, please do. This is a poetic book from Christ our King to His Bride. You are his Bride.  Further along in Chapter four we are told that we bring Him pleasure and when He sees our blushing cheeks He is moved to dance with us. My favorite part in this chapter is this line: "Perfect is your beauty, without flaw within. Now, you are ready, my bride, to come with me as we climb the hightest peaks together. Come with me through the archway of trust."

This is powerful. This is The Bride-groom King talking to you. He sees you as one with perfect beauty, one withour blemish or flaw. He isn't looking at your mistakes, your sins, your trials. He is looking at you, His Bride, and declaring that you are without flaw to Him.

What is going on? How could this be? 

It's a lot to think about. We all have our stories, places of sin that have caged us in, times of despair and loss. Yet, our King, the very lover of our soul, does not see us as a big mess due to our pain. He sees us as His beautiful Bride. He is there waiting to journey with His Bride to the hightest of peaks, He is drawing us to a place of trust, a future of new beginnings. He sees you and says "You are my Darling!"

He is ready to meet every obstacle head on together. He will not leave you alone. "Together we will wage war in the lion's den and the leopard's lair as they watch nightly for their prey.Whatever lies before you, His Bride, He will be there to fight with you. He is excited to stand beside you. He says that we, His Bride, reach into His heart, and He is undone by our love! We leave Him breathless-overcome by our worship.

Think about this. God looks upon us with adoring eyes. When we worship Him we steal His heart. His love for us is beyond any love we will ever experience with anyone else. It sets us free.  Free to live the destiny He has set out before us. Free to be the beauty He has created us to be. Free to live in the security of our King, and eat at his table. Free to be loved with great admiration. Free.

Grab hold of Him today and let Him take you to the highest peaks. Walk with Him through the archway of trust. Open your heart to Him, you won't regret it!

 

The Marriage Carriage

 

 

 

"Look! It is the King's marriage carriage. The love sea surrounded by sixty champions, the mightiest of Israel's host, are like pillars of protection. They are angelic warriors standing ready with swords to defend the King and his fiancee from every terror of the night." (TPT)

Song of Songs 2:7-8

I'm still reading through Song of Songs, and this is the verse that grabbed me this morning.  The King's marriage carriage---Christ is the King and He is there to carry His Bride---you and me! He has surrounded us with  His best champions, the strongest of strong to protect us. Warrior angels that are always on the look out for danger, ready with their swords to slash evil away. Readily at our side to protect our relationship with our King! 

I spent last week with a group of people that were eagerly seeking to know Jesus more. Each person leaning in to His voice to know His heart. It was really good. During one of the sessions, a lady said to me that God is fascinated with me! It definately hit a tender spot within me. I had not considerd that God would be fascinated with me!  It was especially meaningful because I have often said that I am fascinated with my children. They all share the grounded roots of my husband and I, yet they are all so different. I look at each one of them and think "fascinating". So, when I was told that God is fascinated with me, I knew He was reaching out to me in a language I understand. I felt encouraged and loved.  I could see myself in His marriage carriage being carried to the place of His heart. A place of unity, love, understanding. I could feel His protection around my being, and I was emboldened!

Throughout our life journey we all have times that we experience a dark night. When like Hezekiah, we might turn our face to the wall and melt into a place of deep despair.  "Night after night I'm tossing and turning on my bed of travial. Why did I let him go from me? How my heart aches for him, but he is nowhere to be found! So I must rise in search of him, looking throughout the city, seeking until I find him." verses 1-2 (TPT)

It is when we are able to move into a place of surrender that we find the Lover of our Soul.  When we rise from the sin that holds us back and believe we are the Bride He so longs to hold, we become fastened to him.

i think the imagery is beautiful. God is full of romance for His Bride, He wants to comfort us. He wants to be there to fill the emptiness that can take ahold of us and cause us toforget who we are. He wants to be by your side every step of the way, He wants to carry you through. 

Ask God today what He is thinking about you, I'm betting you will find His answer fascinating!

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