“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away”. SOS 2:13
Last time we stepped into the romance found in the Song of Songs and made the allegorical connection between the passionate love affair described in those eight blissful chapters to the fervent love Jesus has for us as His Bride. The invite for romance is made by the Beloved as He bids us to “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away with me”, and yet if we are to respond, we must know how, and if to go away with Him, we must know where He is so we may follow. Now, all this may seem very strange since we might say we have found Him already. But if so, then where? Where is He who is fairer than ten thousand? (SOS 5:10) The Shulamite woman had known intimacy with her Beloved yet later did not know where He had gone.
1 On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. 2 I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. – Sng 3:1-2 ESV
Similarly, we can rely upon past moments of joyful encounter to sustain us, without the gratification of love in the present moment. Do you know where your Beloved is? Oh yes, we know by faith where He is, but this is not as straightforward as it may first appear. Of course, we believe Jesus lives in us and I’m not suggesting otherwise, yet why is it we can at times feel so very far from Him, or He from us? By the same faith we have in Jesus as our Saviour, there awaits a deeper, fuller, more vibrant and passionate encounter with Him as the Lover of our souls. Does not Hebrews 11:1 teach us, that faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen? Yes, faith not only grants the certain assurance of our hope in Jesus as Bridegroom, but it brings the proof of this romance also: when the unseen, conception of fervent love, becomes most undeniably real. You see, salvation is not only about redemption and restoration from sin and separation from God; the eternal work of the Cross brought us much more. It positioned and prepared us for union and ardent romance as His Bride.
So where is Jesus that we might be with Him? Where do we seek Him whom our soul loves? How do we even begin this journey to a deeper more intimate life? That’s the question all thirsty souls are well acquainted with and know how quickly the mind postulates to offer an answer. However, let’s be clear: Whatever supposed discovery is made in the outer courts of our thinking alas must there remain, there in the peripheral consciousness to contend with a thousand other thoughts to oppose it. No earthly mind is capable of apprehending a revelation of the Lord on its own. If our pursuit of the Bridegroom is one of rationale, we will fail from the outset and no persistent rumination or endless reasoning will lead us to find Him. Yet find Him we must if we are to respond to His call that bids us “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away”. What are we to do then? Are we without remedy? Thankfully not! Then what am I saying? Well to answer that, let’s read from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:
9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”– 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. – 1Co 2:9-16 ESV
This insightful passage underlines the inability of man, whether by sight, sound, imagination, or understanding to grasp anything beyond that which is immediately evident to him through his senses, mind, or spirit. One is simply beyond the reach of the other. That is to say, the unseen depths of God’s heart and mind are beyond the discernment of our natural faculties. And yet, the Lord has revealed Himself to us by a different means, hallelujah! That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. (John 3:6). When we were born again, we were quickened by the Holy Spirit who brought spiritual life to our spirit, soul and body.
Our minds were supernaturally empowered by the spirit of God to discern the very thoughts and mind of Christ. This renewed mind is dovetailed to become one with His and through this intersection flows all revelation and understanding.
This then is the answer to the question I posed earlier. We will find our Beloved who is calling us to arise and come away with Him beneath that which is temporal and of our flesh, in the deeper chambers of our frame which has been quickened by the Spirit of the Living God.
All Divine inspiration resides in the renewed mind, the mind of our spirit and not the mind of our flesh. This renewed mind is the mind within. It is not the tireless thoughts in our head, but the intuitive knowing of a heart at rest and quickened by the Spirit of God. Yet one is masked by the other. That which lies in the heart does not demand or compete for our attention, it does not shout but whispers quietly within and waits for the willing enquirer to come before divulging its knowledge and pearls of wisdom. Whilst, on the other hand, the craving of the outer mind is rarely satisfied; its self-centred craving threatens no end to restlessness. But just like the bully in the playground, the outer mind must be confronted and its wild outbursts tamed if we are ever to be free from its harassment. This is the spiritual discipline of silence, the forging of a new pathway to access the mind within where there is no deliberation or search for answers, no machination, fear or uncertainty. Why? Because here in the depths of the human heart is where the mind of Christ is hosted, a mind which knows all things lies beneath the clamour of peripheral thought. This is where our Beloved awaits us, this is where our journey must begin.