FRESH MANNA NO. 23
HEARING THE BELOVED’S VOICE
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
OCTOBER 23, 2003
“My Beloved responded and said to me; “Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come along.” Song of Solomon 2:10. NAU
Within the heart of every man there is a longing after God. No matter how one’s view of God is understood, or how many wrong paths taken, the heart responds to THE CALL OF OUR FATHER TO COME HOME. In Psalm 90:2-3 we read, “Before the mountains were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. You turn man back into DUST and say, “RETURN, O CHILDREN OF MEN.” The KJV translates the Hebrew word “dakaa,” which means to be crushed literally or figuratively to powder, as “destruction.” Whether the word dust or destruction is used, the intent is that one is reduced to the place where rectification is required, and this brings restoration, and a spiritual coming home.
We who have received Christ have often assumed, to use the language of Sunday School songs, that we had “The Ticket” and were on the way, via the “Gospel Express,” to heaven. Now, if “heaven” as commonly taught is the goal, then the sooner we die the better. Any takers?
A brother once had a vision of his congregation as a “nursery full of babies.” Some had been there many years, and still constantly needed their diapers changed. Even though they had been spiritually birthed, the pathway to spiritual maturity and a growing relationship with our Father didn’t seem to exist.
Madam Guyon has said, “Most Christians do not feel that they have been called to a deep inward relationship to their Lord. But we all have been called to the depths of Christ as surely as we have been called to salvation.” It is sad to say that, we often settle for the baby’s rattle, and all the blessings we can get, with no desire for spiritual growth. And yet, there is inner longing in our spiritual nature to grow in Christ Jesus, BUT it has been stalemated because of the preaching of the modern gospel that is extremely self-serving, and a fly away eschatology.
Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”
The Psalmist wrote, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2
Is there that hunger, that longing in each one of us? Along the journey our Lord takes us, it is easy to assume that we have arrived when we but stop at an oasis. IT IS SO EASY TO GET CAUGHT UP IN SOME REVELATION OF TRUTH, BUT HOW MUCH REVELATION OF CHRIST DO WE HAVE?
In Jeremiah 48:11-12, we read about Moab being “at ease from his youth” and that no change had come. Change was required, so God said, “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will send to him those who tip vessels and they will tip him over, and they will empty his vessels and shatter his jars.” Jeremiah 48:11. This speaks of the sometimes strong dealings of God to those who are at rest in Zion. When He said, “Return, O children of men,” He intended for man to return to all that was lost by sin (errors; situations and results of where we in our father Adam, missed the target), AND then move onto sonship and the fullness of relationship.
The Song of Solomon is a love story which many believe is meant to typify Christ and His church. The heart longing of the Shulamite begins with “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” The kiss, an intimate touch, speaks of the longing the longing for further intimacy. She then describes his love as better than wine, his fragrance and his name as ointment. The Hebrew word used for ointment [#8081 shemen] is that for “anointing oil,” that of the Spirit, and so the “virgins love you.” The cry is “Draw me after you and let us [corporately] run together!”
Yet, even as the Shulamite wanted more of Him, her heart center was wrong. In SS 2:16 we read, “MY beloved is MINE, and I am his.” Even as so many of us have done, we relate all that Christ can give us to SELF. Our desire is for US, and not for HIM, excepting as the Blesser. A rectification, a change must come!
The condition in SS 2:16 is like that the Shulamite’s brothers describe in SS 8:8. “We have a little sister, and she has no breasts.” She may be very young or immature for her age. Perhaps she is one of the “spiritual babies” in the brother’s vision. After many years, spiritual growth is missing, and self is evident. The gospel of what Jesus can do FOR ME is all that is wanted as she is still in diapers and drinking only milk.
When we come to SS 6:3 we find, “I am MY BELOVED’S, and MY beloved’s is MINE.” Here we realize that while SELF is still evident, she is beginning to realize that she belongs to HER BELOVED.
True change and growth are seen in SS 7:10. “I am MY BELOVED’S, and HIS desire is for me.” She now recognizes that she is the POSSESSION of her beloved, and so his desire is for her. Self is no longer at the center, only Christ Jesus. Now she knows that she is indeed God’s possession.
Unlike the “little sister” we found in SS 8:9, the Shulamite can say of herself, “I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers [strength and maturity]; then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.” Growth and maturity have come. The striving for things has been exchanged for Christ alone. She has entered into PEACE because of her relationship with the Prince of Peace.
Paul the apostle, in Philippians 3:10 wrote, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” This is what it is all about – KNOWING CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD. John 17:3 tells us, “And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW YOU, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” ETERNAL LIFE is NOT “pie in the sky,” it is RELATIONSHIP OF KNOWING GOD, and then partaking of His glory. THE Greek word for “know” that is used here is “ginosko” which speaks of a continual knowing, and an intimate knowing.
Can we hear the voice of the Spirit saying, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along?” For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.”
We must listen to His voice, for He desires to commune with us. Then we may say as Paul said, “FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST.”
Be blessed for/with His glory!
FRESH MANNA NO. 23 – HEARING THE BELOVED’S VOICE [Kenneth Greatorex] 1