What is the proper focus for a christian? REMAIN IN HIS LOVE
Some churches emphasize the Bible, studying it preaching it memorizing it, others emphasize singing and praise, others urge to go witnessing, others encourage a life of holiness, others the need to rest in grace. I think that all these and other things of value are wrapped up in being a good wife to my eternal lover. I’ve been re-reading Hinds‘ Feet on High Places –, and my Shepherd bridegroom has been using the allegory to call me into a walk of greater love with Him.
I always seem to be relearning Basic Love 101.
“Verle, (Put your own name in) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.– “Thank you lord, I appreciate you noticing and being pleased with all that!”
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE.– “OUCH!”
I always had trouble with my children getting them to realize that the purpose of doing a task or experiencing an outing together was not about the task or the outing. It was about sharing and building memories and getting to know each other better, and I especially hoped they would get to know me better.
If I came home and my wife were to keep a perfect house and cook perfect food and care for the children perfectly and do perfect handicrafts etc etc. but didn’t like to hang out with me and enjoy being with me, ALL THE REST WOULD NOT COUNT. In the love chapter of 1 corinthians 13 I usually interpreted agape love to mean that, by God’s grace, I was to love other people like that: but it also means that all those achievements would mean nothing if I have not agape for my immortal bridegroom and revel in His love for me.
Perhaps the most important book in the Bible is the SONG OF SONGS after all.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
As any healthy groom, my groom is jealous. Do you remember the difference between envy and jealousy? He will fight for our relationship against anything that would get in the way of the relationship and love between groom and bride– even all the labour and patience and fighting for the right etc.
PRAYER-“Lord and lover, thank you for knowing me and still loving me and wanting to be in me and live through me and share with me in all my thoughts and events. Help me to overcome my fears of intimacy and learn to be real with you, and thank you for your persistence and never quit drawing me to a deeper love even beyond the first love we shared at the start.”
|THE HOUND OF HEAVEN
(FOR THE BRILLIANT ORIGINAL-go online)
-this is the poem made a bit more accessible by Verle Bell)
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, through the years; I fled Him, in the twisted thoughts of my own mind;
I sought to hide from Him, in tears or laughter. Up emotional highs I sped; And shot, down into gloomy fears, I ran from those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with un-hurrying chase, And unperturbèd pace, Deliberate speed, majestic constancy, Beat on those feet, and with them a Voice beat More instant than the Feet—
(JESUS) ‘All things betray you, who betray Me’.
I plead, desperate for a place to hide (For, though I knew His love Who followed, Yet was I consumed with dread Lest, having Him, I must have nothing else beside.) But, if one little door for me was parted wide, The gust of His approach would clash it to: Fear’s urge to hide was weaker than Love’s urge to pursue.
Across deserts of the world I fled, And reached up to the gateway of the stars, Seeking in science, shelter from His love; I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon; Hide me in the mists of Dawn the hush of Eve from this tremendous Lover— Float your vague veil about me, lest He see! I tempted all His servants, only to find My own betrayal in their constancy, In faith to Him their fickleness to me, Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
I sought the thrill of speed; Clung to the whistling mane of every wind. But whether I swept,The long savannas of the blue; Or, whether, I surged past danger close at hand
Still with un-hurrying chase, And unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic constancy, Came on the following Feet, And a Voice above their beat— (JESUS) ‘Nothing shelters you, who will not shelter Me.’
I sought no more for help In face of man or maid; But still within the little children’s eyes Seems something, something that replies, They at least are for me, surely for me! I turned me to them very wistfully; But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair With dawning answers there, Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share With me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship; Let me greet you lip to lip, Let me twine with you caresses,.’ So it was done: I in their delicate fellowship was one— Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies. I knew all the changing faces of skies; I knew what makes the clouds arise; I studied all that’s born or dies I tied my moods to Natures moods I laughed in the morning’s eyes. I triumphed and I saddened with all weather, In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek. For ah! we know not what each other says,
Nigh and nigh draws the chase, With unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic constancy; And past those noisèd Feet A voice comes yet more fleet— ‘Lo! nothing contents you, who does not content Me.’
Naked I wait Thy love to strike me down! Already You have knocked me to my knee; I am defenseless utterly.
I spent my youth’s passion running full of fears And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears, I stand amidst the dust of wasted years— My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap. Yet apart from you I cannot even plan Nor play the flute you place within my hand; Ah! is Thy love indeed A weed, yes a gorgeous weed, but one that lets no other flowers grow?,
Ah! must— Designer infinite!— Ah! must You burn the wood before You use it? In my despair I hear a distant trumpet sound. His name I know, who follows and what his trumpet says.
Now comes that voice Surrounds me like a bursting sea:
(JESUS) “Lo, all things fly you, who fly from Me!” ‘Strange, piteous, futile thing! Why should anyone save their love for you? Since only I can make something out of nothing’ (He said), ‘And human love must be earned: What have you earned or yet hope to earn?— You of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot? Alas, you little realize, How little worthy of any love you are! Who will you find to love ignoble you, Save Me, save only Me? All which I took from you I did but take, Not for your harm, But just that you might seek it in My arms. All which your child’s mistake Fancies as lost, I have stored for you at home: Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’
He halts beside me and I think Is my gloom, after all, just the Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
(JESUS) ‘Ah, you my love, though blind and weak, I am He for whom you seek! You drove love from you, who fled from Me.’