This week I went for breakfast with a very dear friend. We can chat about everything and this meeting was no different. We talked about life and she confessed that on occasions she feels quite fearful of what the future holds. Life is made up of transitions and time seems to move so fast.
I was reminded of a trip to my Dad’s church in which he spontaneously prayed out loud during the worship. He said, “God, I don’t want to live without You! I don’t want anything if You are not in it.” It was a prayer full of love and passion and it moved my heart because I thought the same; “God, I don’t want to live without You! Whatever is going on in my life, whatever tomorrow holds, I can’t live without You! You are the reason for living.”
So we sat at our table in the restaurant, with tears in our eyes and the revelation again, how much we need Jesus and how in love with Him we are. Whatever the future holds, I don’t want anything unless God is with me, and we can be sure that He is so we do not need to fear.
Imagine a world without God. It is desolate and dark. There is no hope in this world, no need to dream, only human love that sometimes fails. In this ‘Godless’ world there is no purpose for living and everyday we start with the question, “why am I here?”
Our problem sometimes is that we live with the knowledge that God is with us but we fall in love with life. We know that there is purpose and that God loves us, but we forget quite how much we need him because we can ‘do’ life our own way without him. We love our friends and families, we love our children and partners and we get caught up in enjoying them so much sometimes that we forget that actually we were born for Heaven. We are here to bring light of course, but ultimately we will live forever with our Jesus in Heaven and when we loose sight of that we don’t see how much we need Him and how much we could fall in love with Him if we let ourselves.
Every now and then I return to the prayer of Sir Francis Drake and every time something else comes alive to me. This time I was reminded of the part that says:
Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim.
We possess so many things that we sometimes forget the need to drink from the living waters of life. Revelation 21:6 says, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” The water in that spring is life in all it’s fullness. Are you thirsty for it? I can’t live without it. I want to be drenched in it and never dry up. Do we dream of what we will happen in the next five years or what will happen next week? Or do we dream of eternity? I was at a conference not too long ago and there was a group of us chatting about heaven. I love those chats! We were discussing what it would be like and the usual question of whether we would recognise our loved ones who are already there was discussed. I said I was looking forward to joining the worship of heaven. Someone then spoke into the discussion saying, “I hope there is more than worship in heaven because that would be really boring!” I believe that he meant that in the new heaven there will be plenty to do and it is more wonderful than we can imagine, but something sat on my heart that day and I thought, “What could be more glorious than worshipping Jesus forever? How could we ever get bored of His presence?”
The truth is none of us know what it will be like. We have glimmers of it and my most vivid glimpses have been in times of worship and surrender. I ache for the presence of God. I am thirsty for the living waters of life to flood my soul everyday because without them I don’t want to be alive.
I have always loved The Song of Solomon. As a book I find it’s imagery and poetry captivating and I have always felt a deep pull to verses like chapter 8:6, ‘Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, passion fierce as the grave’. This is a passionate love and I believe we can look at this book allegorically and metaphorically. Not only is this about the love between a man and a woman but it is also about God’s love for us and potentially our love for Him. I want the name of Jesus to seal my heart. No other man will have that place in my heart, it is reserved only for Him. I find myself falling in love with Jesus again and again. Perhaps the fact that I am a woman makes it easy for me to fall head over heals in love with Jesus, but I believe, though it is different I imagine, that men can experience this too. This is not about human love, though that is of course our understanding of it. This is about a supernatural intimate connection with God, and I don’t think our gender needs to come into it too much. If you choose to fall in love with Him, it will be in a way that is comfortable to you but each one as deep and meaningful as the other.
When we discover how much God loves us it is very exciting. It is so wonderful to know that God loves us, but God is also very pleased that we are starting to love Him. The Song of Solomon is a romance. Chapter 2 verse 3-6 says this,
With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to his banqueting table and his intention towards me was love. Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am faint with love. O that his left hand were under my head and that his right hand embraced me!
This whole picture makes me heart flutter. To sit in the shadow of Jesus and feel that you are loved is beyond anything that this world alone can offer. To be under His protection and to enjoy the fruits of grace, forgiveness, love and the assurance of glory is beyond compare. To be held by Him and embraced by Him leaves me desperate for more of Him. You may find this concept uncomfortable. It may seem that to you there should be an amount of respect that puts a distance between you and God. I believe we should fear Him more than anyone, but I believe too that we should love Him more than anyone, with intense passion.
I don’t know how you view your love for Jesus? I only know how I view mine. I would push through any crowd to touch him, not because of what He could do for me if I touched him but because of who He is. I would kneel before him, not just in desperation for something from Him, but because I wanted to kiss His feet and kiss the wounds of the nails that hung him to the cross for me. He is everything, without Him there is nothing of any worth.
I think of the words of the old hymn, ‘My chains fell off, my heart was free! I rose went forth and followed thee!’ My heart is free because of the cross and I am free to love Him with all of my heart. I would follow Him anywhere. I encourage you to read The Song of Solomon and ask God to reveal Himself to you through it. Some parts speak of a man and a woman but some verses will capture you with the passion of Jesus’ love for us. He is my beloved and no one can compare with Him. I don’t want to live without Him.
My gifts and talents mean nothing without Jesus. Without Him the air is not clear enough to breathe. He is the lover of my soul, the lifter of my head, my beloved and I belong to Him. Spend some more time with Jesus this week and fall more in love with Him. Ask that his ‘left hand be under your head and his right hand embrace you’. He is on His way and heaven is coming.
‘Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim.’
Whatever is going on in our lives we cannot do it without God.
Disturb us Lord when we forget that.