Being home, sick in bed, has given me quite a bit of thinking time. Quite a bit of meditation. Quite a bit of discovering my Father's passionate love inside His word.
I read Song of Solomon's last night. There have been multiple interpretations of this book, and it is known as the most difficult book of the Bible to understand. Some will say it is written to describe what a marriage between a man and a woman looks like. Some will say it is a picture, one illustrating Christ's love for His church. I say it's both. Obviously, there is something to be said about you and I being the "Bride" of Christ. God tells us that He is our Husband (Isaiah 54:5). There is such a deeper, more intimate connection between my Heavenly Father and I than could ever be had in any earthly relationship with a man. If our relationships here on earth can be so full of love, passion, intimacy, and beauty...how amazing could our relationship with Christ be if we only allow it? I vote that Song of Solomon shows this incredible bond between a woman and her lover, also illustrating a beautiful love story between Christ and His church (or God and the people of Israel, as would apply in Old Testament times).
The book, though hard to understand, told me a story. It was a story of a woman, madly and desperately in love with a man. Lovesick, to say the least. She was apparently taken against her will to be a concubine of Solomon's. He tried so hard to woo her, to take her as his own. She was obviously very beautiful and very desirable, more-so than all of the others. Yet she had no interest in Solomon, but instead had eyes only for her lover. The story unfolds into a quest to be with her love, and only him, as she escapes the attempts of the king's compliments, and focuses only on the union of her and her lover. The story ends when they are finally together forever.
In the past, when reading this, I focused only on how wonderful it will be to finally one day feel that love with another man, my husband. I only always saw the sappy love story between two human beings, and never really grasped the picture of Christ and His bride, the church. Well, last night God had a different agenda in mind. With each turning page, I couldn't help but to only read a love story between my Savior and myself, one of intimacy, beauty, and desire. I'm constantly on this kick about being desired by God, but have yet to find those words actually written in Scripture. I was beginning to believe, based on what other sources have been telling me, that I am not desired, but merely a product of God's selfish glory-seeking, and nothing more. Please, do not misunderstand. I know that I was created for God's glory. I know that I am here to bring Father glory, to lift Him high, to be shown how majestic and wonderful He truly is, and in the end, see Him most glorified. Yet in the same sense, I know that God created me FOR a purpose that leads to such glory giving. God is self sufficient. God needs nothing. God was glorified before we ever came to earth. He was glorified in of Himself.
So why did He create us?
I am pressed to believe, based on what I'm reading in His love letter to me, that God created me to love Him, and to be loved by Him. He created me not because He needed me, Not because He had to have me, not because I would be His only source of receiving glory, but because He desired me. There is no other alternative. I would submit, and even state as truth that we curse God's name so much more than we bring Him glory. If our only purpose for being created here on earth was solely so that we would bring God glory (with no other connections, realities, or purposes in between) then that has failed miserably. No God has not failed, because that is not the only purpose that stands. There are other factors, other realities. God knew we would spit in His face. God knew we would reject Him. And God knew that ultimately, many men He created so intricately and in love, would spend an eternity without Him. But somehow that was worth it. Somehow God saw something more, something bigger. God saw an opportunity to create something to be loved, to be shown His majesty and glory, and to be filled with His beauty through a relationship more intimate than we could ever experience in of ourselves and with one another. God did not need us, and never will. I would almost submit that God would be better without us, if you could understand the point I am trying to make by saying such (I hope that came across as intended). Yet God still created us, keeping in mind all of the terrible things that would be done against Him. Why? Because something in God desired us so much that He was willing to endure whatever He needed to endure to be with us and to love us.
I am absolutely unworthy of God's love, or anything He has to offer.
But I am not left without worth.
Even apart from Jesus Christ, in our sin, we have worth. We are not worthy, nor will we ever be. But we have worth for the simple fact that God created us. It isn't even of ourselves. There is nothing in us that holds worth. What gives us worth is the very fact and reality that Father Himself had taken the time to intimately mold and create us, knowing us before we were ever born. The fact that God's hands were the cause of our being created gives us worth. And the moment we come into this world, we are desired and longed for by God Himself.
I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is toward me.
Song of Songs 7:10
I am my beloved’s,
And my beloved is mine.
Song of Songs 6:3
We are all called to be disciple's of Jesus Christ. That is a fact. And in that sense, there are no differences or hindrances when it comes to race, age, ability, background, and especially gender. Yet in the same sense, as God's children, as His creation, it is obvious both in His word and in seeing His world He has created, He has apparently made both men and women very different. Men and women are so intricately created and wired so much differently, and in the most glorious and beautiful way. God knew what He was doing. He created humans in gender to illustrate the role between Christ and His church. Men are the Christ - the providers, the leaders, the strongholds and the rocks. The women, representing the church, are the followers, the ones who submit, and the ones to be cherished and loved on a more emotionally needy level than men (though I do not ever submit that men are not in need of being cherished and loved...but I'm sure all would agree that it is given in different ways for both parties). Women, in their very nature and design by God Himself, need to feel desired, need to feel loved, and even in need of feeling beautiful (inwardly). Some, as I have heard, have called this selfishness. That any desire to feel these things is selfish. I would have to disagree. We were created, from the beginning of time, with a "God-shaped hole" (as Tiffany Lee so beautifully sang it) that only Christ can fill. There is a gap in our hearts that we know can only be filled by a love so deep, so pure, so true. When Christ comes in, He fills it up. He fills and satisfies the desire to be loved - because He loves us unconditionally. He satisfies the longing to be desired, because His desire towards us is unlike any other. How do I know that God desires me? Because when I am most in want of being desired, and I give my heart to Him who loves me, I am no longer in need, because He satisfies that longing. When a woman is in need of emotional fulfillments, it is because she has not placed her heart in the palms of her Savior.
Please also note that I in no way intend to preach an "emotional gospel" because that isn't what following Christ is about - it isn't an emotion, it is a lifestyle. I also believe that many people believe they are Christians based on emotions, without any regard for being a true disciple of Christ. Yet in the same aspect, we must never ignore that we are deeply loved by our Savior, something so emotionally hard-hitting and deep, it will grip the very depths of our hearts. The beauty of God's love is found inside the very reality that He is all-powerful, holy and sovereign. It stems from this very fact. The notion that God, being as omnipotent as He is, in all His sovereignty, glory and power, would stoop down to love such an unlovable humanity, one of disgrace, wretchedness, pure evil and hatred of His very name shows the deepest and truest of all loves. One that could stretch beyond the word love, something so much deeper. Something beyond what letters on a page could describe. That He, in all His power and perfection, would become sin and suffer for me, so unlovable me, is love at it's absolute best, in it's purest beauty. His sovereignty and power is what makes His love as great as it is.
I suppose what I am getting at here is this; women need to be loved, need to be cherished, need to feel like they mean something - anything. Satan so easily places lies inside our heads, telling us we are nothing, telling us we have no importance in this world. And obviously, we are very good at giving into satan's deceptions so quickly and without question (look at Eve in the garden). And in some aspect of who God is, we ARE nothing in this world of ourselves. And in the very same light, we are a part of God's creation, more important than the beautiful lilies that God so graciously clothes (Matthew 7:28-30), and more valuable than the birds of the air whom God provides for (Matthew 7:26). Christ loves us so very much. And women, being so very different than men, need not be told they are of no worth. They need not be told they are meaningless, empty. In a way they are - most certainly (and I am all in favor of being quick to tell a sinner, man and woman alike, that they are wretched and filthy before a holy God), but they are of worth in such a way of being a very creation of God Himself. We are desired and loved by our Creator, and should never ignore this beautiful fact.
I'm seeing more and more every day the heart of Father and His unending, ever longing love for His people. I see, not a God that is impersonal; Not a God that basks in His own power with no intimacy and desire towards you and I. I see not a God that enjoys the eternal damnation of those that reject Him. I see a God that's heart breaks at the very sight of of a sinful man not coming to grace. I see a God that cries over the lost, that weeps over the misunderstanding and hardening of men. I see a God that so lovingly wants all for Himself, all in His love, all in His presence, and all for His glory. I feel that God in my life, in my heart, moving my emotions to fit His, and matching my mindset with that of His own. My God desires me. My God loves me. And it is no different than for any other. Don't ever let satan or anybody else tell you differently.
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling."
Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it.
And we see all throughout the book of prophets, God not just bringing His case against Israel for their idolatry and spiritual adultery (though He did that quite often), but also pleading with them to repent and come back to Him. We see Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, mourning and being distraught over the sins of God's people. I believe this excessive weeping revealed the very heart of God and his lament over the rejection of Him. God is not emotionless or hard. He is self-sufficient, not needing us to provide for Him joy (in fact, His joy is OUR strength) yet He also loves us so deeply He is not only willing to cry over our leaving Him but die to bring us home.
"If we are ready, the love story we have always dreamed of can begin right now. But not just any love story - the most beautiful, amazing, tender, perfect love story of all time...the romance between a bride and her Prince. No matter who we are, what we have done, or how many mistakes we have made - our Prince is longing for us. He is ready to rescue us from our dungeon, transform us into His princess, and gently shape us into His lily-white likeness for all the world to see...My Prince gave up His life to save me. It was the ultimate romantic gesture of all time. My destiny was an eternity of unspeakable suffering - an eternity without my Prince. there was no way I could ever hope to be with someone like Him - a pure, perfect, sinless, holy, righteous, majestic, sovereign, powerful King. I was nothing but a tainted, impure, sinful, unholy, wretched pauper. There was in impenetrable wall that separated me from my Prince - in his perfect and pure holiness, He could never dwell with me in my prison. And yet He saw me in the midst of my miserable, hopeless, filthy condition. He loved me and longed for me. There was only one way He could save me from my dungeon of eternal captivity - to purchase me with His very blood. He spilled out His life and died a horrible, agonizing death He did not deserve - all so that I could become His lily-white princess, His spotless bride for all of eternity...His sacrifice was meant not just to keep me out of hell, but to make an ongoing, passionate, intimate love story with Him as possible...He is the ultimate romantic, the most amazing hero, the perfect gentleman, the most powerful of all kings, and most tender of all lovers. And He is waiting for us."
Excerpt from Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy
How precious also, are your thoughts towards me, Oh God. How great is the sum of them! If I could count them they would outnumber the sand.
It is only by God's grace I am even able to type such wonderful things of His character and reality. It is only of Him that I am anything in this world. It is only in Christ that I can be called beloved, holy, accepted, friend. It is only in Christ that I have any value, any worth. It is of Him, who calls me daughter, that I can stand and proclaim that I am anything of worth because it is by His hands that I was made, and by His hands that I could vanish. He holds every breath I breathe. He holds my very life in His hands. Do you know what that means? We say it all the time. We say "He holds our life in His hands." But do we really grasp that? Do we understand it? God literally controls our very living. If He willed, He could right this moment take my life from me. Because it is His. My life is His. I am His. I am called His daughter, His love. I am God's, not my own. And I am under His authority alone. And it is by this that I can stand and claim to be anything in this world, because apart from Him I am nothing. I am unworthy and unlovable. Even in Him I am unlovable of myself. He makes me lovable. He makes me beautiful. He makes me desirable. He makes me wanted. He makes me longed for. The fact that I am His child, created by His hands, made in His time makes me special. It makes me important. I may not be important to any other on this earth, but God knows me intimately. God wants my heart, holds my life. God desires me even when nobody else will. God passionately loves and blesses me because it is His very nature, His very character to do so. God is good and beautiful enough to satisfy Himself yet He allows me the ability in Himself to please Him; to bring glory to His name through what He has done in my life. I am not a robot, and none of it is of my own willing. It is the greatest mystery that God created me, knowing I would break His heart, and came running to my rescue when I needed Him most - in my sinful disgusting state. My Father in Heaven is the only reason I can breathe, let alone stand as anything of value. I pray that anybody reading this knows that beyond everything else. I don't think humans are wonderful. I do not think that we, in ourselves are desirable. In fact, we are an abomination in our sin. We are detestable. But in that very light, we were molded by the very fingers of our Heavenly Creator and in that we are given worth. Only God has the ability to give us that. We cannot give it to ourselves, and nobody can give it to us. It is Him. It is all of Him. It is always Him. Nothing else stands but Him.
In Christ alone.
He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.