Obedience and Love
In our study last week, Jesus commissioned the Bride for ministry in a 3-fold way: to nurture others, to release the presence of the Spirit and to maintain her intimacy with Jesus. In Song 7:9b-8:4, the Bride describes 4 aspects of walking out bridal partnership with Jesus: in her instant obedience (7:9b-10), in her intercession for more power (7:11-13), in her boldness and humility in public ministry (8:1-2); and in her unbroken union with Him (8:3-4).
Today, we will be discussing the Bride’s obedience.
Bridal Partnership Expressed in Instant Obedience.
The Bride responds with instant agreement to the Holy Spirit’s leadership. The wine of the Spirit will go down smoothly because she does not resist Him. To be continually filled with the Spirit means to continually live under the Holy Spirit’s leadership (Eph. 5:18). She delights in the Spirit’s leadership and drinks the cup of God’s will without hindrance.
“The wine goes down smoothly for my Beloved, moving gently the lips of sleepers. I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is toward me.” (Songs 7:9b-10)
Her reference to Jesus as “my Beloved” indicates that she obeys the Spirit out of love for Jesus. As we enter into deeper agreement with the Holy Spirit, He pours more love for Jesus into our heart. When obedience is difficult, we confess, “The wine goes down smoothly because You are my Beloved and because I love You, Jesus.”
I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.
The Spirit desires to awaken carnal believers who are spiritually asleep.
When those who are spiritually asleep are awakened, their speech comes under His leadership. He will move the sleepers so that they speak in purity and righteousness. The Spirit gently woos us to speak on His behalf with subtle impressions. He calls us to voluntary love, therefore, He will gently move us without violating our free will
Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. (Eph. 5:14)
The Bride’s Spiritual Identity Found in God’s Love.
The Bride’s obedience in Song 7:9 is rooted in her 2-fold spiritual identity. First, she sees herself as one that Jesus desires. Secondly, she sees herself as belonging totally to Jesus as her Beloved. Note that she is her Beloved’s because His desire is for her.
I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is toward me.
We love Him because He first loves us. (1 John 4:19) The most powerful theme in the Song is the revelation that God desires us. This revelation will powerfully change us and give us strength to refuse to live by the opinions of others. This brings us emotional security. We speak the Word to the enemy, saying, “It is written: “His desire is towards me, regardless if others reject me”.
She sees herself as a lover of God in saying, “I am my Beloved’s” or “I belong to Jesus, I’m under His leadership, I want to please Him, His desires are what I care most about.” She has revelation of Jesus’ total ownership of her (1 Cor. 6:20). She exists for Him without other considerations (Rev. 14:4). She serves God without concern for what happens to her. Her focus is now entirely on Him, without self-interest. The question of what He desires is the most relevant issue in her life. This is what she values most.
We are defined most by the fact that we are desired by God and that we desire (love) Him. We confess our identity, “I’m a lover of God. That is who I am. That is what I do.” We live a life of sacrificial obedience because He already desires us (not to gain His love). The wine goes down smoothly because Jesus desires her and she belongs to Him (Song 7:9-10).
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*As you can see, we haven’t quite finished Chapter 7 yet. Come back next week as we talk about Jesus’ great desire for His people. Now it’s your turn. Won’t you link up your thoughts on this portion of scripture?