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Intimacy Begets Outreach

So maybe everyone else in the world has made this connection, but today during my lunch-time intercessory worship set, I was singing and praying out of Song of Songs chapter 5 and the Lord opened up something to me in His Word:  the closer we get to Him, and the more set-apart we become, the more He will call us back out into the world to share with others about Him… granted, I already suspected this and even encouraged it, but –BAM– it’s different when the Lord gives it to You rhema-style.

2   I sleep, but my heart is awake;
  It is the voice of my beloved!
   He knocks, saying,
   “Open for me, my sister, my love,
     My dove, my perfect one;”

We see in Chapter 2, that the last time the Beloved groom asked the shulamite to come away with Him to go and bound over the obstacles and establishments of the world that she did not go because she was afraid.  But then she realized her mistake and went running after Him and ran with Him.  This time she has a different excuse:

3   I have taken off my robe;
   How can I put it on again?
      I have washed my feet;
    How can I defile them?

This is the main part the Lord opened up to me.  What does her/our robe and washed-feet signify? I believe one application of His living and active Word here is this: 

The robe represents the white garments He gave us that we like to wear when we’re out among the world - but, too often when we’re at home and comfortable, we strip back down to our filthy rags.  Then, it’s too much trouble to have to “put the face on” again to go back out with people - and, honestly, most of us don’t really want to go out in the first place.

Then there’s the washed feet.  If being comfortable and a bit dirty isn’t a good enough excuse, let’s approach it from another angle.  Well, I’m already too clean to go back out where it’s dirty.  I’ve set myself apart from the world, and have been progressing from glory to glory… why would I risk being tempted, or getting sick (physically, spiritually, anything)?  We’re suppose to be set apart, right?  Let the lost come to our church buildings… surely they can see our steeples, right?  I will not defile myself again.

I could also see both of these things as being subtle enticements… the bride was trying to encourage intimacy with the groom, hoping that they could just stay in the place of intimacy, and not go out into the world.

The Groom is calling His Bride out! 

But let me be clear: you will have nothing to give of eternal value if you do not spend time and invest yourself into getting to know the Lord, His heart, His mind, His affections, in that intimate place of prayer and worship.  But, just like in the Song of Songs, there are cycles of spending personal, one-on-one time with our Groom, there’s times of just doting over one another (giving and receiving affections), but then there are those times of going WITH the Groom to show-off your relationship and to tell everyone about The Messiah, your Groom.

The world WANTS to know our Lord, but they’ve seen too much of us, and now they’re full of reserve, doubt, even hatred, and cynicism regarding our Groom.

The Daughters of Jerusalem

9   What is your beloved
       More than another beloved,
     O fairest among women?
  What is your beloved
     More than another beloved,
      That you so charge us?

Now the Bride could have went arm-in-arm with her Beloved to show Him to the world and draw people to Him… but, even though she missed that opportunity, she still went, and now she still evangelizes: 

The Shulamite

10   My beloved is white and ruddy,
    Chief among ten thousand.
16   His mouth is most sweet,
   Yes, he is altogether lovely.
     This is my beloved,
      And this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem!

Lord, help us to never lose the reality of the great commission, but help Your church regain and rightly walk-in the reality of the greatest commandment - that we would genuinely love You with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength.

Watchmen, intercessors, worshippers, Mary’s - share Your beloved with the world.

Evangelists, teachers, pastors, preachers, Martha’s - make the greatest commandment more important than the great commission (or at least equal).

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