“Draw me after you and let us run together!” (Song of Songs 1:4)
Until we see Jesus as He really is, we mistakenly think that God wants to do a cold transaction with us. We imagine that God is looking for church attendance, good works, or habit changes. Being severed from His glorious companionship and presence, we see through the lens of law, requirement, duty, obligation. This is reinforced by religious figures who do not know His loving companionship and are not filled with His presence as they ought to be. How the Lord must burn with zeal to open the heavens and set right our misconceptions and misrepresentations of His glory. This zeal must have been a spark behind the incarnation, a factor that moved God to take on flesh and be born into this world as a baby, Jesus of Nazareth. In reality, God did rend the heavens and come down to show us who He is.
The bride in the Song of Songs begins with the exclamation, “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” (1:2). There is a spiritual application to this, concerning Christ and His bride, which is the Church. The Bible is full of words that “proceed from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), and the many promises and blessings held within this book are like kisses upon the soul and spirit of every believer. At the cross we find the greatest one of all, when, “Heaven’s peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love.” We must believe and receive these divine kisses for ourselves, in order for our souls to feel them personally.
With the promises and treasures of His kingdom, Jesus woos our hearts. We are not drawn to rules, regulations, laws, or rituals. We are drawn after the beauty and glory of a living Person. In seeing the face of the One we love, we are drawn into walking and even running into the things of God. Law and obligation can’t even get us to walk in His ways, but when Christ is our life, we begin to run with Him! How can we run? Because He is right by our side. How can we have holiness without focusing on laws and duties? When Jesus is our life, then running into sin looks as frightful and perilous to us as running straight off a cliff to our death. I stay away from sin not out of obligation to a cold deity, but out of love for a living God, who has become my Friend, as well as my very life and breath.
The Rock Church