Thursday, October 27, 2005

Song of Solomon 1:8

"If you yourself do not know, Most beautiful among women, Go forth on the trail of the flock and pasture your young goats by the tents of the shepherds."

Jesus, the great Bridegroom, is talking to His Bride in this verse. Now, remember in verse 7, she is wore out. Excited and full of zeal after being saved, then filled with the Holy Ghost, she was ready to take the town for her Lover.

But, day-to-day got in the way and she turned into a curmudgeon. The other curmudgeons made her. She's mentally and emotionally exhausted and a spiritual desert. So she does what most of us do. Quit. "Jesus, from now on, it's just you and me, right? You I love, but Your people? Drive me crazy."

But ah, Jesus comes back with such a sweet answer. "Ah, you are so beautiful!" He says this to a woman who claims her vineyard is overrun with weeds. Beautiful? Jesus sees her sincere heart. He sees and loves her desire to serve Him in the Body of Christ. He understands her human weakness and frailty. He understands that she's spent the last five years trying to please man and it's pretty much gotten her nowhere.

So He tells her. "Look, stay connected. Don't quit fellowshipping with my sheep. Go with them, follow them, stay under the authority of your pastors and leaders (shepherds), but keep your eyes on Me. Only do the things I'm calling you to do. Seek me among them, with them."

Let's put this in real life. For a season, the Lord called me to serve American Christian Fiction Writers as Vice President, President and Conference Chair and Liaison. It was hard work and time consuming, but I had grace. I knew He'd called me. But this year. He said to lay it all down. It was hard. I loved working with the conference and our current president, Tracey Bateman, but the Lord said, "Not your goat this year."

And you know what? He was telling my authority is ACFW, Tracey, the same thing. "...In the shade of the shepherd's tent." It was hard for both of us to make the change, but the Lord will shine all the more and new people step into place and make ACFW shine!

Here's what we learn from this verse. We are beautiful to Jesus - even in our weak, burned out state. Two, part of fully finding Him comes from Body Life, ministering to others. We cannot complete our journey in Jesus without each other. While we cannot accept responsibility for every need that comes along, we are called to manage those things Jesus entrust to us.

Finally, don't run form authority. It's hard 'cause many of us have been wounded and misunderstood, but we must be open to His leaders. We must work in the shade of their tents, their protection, their guidance. Leaders are imperfect. We are imperfect. But as we yield our hearts to the perfect Lover, He will guard us with His peace.


Julie Hayes said...

So good, Rachel. It encouraged me. So many times we want to hide from Jesus when we think we "look" our worst to Him. I read Kristin Billerbeck's blog on the Faith Chick site about day spas and..."I'm ready for my makeover, Lord."

Love you! Julie

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Oh man, Rachel, that's so good. It goes along nicely with things God has been showing me about my beauty lately. thanks.