Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pleasures Forevermore

I woke up this morning in a gray place after a long night of difficult conversations and troubling dreams.  I stumbled into the kitchen and grabbed a red plum from out of the fruit basket and bit into it thoughtlessly.  Suddenly, tears welled up in my eyes out of nowhere as the sweet, juiciness of the plum caught me off guard with unexpected pleasure.  

Life!  God is all around me.  And here was this tangible reminder of His goodness and sweetness, right on my lips, shocking my taste buds, and calling my heart to come alive!  

God is a passionate lover.  He creates beauty and pleasure designed to knock our socks off and ravish our hearts.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the minutiae of life, that we forget that we are in a head-over-heels romance with the King.  

God doesn't just want a bride who is beautiful and loyal.  He wants to make an impression on her.  He wants to tear off her clothes and cover her with himself.  He wants to shock her senses and bring tears of delight to her weak and trembling flesh.

God is totally x-rated.  And so is His Word.  Consider these Scriptures:

Isaiah 62:5 (NIV)- As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

Isaiah 61:10- I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Psalm 36:8b- [Y]ou give them drink from your river of delights.

Psalm 16:11 (ESV)- [A]t your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

...Or how about the entire Song of Solomon, a dramatic allegory that represents the romance between God and His people.  

Vs. 9-12: “You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride.  You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace. Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride.  Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices. Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes are scented like the cedars of Lebanon. You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.”

Trust me: the story just gets better from there.

So, what do we make of this intense invitation?  How do we respond to such hot pursuit?  I think the Psalmist says it well:

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me (63:1-8, NIV).

Just as a man wraps his right arm around his beloved and pulls her close to his chest, God's right hand upholds us and He shadows us beneath his wings.  Notice the Psalmist says, “I thirst for you, my WHOLE BEING longs for you?”  Just as the beloved responds to her lover, so are we, God's chosen, meant to respond to His ardent advances toward us with body, mind, and spirit: You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5, NLT).

Make no mistake: God is a passionate lover of your soul.  He created a world full of beauty and goodness, and He did it all for you.  Allow His glory to break in upon you unexpectedly and ravish you right there on the floor of your mundane.  

You won't be disappointed.