A garden enclosed is My sister, My spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Song of Solomon 4:12
Her first testimony had been:
My Beloved is mine, and I am His: He feeds among the lilies. Song of Solomon 2:16
Her only concern was to know where the Lord was, and that He would respond if she needed Him. The Lord accepted this, and allowed the Bride to have all of the things she had desired. At the same time, He began to draw her to Himself by causing her to notice His interest in her.
Behold, He stands behind our wall, He looks forth at the windows, showing Himself through the lattice. Song of Solomon 2:9b
As she noticed that the Lord was looking through the window toward her, longing to be invited into the room of her spirit, there arose within her a deep inner stirring toward Him. She began to intently desire Him, rather than all the things she had been seeking.
He (Jesus) acknowledged her single eye, which was beginning to look toward Him alone, and in a penetrating expression of love, He said to her, O My Dove (Song of Solomon 2:14a). Because of her single eye (she now desires Him, rather than the things He can give), He can begin to inwardly change her into the Bride that He desired her to be.
In the first confession of her spiritual condition, she said:
My mothers children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard have I not kept. Song of Solomon 1:6b
She had been a very dedicated worker for the Lord. Even in the heat of the day, while others rested, she worked until she became burned by the sun, (I am black, but comely). During this time, she did not personally know the Lord; neither did she know His voice nor His leadings. She did only as others told her to do (They made me the keeper of the vineyard).
She had been so faithful in doing all that was required of her, that her own vineyard was being neglected. This neglected vineyard speaks of the ground upon which the Lord works in order to change us. This ground speaks of our life being consecrated to the Lord. It encompasses all the people and the circumstances, which the Lord uses to bring about our spiritual development and growth.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
It is encouraging to know that the Lord will come to meet us, even in the place of neglect, when we confess our need to Him. It becomes good ground when we place the Lord in full control of all that pertains to us, and invite Him to come within the room (a set apart place) where we meet with Him, and He with us.
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who has ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 13:8-9
This good ground is quality time that we have set apart to meet with the Lord for intimate fellowship with Him. Also, it is very important that we have a special place (closet) that we have sanctified and set apart for our times of fellowship with the Lord.
But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly. Matthew 6:6
Along with this set apart time and place for intimate communion with the Lord, we should make the total area of our life experience to be as an open door for Him to enter. We can do this by keeping the poise of our spirit upward toward the Lord, no matter where we are, or what we are doing. It is this that encourages and releases the Lord to become active in making of us the Bride that He desires.
Let the Bridegroom go forth of His chamber, and the Bride out of her closet. Joel 2:16b
The Lord will always use us to minister to, and meet the needs of others. However, our times of communion with Him are more important to Him than anything that we could do for Him. He is to have the first place in our lives.
Come, My beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give you My loves. Song of Solomon 7:11-12
Notice that we are to come before we go forth in ministry. Our ministry will be much more effective and productive when it is the result of, and flows out from, our times of communion with the Lord. Our spending time with the Lord will greatly affect our relationship to Him, and to others.
Many servants of the Lord, who fail or get into serious problems, do so because of negligence at this very point. They work so hard for the Lord that they become spiritually weakened and succumb to temptation, or to side issues that take them from the center of the Lords will and purpose for their lives. This happened to the Bride. Thus, she confessed her failure, My mothers children were angry with me.
It is very important that we maintain quality times of worship, prayer, waiting upon the Lord, and devotionally reading the Word. She had neglected her own spiritual development and growth, along with her times of intimate communion with the Lord, through being busy working diligently for Him. We must keep in mind that our ability to impart spiritual substance and life to others, results from that which we have first received.
We are called to work with the Lord, rather than for Him.
And He goes up into a mountain, and calls to Him whom He would: and they came to Him. And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. Mark 3:13-15
I learned a principle many years ago that greatly affected my life. If we build God a house of devotion, He will build us a house of ministry.
If we are faithful in our part, which is being with Him; then He will be faithful in His part, to send us forth.
That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. Proverbs 8:21
This substance is the very nature and life of God imparted into our lives, so it can be given to others. We cannot give what we do not have.
The Bride had asked the Lord to Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples (Song of Solomon 2:5a). In response to her desire, He brought her to the banqueting table, and blessed her so abundantly with all she wanted, that she became filled beyond the capacity that she had at that time.
For I am sick of love. Song of Solomon 2:5b
is een prachtige tuin
waar het heerlijk vertoeven is,
en welriekende bloemen
en het betoverende gezang
van vrolijke vogels.