I’m taking you on a short journey through the Song of Songs. Several years ago, I preached 50 full episodes on it. Now what I’m doing is just focusing on highlights because there’s something in the Song of Songs that is unique and unlike any other book in the Word of God. In fact as I shared with you on last week’s broadcast, the ancient rabbis actually looked at the Song of Songs as the Holy of Holies of the Hebrew Bible. Now on last week’s episode, we were in chapter 1, and I began by sharing how the Shulamite bride began her journey into the baptism of love with an intense desire. We read in verse number 4 there that she says: The king has brought me into his chambers. In other words, her journey into the baptism of love began when she encountered Jesus in her life. Once again, chapter 1, verse 4B, she says: The king has brought me into his chambers. What this tells us is the necessity of having an encounter with King Jesus. In other words, your experience is gonna be different from my experience, and it’s gonna be unique. But somehow you have to know and be convinced that Jesus is alive and that you can experience him, that you can have him in the here and in the now. She had what I’m calling, get this now, Church, a chamber experience. Jesus had done something in her life, in her, or around her. Jesus had done something whereby she got activated. In other words, she didn’t just believe in a religion, but she had an experience. Now again, your experience may have happened to you many years ago, even when you were a child, but somehow God proved himself to you. And once you know, beloved ones, that God is alive, that he’s real, that will inspire within you and activate within you the faith that’s required to seek him. You see, we read in the Book of Hebrews, those that are gonna please God, get this now, must believe first of all that he is. In other words, unless we believe that God is, and we can experience him, we’ll have no motivation to seek him. We’re gonna be dead in the darkness. So, true disciples of Jesus had been marked. They were marked and have been marked and are being marked because somehow Jesus has shown up in their life. I’m not saying that you saw him. But that Jesus made himself known to you. And Father, right now, even as I’m speaking, I release and declare that you are making yourself known and felt to several. At the command of my voice right now, Jesus, you are showing yourself to these that are watching; that some that are watching right now have never had an experience with you where you showed them, Jesus, that you were the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to God but by you. But right now, Jesus, I declare that you’re making yourself real, known, that you’re making your presence felt to many that are under the sound of my voice right now, in Jesus’s name. If you were just marked, if somehow you just felt something that you never felt before, you saw something in your mind that you never saw before, in other words, that’s what a vision is. It’s a picture that God puts in your mind. Maybe you just saw a vision. You had a picture that God put in your mind whereby he revealed himself to you. Maybe you heard his voice. Often times the Lord will speak to us in what I call a silent voice. It’s not audible but nevertheless somehow you hear it. In other words, just like we have physical senses, God also gives us spiritual senses. But somehow some of you that are watching, I know there’s at least a few that just now Jesus quickened you. He made you know that he’s with you, that he’s alive, that he loves you. And if that’s you right now, I want you to let us know or write to us through the e-mail address. So the Shulamite bride that’s a shadow of the Church, she begins with an intense desire. God marked her with an encounter with her that caused faith to rise up in her. And once that happened, she said that’s it. She said, I’m gonna make pursuing Jesus the goal of my life. So I’m not gonna review everything that I covered last week. I really want to encourage you, get this entire series, A Baptism of Love. Let’s continue now. Moving forward, I’m going now to verse number 7. What happened was in verses number 1 through 6, she encountered the beautiful Jesus. Jesus revealed to her that she was loved. She said, I’m dark. I still have issues in my life, but I’m lovely and I’m beautiful to God. She was experiencing him. But over time, beloved ones, what happened is that the newness and the emotional experience of that first experience that she had with him, remember we saw in verse number 4 of chapter 1, she said, the king brought me into his chamber. She had an emotional and a real tangible experience with God. But eventually over time what happened to her, as it does with all of us, get this now, Church, is that emotional experience began to lose its freshness; that first experience that she had began to lose its freshness. Now I know that I use the term emotional experience and perhaps there’s some that are a bit put off by that term right now. But I want you to know, the reason, beloved one, that you have emotions is because God has emotions. In other words, people, human beings, humankind, we are emotional creatures. And the reason we’re emotional creatures is because we’ve been created in God’s likeness. So although we’re not ruled by our emotions and we don’t live according to our emotions, to say that emotions have nothing to do with our walk with God is a gross heresy, ’cause the reality is God created us to enjoy him and to experience him. And part of this experience is emotional. This does not mean that we’re always gonna be feeling something but it does not mean, as well, that we’ll never feel anything. From time to time in our walks with God, we’re gonna experience him in a real tangible way that’s gonna touch us in our emotion, in our emotions. So when she said, the king has brought me into his chambers, there was an emotional component to this even as God wants you to be moved emotionally by his Spirit. Father, right now I just release over your people by the wave of your Spirit, Father, that they would be touched in their emotions with the love of God, with your beauty, and how beautiful they are to you. In Jesus’s name I declare it and decree it. You see, Jesus told us, what we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. And that if we ask anything according to his will, we can know that he hears us and that we have what we asked for. And so as I speak these things over your life, what I’m doing is I’m practicing what Jesus said when he said anything that you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. So I’m binding on earth the revelation, beloved, of his glory over your life. And we know this is according to his will because Jesus prayed that we would know his glory. And so she has this emotional encounter with the Lord. But what happened was it began to wear off. And that’s what happens with you and I. We have experiences with God and these experiences that we have from time to time, they carry us. But eventually we don’t feel these experiences any more and they seem far away. And often times in that place we feel separated from God. We’re feeling like we’re not connecting with him. How many of you know what I’m talking about? Sometimes we wake up in the morning and we just feel alive, and we feel a fresh connection to God. But sometimes we wake up, beloved, in, in the morning and we don’t feel anything. We feel like God is as far away from us as the planet Mars. I mean we just feel that we are so far away from God, we feel nothing. And that’s what happened to the Shulamite bride here. By the way, before I go on, did you know that your life as you’re pursuing God is gonna be a cycle of experiencing him and then battling, experiencing him and then battling. Because what the Lord does is he allows us at times to experience him but then what he does is he wants to train us in faith to keep pursuing him, to keep praying, to keep walking by faith even when we don’t experience him. So Jesus said, blessed are those that believe without seeing. You see, Jesus said you believe because you saw, because you see. But blessed are these that will believe without seeing. And so the Lord at times allows us to experience him, to emotionally be touched by him. But in order to raise us up in faith, in order to make us strong, he wants to bring us to the place where we’ll keep pursuing him, we’ll keep loving him, we’ll keep obeying him, we’ll keep walking in faith during those season that we don’t feel anything, Amen. And so we’re being taught not just to walk by faith rather than sight, but also to walk by faith when we have no emotions, when we have no feelings. It’s the same thing. God wants us to live by faith, get this now, not in sense knowledge. And by sense knowledge I mean whether it is feeling something or whether it’s seeing something. Both of these can be sense knowledge. Faith is just a raw confidence, get this now, in the Word of God. And so your life and my life are gonna go through cycles. Sometimes we’ll experiencing, we’ll experience him emotionally, or in miracles, or in things that we’re seeing God do in our life. But sometimes God wants to train us in faith to just put confidence in his written Word and just to keep putting one step in front of the other in love and obedience. Well as the journey continues, as this progression, progression of baptism, beloved, of, in the love of God continues, we read here that the Shulamite bride is, again the freshness of this experience wore off. She’s not feeling connected. Just as you and I go through those seasons of not feeling connected, not feeing engaged in the emotional aspect of the love of God. And when she hits this place where she’s feeling nothing, she calls out to Jesus in verse 7. Listen to what she says. She says: Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, get this now, Where do you pasture, pasture your flock, and where do you make it lie down? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions? Now again, this is the language of poetry and love. What she’s saying is, where are you whom my soul loves? Where are you? I want to be next to you, she said. I don’t want to be like one that veils herself, she said in verse number 7. You see, in the ancient biblical world, when you were with people you didn’t know well you veiled yourself. You only didn’t keep yourself veiled amongst close friends. So she’s calling out to the one whom she loves. She’s calling out to Jesus, and she’s saying, Lord, I feel like a veiled one to you. I feel like I don’t know you. I don’t feel close to you. I want to feel intimate with you. I want to feel connected to you. I want to feel the joy of walking in intimacy with you. Where are you, she said? Where do you pasture your flock? How can I get to close to you? How can I feel you again? How can I feel intimately connected with you again? And listen how Jesus, through King Solomon’s prophetic shadow here, intimately responds to her. He says to her in verse number 8: If you yourself do no know, Most beautiful among women… He loves her. Though she feels nothing, though she’s not feeling his love, listen, Jesus’s love never changed. He said, If you don’t know, Most beautiful among women. He calls her beautiful. He assures her. He says, let me tell you. And he tells her to do three things. He tells her to get in fellowship with his people. He tells her to serve. And he tells her to do it under the authority of church government. And so he says there: God forth on the trail of the flock; get in fellowship with my people. And pasture your young goats; in other words, serve. Get involved in serving. And then he says, and do it, in verse number 8, under the tents of the shepherds. So I want to say to you, some of you that are watching, it’s really important that you get in close relationship with God’s people; that you’re in fellowship with the body because God doesn’t call us only, get this now, Church, as individuals. He calls us as a people. When we look, for example, at the books of the Bible, let’s talk about the Book of Corinthians, the Book of Ephesians, the Book of Colossians, these books are written to the entire church. In other words, there wasn’t somebody called Mr. or Mrs. Ephesus. But rather Paul write, get this now, to the church at Ephesus. There wasn’t a Mr. or Mrs. Corinth, but Paul wrote the Book of 1st and 2nd Corinthians to the church at Corinth. You see, the church is the body, and one is dependent on the other. And so we can’t fully experience the fellowship of Jesus in our life if we’re not in fellowship with the body. Now I realize for some of you that are older and facing physical challenges, some of you, you know, are dealing with health issues that make it difficult to be involved in a local fellowship. And I want you to know that God’s grace is sufficient. But if there’s no reason that you can’t be in fellowship; in other words, you have transportation, you’re in good health, I want you to know, God’s best will be fulfilled in your life when you get in fellowship with the body. And again I want to speak right now a blessing to our elderly and those with physical challenges, or those that don’t have transportation, I want you to know God’s grace is sufficient. He loves you and will cover you just where you’re at. But it’s important for you to realize that God wants you in fellowship with his people, those of you that are able to do so physically. And them the Lord said, and pasture your young goats. In other words, it’s important to serve. You see, when we were called into relationship with Jesus, we were given a gift. And we were given the heart of the Great Shepherd. Jesus said, the Son of Man has not come, get this now, church, to be served but to serve. And God so loved the world, get it now, that he gave his only begotten Son. And so the fullness of the Spirit cannot work through our life if we’re not serving, if we’re not giving, if we’re not looking how to bless. If we just try to keep everything, you know, bottled up for ourself and it’s just about our own experience, the river of life will not flow from you in such a way that you can be carried deeper in to the romance of divine love, deeper in to eternal life. So the Lord said get in fellowship with my people, go where the flock’s at, find a way to serve. You know, you don’t have to have a specific title to serve. You just look for ways to encourage people, to reach out to people, to love people, do with your words, do with your finances, do it in tangible ways. And then the Lord said, and do it under the tents of the shepherds. In other words, don’t be a lone ranger. But God’s given to the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, none of which are perfect, including me. But nevertheless this is the economy of God’s kingdom. This is how he operates. So get in to the atmosphere of his government. And Jesus said when you do this, it’s gonna bring a refreshment into your life that’s gonna bring you, beloved, into a deeper baptism of intimacy and of love. As we continue here, Jesus continues, listen now, to affirm her. Listen what he says to her. He said, Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments. And he goes on to just let her know that she is beautiful to him. And as she was experiencing, get this now, the affirmation of God over her life, and I want you to know now, God loves you. I’m speaking to every single one of you that are his. Every one of Paul’s letters begins the same way. Get his now, Grace and peace to you. God loves you. The Bible says you are complete in him. You are beautiful to God. And as she began to realize that there is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus, as she began to realize that she was dearly cherished and loved just where she was, even in her state of imperfection she was deeply loved and cherished. As she began to become confident of that, not shrinking back in shame but confident that God enjoyed her right where she was, even in her imperfection; as she began to become confident, Church, in the love of God, you know what happened? Her heart began to blossom in his love. She said there in verse number 12: While the king was at his table, My perfume gave forth its fragrance. Do you know what, beloved? We need to have the revelation of the fear of God. The Bible says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. But beyond that, beloved, we need the revelation, get this now, Church, of the love of God, because fear will take us so far, but love; the fear of God will take us so far but love will bring you all the way in.