Joni's Corner

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His Banner Over Me Is Love

 So in my daily reading I had come to the book of Song of Solomon. To be honest, this is not one of my favorite books. As I thought on that I realized, I am missing something here. And I cried out to my Lover, “Why Lord? What am I missing? Please open up Your Holy Word to me!”

I am only in chapter two but it has overwhelmed me. Seriously! Even as I type I can weep at the thought of it. Okay- so it says in chapter 2 at the end of verse 13, “Arise my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then at the end of verse 14, “…let Me see your face, let Me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

Now, I try to read the Bible daily but my time alone to really have a devotional has been so sparingly of late. I have gotten very busy with wedding details and such. This has caused a great deal of guilt on my part. It is human nature for us to beat ourselves up, isn’t it? Yet, our Father, in His Word, tells us not to do this. He tells us there is therefore no more condemnation (Romans 8:1). Is my reasoning to have a devotional time simply to do away with guilt? Simply to cross it off my list and say, “There, I have been a good Christian today?” What motivates me to do it in the first place? Here is what the Spirit showed me… He longs to see my face! To hear my voice! He has so much love, kindness, grace and mercy that He is ready to shower upon me. Why do we tuck away in our heads this image of Him being a Brute?!?! A hard taskmaster? This is NOT who He is.

When you have someone who is so kind to you and who loves you dearly and you just get to busy to bother with them- doesn’t it hurt your heart to think of it? It caused me to RUN to Him. To cast aside guilt, performance, and introspection. I just wanted to be with my Abba! I just wanted to yield under His Banner of Love (Song of Solomon 2:4). Don’t we see? He draws us with chords of love (Hosea 11:4)! Not guilt. Not expectations. Not standards. LOVE! Pure, beautiful, unmerited, unlimited LOVE! This takes it all off of us and anything we “think” we can do to earn it.

This life we live is a very intricate tapestry. Why do we continually look at it from our perspective under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1)? He longs to lift our eyes up to the Hills (Psalm 121:1) so that we might see the tapestry from His vantage point… the proper vantage point. He wants us to see the completed picture! Not a bunch of threads and knots. Yeah, they may look colorful but they make no sense. He wants to teach us how and what to think about ourselves. He wants us to see the beautiful completed picture that we truly are in Him… the proper side of the tapestry.

I am convinced that if we can see the Father for who He really is and let Christ and the Holy Spirit show us who we really are and get all this guilt and introspection out of the way, we could conquer the world! No matter what anyone tried to project on us or what they thought of us, we could say, “I don’t know about that. I just know that He adores me! He loves me with an everlasting love.”

It’s like the blind man who was healed of his blindness (John 9). He was brought before the Pharisees and they wanted to analyze it and point fingers at when and how it was done. The second time they summoned the man who was blind they were complaining because this happened on the Sabbath. How could this Jesus be good, He didn’t observe the Sabbath? I LOVE the blind man’s response, “I don’t know about that. All I know is that I was blind and now I see.” It was the Pharisees that were truly blind. They were so occupied with performance that they missed entirely that a man had been healed! We get so occupied with our walk with God that we miss entirely His love for us. We need only rest under His great banner of love! We need to take our eyes off ourselves and onto Him.

As far as performance? He says that He’ll perform in us what He expects out of us (Philippians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:24). Think about the little toddler. There is so much that he will need to learn. Is he all wrapped up in introspection about that? No. Why? Because he lives in wonder of his world and he simply basks in the love of his mother and father. He doesn’t perform for it or think he has to earn it. He simply soaks it up like a dry sponge. And his parents delight in showering him with their love. If your earthly father knows how to give you good gifts, how much more your  Father  in heaven desires to give you good gifts (Matthew 7:11). The love that toddler feels gives him peace and confidence (and he’s not even aware of that- we are!) that enables him to eventually do all that is needful for himself. He will learn to walk properly, talk properly, etc. It will come as he grows. It is the same with our walk with God. As Jesus increases in us, we will have all that we need for each season of life. We need only trust and rest in the Father.

Even Jesus in His sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) asked us why we worry so much about things. He was trying to tell us to simply seek Him. Seek the Kingdom- for in it, all else is provided. We will be taken care of. This is amazing. What a place of rest. What a place of – “Ok, I’m taking a deep breath and relaxing about all of it. God has it under control. I’m just going to bask in His love for me.” And you know what that does? It begins to transform us. And after a while we stop being introspective. We stop being so occupied with our lives and we can begin to look outward. And you know what this does? It turns us into “others minded” people. We become aware of the needs of others. And then God uses us in their lives to help set them free the way we got set free. I’M LOVIN’ THIS!! This is how to live life carefree, relaxed, and full of joy.

          So- to sum it up? Keep the main thing the main thing. Let’s stop worrying about all the details. And what is the main thing? Easy… “I don’t know about all that. I just know that He loves me! He really really loves me! And He’s got it under control.” Well, that’s all. I’m going to go have a cappuccino and watch the birds at my bird feeder for a few moments. Life is good… no matter what… because I am loved and I know how to (1)