Summary: The abundant Christian life cannot be taken for granted, but must be intentional. The key to the abundant Christian life is a radical focus on Jesus Christ.
The focus today is on the Christian. The whole book of Song of Solomon deals with the Bride of Christ. Nothing in this book has anything at all to do with the non-Christian.
Applying anything in this book to the non-Christian is completely wrong. As a Christian, God has things to say to me that the worldly person can never hear or understand.
This is a source of frustration with the non-believer.
With this said, let me also say that in the Christian community there are a variety of levels. The same is true for every Christian.
In talking to the seven churches, Jesus has this to say about the church in Ephesus.
“4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:4-5).
There are many levels and degrees of Christians and I believe it is important for everyone to find out where they are in this regard. Most Christians are experiencing an unsatisfied life. The abundant Christian life as many refer to, is not the normal in many Christian churches.
Once, Christianity influenced the culture.
Now, the culture is influencing Christianity.
This has caused great unsettling of many Christians and brings them to a point of dissatisfaction in their Christian life. The culture can never satisfy the heart longing for God.
The problem with the church in America is the majority of Christians are living an unsatisfied life and are trying to substitute it with aspects of the world. No longer does it have the influence it once had.
Theme…The abundant Christian life cannot be taken for granted, but must be intentional. The key to the abundant Christian life is a radical focus on Jesus Christ.
In the true Christian experience there is a longing for fellowship with God. Notice how the bride expresses it here.
Song of Solomon 1:2-4 – 2 “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine. 3 Your oils have a pleasing smell. Your name is like oil poured out. So the young women love you. 4 Take me away with you, and let us run together. The king has brought me into his room.
“We will have joy and be glad because of you. We will praise your love more than wine. They are right to love you.”
Several things are involved in this “unsatisfied Christian life.” The more we know about it the more we can correct it in our own life and experience the fullness of God in Jesus Christ.
I. The Unsatisfied Life Begins with Delusion
This is really where it all begins. Delusion is not built on a lie; rather it is built on partial truth.
A con man (confidence man) builds his con on truth, especially truth people want to hear. The problem is, although what they say is true, it is not the total picture.
This is what is happening in Christianity today. If you listen, in particular, many of the preachers on TV are using a con to get people to give them money. They take Scripture and pull it out of context and make it say something that God never intended to say.
Here are a few samples…
• Matthew 7:1 – “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
• Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
• Luke 11:9 – “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
• Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
• John 8:32 – “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
To take these out of context is to create a delusion. Every delusion is built on partial truth. As a follower of Christ, I need to know the whole truth and understand it in the context that God established it and how it affects my communion with him.
II. The Unsatisfied Life Is Vulnerable to Distraction
If I fall victim to delusion it will create a great deal of distraction. People, health, money and situations. A distraction is anything that takes the focus off of Christ and lead me away from that fellowship and communion with God, which create a spirit of dissatisfaction.
(1:5-7) 5 “I am dark but beautiful, O people of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not look hard at me because I am dark, for the sun has burned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me, and made me take care of the grape-fields. But I have not taken care of my own grape-field. 7 Tell me, O you whom my soul loves. In what field do you feed your flock? Where do your sheep lie down at noon? Why should I need to look for you beside the flocks of your friends?”