By Francis Frangipane
Finding Our Beloved
Though the Sacred Writ tells us we are one with Christ, the sense of distance between Jesus Christ and ourselves persists. You may have prayed, Lord, You said You are with us forever but I feel isolated from You.
So, the question must not be ignored: If Christ is within us, how can we find the living flame of His presence? In the Song of Solomon, this quest to find the secret place of His presence is given wonderful expression. The bride says, "Listen! My beloved! Behold, he is coming, climbing on the mountains, leaping on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag" (Song of Sol. 2:8-9).
This is our Lord, full of vitality! He is "climbing on the mountains, leaping on the hills." To see Him on mountains, though, is to behold Him from afar. He is seen, but remains distant. How do we live in a moment-by-moment sense of His indwelling presence? We still ask, "Where are You, Lord, within me?"
The bride continues,
"Behold, he is standing behind our wall, he is looking through the windows, he is peering through the lattice" (Song of Sol. 2:9).
We can be assured Christ dwells within us; He is within, but He is "standing behind our wall." What wall? The wall(s) we erect that are consequences of our unrenewed minds and hardened hearts --- the walls our fears construct and the barricades of our carnal attitudes, sins and worldly distractions.
Yet these barriers can be eliminated. To the degree they are removed, we possess functional oneness with Christ; we experience true spiritual advancement.
Removing the Walls
Even now, let us begin the removal of these barriers. Imagine that, even as you are reading, the Lord Himself has quietly entered a nearby room. You look, and suddenly the room is vibrant and alive; it is pulsing with waves of light. Your spiritual senses are flooded with holy fear; living, probing light actually enters you and descends into your heart, illuminating the true condition of your soul. My question: Knowing that the living Son of God was in the room, would you enter?
If you could not bring yourself to move toward the room, what would be your reason? If it is because you feel you have failed the Lord too many times, then shame has become a "wall" between you and Christ. If terror keeps you distant, then fear is the barrier between God and you. If an unrepentant heart is keeping you from intimacy with Christ, then heart sin is your cause of isolation.
Remember, the pure in heart see God (Matt. 5:8). If we repent of our wrong attitudes and sins; if, instead of shame and fear, we clothe ourselves with the garments of praise and salvation, the barriers between ourselves and the Lord shall be removed.
But let me ask you a second question: How would you enter Christ's presence?
It is my opinion that we would not pick up tambourines and dance into His glory. No. When the greatest apostles and prophets beheld Him, His presence caused each to fall face down as a dead man. For me it would be with great trembling that I would approach the room of His presence. Face down on the floor, I would inch my way closer.
How can we remove the sense of distance between Christ and ourselves? In the same way we would repent of sin and shame before entering the room, let us turn our gaze toward His living glory. In trembling obedience, let us enter the fire of His presence. In truth, He is closer than the room next door. Even now, He is standing behind our wall.
Lord Jesus, I remove the wall created by my fears, sin, and shame. Master, with all my heart I desire to enter Your glory, to stand in Your presence and love You. Receive me now as I bow before Your glory.
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "And I Will Be Found By You" available at www.arrowbookstore.com.