Read the Bible verses related to each devotion.
Then follow the actions and prayers for yourself and a nonbeliever at the bottom of the page.
READ Song of Solomon 8
DREAM ABOUT HOLINESS
Years ago, I had a dream that I was a captain on a college track team. We were competing against other teams in the last meet of the year—the championship. After I finished my race, I was watching my team, but they were losing every single race and we were down 35-0. I knew that in tomorrow’s news, our team’s loss would go up and down the east coast and all the others would know we were a weak team. My coach seriously asked me, “What are you going to do to encourage the team?”
I looked at my team, which was still running, and I got ready to fervently yell at the runners, encouraging them to win! But, despite my zealous cries, they did not win. Thankfully, we had one last race! So, I got ready to rally the team, hoping we could win that last race. I turned to face the team, but everyone was gone. I asked my friend, “Where is the team?” He replied, telling me that they all left the race. They are not finishing the meet. Instead, they are standing in the tent, waiting for the buffet, which comes at the end of the meet.
I awoke and instantly knew what the dream meant:
The church has settled for a life of “just being saved”—they left their race of holiness—boringly waiting for the banquet at the end (The Wedding Supper of the Lamb; Rev. 19:9).
THE RACE: The track meet symbolizes the church’s corporate race of holiness. We are supposed to walk holy & to “GO” make disciples. Your personal race of holiness affects the whole team.
35-0: We were losing 35-0 (Isaiah 35), which is a promise from God for Israel, declaring revival will come with power and miracles and GRACE to make His people Holy. Israel will walk on a highway of Holiness. Heb. 12:1-12 affirms that this truth is also valid for you today! God is calling you to run your personal race of holiness—by His GRACE! Your part affects the whole. But!
EVERYONE LEFT THE RACE: In the dream, everyone left the race, went to the tent, and waited for the buffet at the end of the event. The church in America is at a divine moment. We can either finish the race, or we can give up. You can either run your race of holiness or give up. PLEASE DON’T QUIT!!! Settling for “just being saved” and waiting to get into heaven, to eat at The Wedding Supper of the Lamb is not the end goal. Stay in the race of holiness and Go forth with God to make disciples. If you don’t quit, you win!!! #happyholiness.
Why am I talking to you about this? You are called to walk holy, but you cannot do it without having your heart sealed in fiery love. Happy holiness flows out of a life of love. Love from God, which transforms your heart. Love to God, which continues to grow your heart as you minister to Him. Love for yourself, which transforms your mind. And then that all flows down to love your neighbor as yourself. This is what it means to have the First Commandment first place in your life, so that you can do the Second Commandment. (Matt, 22:34-40)
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Remember day 7 of fast? I shared how my knee was dislocated and I had to snap it back into place. (If you want to refresh yourself you can read here). (Picking up the story when I was sitting in the chair with a broken down knee).
Now, with a leg that was damaged,, by the perfect kindness and leadership of Christ, I sat in a chair for those three months. It was there that the cry of my heart was threefold. First, I wanted to be loved by God. Second, I wanted to be able to love Him also. Last, I wanted to be fruitful in ministry.
Jesus said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:8) I was made to be fruitful in ministry. But I had grown weary, burnt out, and was downright sinful in my nature. I had put working for God before loving God and being loved by Him. The next verse, after 8 is verse 9, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” God is rich in mercy, and He always gives second chances. (He came to the place I had fallen; the place of a dislocated knee; He came to the place of my shattered heart and picked me up.) I had tried to earn God’s love through good works, but God did not let me lose my life working in someone else’s vineyard. Instead, He chased me down in love. And I trust that He is doing the same thing to you.
Now where was the dear Shulamite last...we left her? Yes, I remember, she was rich and mature in love. Her life was no longer her own, and she was going from city to village, to vineyard, to open field, all for the king. In the beginning of chapter eight, she is uniting with the king at their country home. Her words are reaching out to the king inviting him deeper into her heart. (Song 8:1-2) Then she continues to stand as a messenger declaring that the king’s love is worth waiting for (Song of Solomon 8:3) True love is always worth waiting for. How do you know if a love is true love? When you can be hurt, but you trust it is for your good, and your love grows more and more fruitful.
“Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I awakened you under the apple tree. There your mother brought you forth; there she who bore you brought you forth.” (Song 8:5)
The king announces a question. But it is not a question that he does not know the answer to. That is why it is an announcement. He is making an announcement so that the kingdom will see what he values. He is announcing love, a growing love, maturing love. He is announcing the testimony of the life journey of the Shulamite. As he announces this testimony, he is proclaiming and inviting the rest of the kingdom to behold and become. Remember, you will always become what you behold—as long as you lean.
Remember my knee? It was dislocated by the Sovereign King of all creation, who is the Kindest Man alive—Jesus! When I recovered from my knee injury, I had to learn to lean. In fact, I am still learning to lean every day. In the natural I had lost my ACL and MCL in my left knee. BUT, when you are leaning, then God’s Mercy and Grace make you a new creation. My Physical Therapist told me that I would never run again. BUT GOD is rich in mercy. Since that time, with God’s help, I have run two marathons. I hobble, but by His mercy and grace I am running the race set before me.
In the place of leaning, she is going to pray the most significant prayer that she could ever pray.
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.” (Song 8:6-7)
She prays this prayer, “Set me as a seal upon your heart…” Her heart is the doorway to encounter; the door to filtering her emotions. This is the first commandment call: Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37). She is praying for her heart to be SEALED UPON HIS HEART. [her life vision is to love the king, and be loved by him]. (The greatest journey you will ever take is for your heart to be set and sealed upon His heart).
Imagine, your heart is sealed, like a wax seal, upon God’s heart. Your heart is fused to His, and you only want to do His will. You only want what He wants. You desire to know His thoughts, feelings and future plans. Your heart is no longer just your own—it is sealed upon the heart of God. This is the journey of mature love.
Secondarily, but not less important, that she would be sealed upon his arm. The arm speaks of her fruitful works in ministry. This is the second commandment of love. Jesus said, “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:38) In like manner, she wants her works to be sealed upon His arm. She wants to be fused and linked eternally to His will and ministry. She realizes seeking her own will is fleeting. She prays, “Set me as a seal upon your arm.” We can also pray this prayer, but only after we fall madly in love with King Jesus.
Her life vision is to love the king and do whatever she can to build up his kingdom. But her life calling is to do all this in love. She wants to be fruitful in serving the king’s kingdom. She was graciously found by the king, overworked in a field that is not her own. She was awakened with a love that is greater than wine. She has overcome her immaturity, and now is asking to be set as a sealed, but only after falling madly in love with His fiery love.
God’s love is fiery. It has the power to burn up everything that hinders love. Only a mature believer can stand in this intense fiery love. A believer that has gone through all the times of testing; the north winds and the south winds. After we go through times of testing, then we are vessels that can contain the intense fire of God’s love. This is a fire that is so hot, so intensely hot, that water cannot put it out. Imagine water coming towards fire and instantly vaporizing before it even reaches the fire.
The sun is a picture of the kingdom of God. The sun is intensely hot. The earth cannot go close to the sun or it would burn up. This is how intense the fire of the sun is. In the same way, the earth cannot be too far from the sun, or it will be covered with ice. God purposely keeps the earth at the perfect distance so that all the seasons flow together, year after year, and the land produces a fruitful harvest. In the same way, we are a perfect distance from God, but there is something different with God.
You can come as close to God as you want. Let me explain. The tabernacle of Moses was constructed exactly how God wanted it. And an important part of the tabernacle was a veil between the priests and the Presence of God. The veil is to separate us from the awesome holiness of God, it protects us so that we will not die. God is holy and we are not. This the same thing that was set up in Solomon’s Tabernacle. There was a veil between the priest and the Presence of God. But something happened on the day that Christ died. The veil was torn, and this one act was shouting to all humanity—come as close as you want! How is it possible?
Through the torn veil, God said two amazing things: “I want you to approach Me, and I have made a way for you to come before My Throne.” God’s desire is to be with you—FOREVER! But we cannot stand in His Presence without His Amazing Grace. Christ’s death paid the debt of your sin, AND made a way for you to come close: face to face. God’s blood is overwhelmingly powerful. It draws you deeper in love—fiery love.
Today, let me ask you, “What is this fiery love worth to you?” King Solomon says, “If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.” Seriously, think about this for a moment. Usually, we spend our lives working to pay off our houses. In fact, we consider it “unwise” to rent, declaring that you are just throwing your money away. Yet, are we forsaking all to pursue the fiery love of Christ? Do you pursue God’s love more intensely than seeking to pay off a mortgage? (How many times have we thought of paying a little extra towards our principles so that we can pay off our mortgages sooner?) Today, we have the chance to behold, to pursue, and to be SET AS A SEAL UPON HIS HEART AND HIS ARM.
This can be the greatest day of your life. Watch this song on God’s fiery jealous LOVE.
Invite a friend to pray with you (your spouse if you can.)
Pray the prayer below.
“Father, fill me with Your fiery love, and set me as a seal upon Your heart; Let me love You with my whole heart, soul, and mind. Set Your fiery upon me, and set me as a seal upon Your arm. Let me love my neighbor as myself. Let me be fruitful in ministry. Jesus You said, ‘As the Father loved Me, I also have loved You; abide in My love.’ (John 15:9) Father, You love Jesus; Jesus, You love the Father; Holy Spirit, let me love You the same way the Father loves Jesus. Set me as a seal upon Your heart and upon Your arm.”
They may have said, “Yes to God,” or they may not have. You may be super excited about this time of prayer for them, or you might not. They may have grown closer; or you may feel like they are further away. Regardless, The Holy Spirit wants you to be fruitful in ministry (John 15:8), and He has done something in their lives during this time. If possible, invite them to church, but if they don’t go, don’t give up on them. Remember this verse and pray the prayer below.
“Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (1 Cor. 3:8)<