Thanksgiving and praise change one’s attitude. A change in attitude prepares us to worship.

“Come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”   (Psalm 95:6)

There is a place where praise falls away and worship begins, when wef3361805a4ff903bb4234d14bbe64e3f

pass from utterance into attitude. We move from song service into revelation. ~ Derek Prince

She ends with prayer

The last verse of Song of Solomon:

Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices. (8:14)

She finishes with the battle cry of the ages, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” Mike Bickle says, “She asks Jesus to come quickly like a swift gazelle and a young stag to conquer all the mountains of opposition and to manifest Himself as the victorious King over all the obstacles of this age.” Ah, yes, it is the prayer of the end-time church. It’s the great prayer of worship (we love you) and intercession (we need you to come and release revival power).

The church just went through the Advent season – waiting for His coming as the baby in the manger. This morning I feel the longing of the Bride for her Beloved. He asks to hear her voice. She speaks urgently and with passion. She is not alone. The Holy Spirit helps her. He will unite all her diverse members. In the end times the Holy Spirit will be resting on and moving through the Church in great power through a unification that was never before seen.

17The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”…20“Surely, I am coming quickly.” (Rev. 22:17, 20)

The Bride longs for heaven where she “sets up housekeeping” with Him forever. Song of Solomon describes the throne of God and the dwelling place of the Bride as a vast mountain of divine fragrance. She takes a deep breath. It is His smell. Could it be like Diana and David’s 5-year-old daughter, Danae Lu, described it – like the freshness of the air after a spring rainstorm? Perhaps, some day we will know.

fresh air

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is like a hearing aid

I have worn hearing aids half my life. As I grow older, they are becoming more and moreear essential for my everyday functioning. A couple of years ago, my husband got a pair, too. Because we both struggle to differentiate sound, we have found it easier to talk less. I don’t call out to him from another room any more. He makes sure he is facing me and within arm’s reach when he tells me things.

Today’s verse in Song of Solomon deals with communication.

You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice—Let me hear it! (Song of Solomon 8:13).

God is saying to the church, “The young ones in the body (the companions) want to hear you. You’re the one who dwells in the gardens, you’re the mature one. They want your spiritual wisdom.”

The Bride’s voice was sweet to Him in her immaturity (Song 2:14). How much sweeter is her voice now that she walks in mature union with Him as His beloved partner. Mike Bickle says the Lord wants to hear from her in 4 different ways

  1. First, in worship as He forever wants to hear us declare our love to Him.
  2. Second, in intercession as we join Jesus who makes intercession forever (Heb. 7:25).
  3. Third, in teaching as we speak the Word to one another (Mt. 28:19-20; Col. 1:28).
  4. Fourth, in evangelism as we share the gospel to unbelievers.

and, as much as He wants us to talk, the enemy wants to silence our voice.

Communicating Christ in today’s world is like trying to communicate with the hard of hearing. They can’t hear us because the Holy Spirit is not in them and they don’t want to invest their resources (time/effort) to get this great Hearing Aid. The worldly noises around them make differentiation difficult. They can’t focus. They don’t know what they are missing because they are not tuned in to the Spirit’s world.  They are deaf. They need someone to make the effort to go to them, to face them, touch them and get in close enough so they can hear the message. If those of us who dwell in the garden and know how to tend it, don’t do the tending, who will?

So this morning as I put my hearing aids in my ears, making sure they are charged and functional, I think about all this in relation to the Holy Spirit and my role with Him in building the Kingdom. Pondering…

It’s not about us

My own vineyard is before me. You, O Solomon, may have a thousand, and those who tend its fruit two hundred. (Song 8:12)

If I were a reporter, I might say, “I am reporting from the vineyard again today. I note that the corporation is strong and reeling in record profits. Those who work here are doing well under wonderful management. An interview with the Boss reveals that teamwork is the key to their success.”

Mike Bickle explains that the Kingdom is the vineyard and those who “keep its fruit” are the Bride’s (the Church’s) fellow workers. They will have a portion in her fruitfulness when they stand before God. She only fulfilled her mandate as she worked in community. Each worker on the team will share in her reward in eternity. The 200account shekels of silver speak of the portion of reward that her coworkers will receive on the last day for their part in her success.

Mike gives a snapshot of this same concept from the New Testament.

Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

Paul is not doing ministry for personal reward. He is building a workforce, a team for the Church, the Bride of Christ. His ministry is all about building up others so those he serves have a strong account! Considering all hardship, frustration, and conflict that inevitably comes with ministry and working in a ministry team, we need to prepare so we can push through. Jesus had such a plan. It was loving your neighbor as yourself. He knew hard times would be easier to shoulder if our eyes were on the other.  When the needs, the pain, and the burdens of those around us who need the Savior overshadow any wrong, hurt or under-appreciation we experience, we will not walk away.

Jesus’ standard for success in ministry is that we do not quit. When we realize our ministry is not about us, we realize we have to stay.

The Yardstick is Faithfulness

Jesus hearkened back to today’s verse from Song of Solomon

11Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon; he leased the vineyard to keepers; everyone was to bring for its fruit a thousand silver coins. (Song 8:11)

Mike Bickle explains that “Throughout the Song, King Solomon is a picture of King Jesus. Jesus has a vineyard, which speaks of His people (Isa. 5:1-7). Since the time of Jesus that vineyard, His people, has grown exponentially. Baal Hamon means “the populous one.” The word literally means in Hebrew, “the father of a multitude. King Jesus has a very large vineyard at Baal Hamon that reaches to the multitudes of the nations (Mt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9). King Jesus leased (entrusted) His vineyard to His Bride (the keepers) knowing she would keep it for Him. Jesus leasing His vineyard speaks of the kingdom in this age being entrusted to His people.”

When Jesus he walked the earth He told the parable of the landowner who planted a vineyard, built a tower, and “leased” it to keepers, then went into a far country (Mt.VineyardDandelions 21:33-44). Mike says we are living in the time where the Lord is in a “far country,” and He has left the keeping of the vineyard to us.

Each believer is responsible to cultivate the vineyard in such a way as to bring forth fruit. You do not need to wait for an official job description or title from a ministry organization. Start serving people. Everyone will give an account to the King for their assignment (Luke 12:31-48), and it will be a fair accounting. The Lord rewards us based on the measure of our faithfulness, not giftedness or opportunity.

The final words of the verse speak of a thousand pieces of silver. The “thousand” is a complete number which speaks of fullness, or the full measure that God requires according to what was entrusted to each person. Want to have peace? Be faithful. Labor in His vineyard with 100% effort.

Yesterday I was reminded that I was short a few pieces of silver. I felt the irritation rise as I was interrupted in my tasks, and, again, when someone called me out for not researching something that turned out to be fake. When I feel that “old man” rising within me, I am so frustrated and ashamed. I am to serve Him, listen to Him, live and do as He would do, period! That is all. It is a clear call that has not changed in two thousand years. Kira would say I have only one lifetime to learn it.

What is your life’s purpose?

It is New Year’s Day 2018. The start of a new year is a special time of reflection and goal setting. It is a time when many make resolutions. Interestingly, that is the topic from Song of Solomon today.

I am a wall, and my breasts like towers, then I became in His eyes as one who found peace. (Song of Solomon 8:10)

The Bride is reflecting on who she is in the body of Christ, and Whom she serves within it. This verse encompasses three areas of reflection:

1) She selflessly sees herself as a wall of protection that exists to help others.

2) She has a supernatural ability to care for others. (breasts like towers)

3) She has confidence in her effectiveness in ministry because He tells her so in His word

Opening my new devotional to read Day #1’s reading, I am surprised to find a section entitled “Practices of Effective Christians”. It tells me that effective Christians 1) memorize Scripture, 2) lead people to Christ, 3) remember where to find things in the Bible, and 4) read their Bible daily. Paul Chappell, pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church, president of West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California, and radio host of Daily in the Word, then proceeds to give detailed instruction on how to pursue each practice to become more effective. Wow!

Mike Bickle says, “The Bride in Song of Solomon has confidence about her ministry and maturity because God spoke it to her. She can say before God that she lives to serve His people throughout her life because that is what the Lord asked of her and she is doing it. She has peace in her life and calling in God because she lives to please an audience of One. She does not look to the opinion of others. This removes many emotional hindrances in her life.”

The Apostle Paul had this same confidence

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is light potfrom God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:5-10)

The same fiery seal of love that produced confidence and purity of motives in the Bride (Song 8:6) also sealed Paul. It is profound to understand our life and to have confidence that we accomplished God’s will. God’s will is our purpose. It is that simple.



Enclose the Door

9If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar. (Song 8:9)

If the little sister is called to be a spiritual door, then the Bride and the Lord will enclose her. A door is the point of entry for others. The “door ministries” open doors of grace and salvation for others as an intercessor, evangelist, teacher, or apostle. Intercessors open doors of opportunity for Evangelists open the door for unbelievers to come into the kingdom. Teachers open the door for believers to go deeper in God. Apostles open doors to regions for new initiatives in God.

Enclosing a door was a difficult concept for me until I remembered something I had learned during my investigation of human trafficking. There is an organization called the International Justice Mission. It is a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. Is is a policing agency. It goes into communities and works with their law enforcement structures to end human slavery. It catches the bad guys and rescues the victims. In this way it acts like an enclosure for the door.

International Justice Mission (IJM) is an unusual Christian ministry composed of Christian lawyers, FBI agents, former ambassadors, judges, social workers with expertiseIJM in rape, forensics, criminology and the like. These individuals go into communities to apprehend the bad guys so the Christian churches do not have to. IJM frees the churches to concentrate on preaching, teaching and ministering. They surround and enclose the door. They shield her.

Come to think of it, I have a sun room surrounding the front door of my home. It keeps and protects the entrance way. It gets those coming to my home out of the storms, hot sun, driving rain and gives them a place to stand and prepare themselves to enter the living space of my home. I think Song of Solomon is saying that some of our little sisters are called to be preachers, teachers, evangelists and intercessors and the Bride has a duty to help them along in that. Mike Bickle says, “To be enclosed with the cedars of Lebanon is to be clothed with the character and presence of Jesus. We are to be clothed in Jesus who is the cedar sent from the Father. Jesus and the Bride will work together with the little sister until she is enclosed by God.” We teach her how to put on the armor of God until she can dress herself.

Today is the Lord’s Day. I best load up my cedar wood. There are many little sisters at church, and, I’m sure, someone will have some patch for my own creaky boards.

Build the Wall

Yesterday Song of Solomon divided the young believers (identified as little sisters in this passage) into two categories: walls and doors. Mike Bickle says they were identified as such and said to be the way they are “according to what God put into her heart. They [Jesus and His Bride] will work to help her [the little sister] be effective according to her response to God’s call in her life.”

Today I want to talk about walls. Walls are defensive players in the Kingdom, and, as such, they require very different nurturing than a door.

9If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar… (Song of Solomon 8:9)

“The battlement of a fortress was on the top of the tower where the archers shot through the indentations in the stone. They shot then stood behind the stone battlements for protection. The battlements provided places for the watchmen to spot and shoot the enemy and thus, defend the city. Battlements speak of ministries that provide safety from the enemy. Silver speaks of redemption. There was no such thing as a battlement of silver. They were usually made of stone. Battlements of silver speak of bringing redemption to others.”

Do you know a little sister who fits the wall description? She stands her ground and, when the church is under attack, she is out front battling. She is the one a church can count on to defend her. She knows her Bible and will not let the deceptive one steal her young ones. She is jealous for their love. She wants them to stay true to the Bridegroom. The salvation of their souls is paramount in her ministry. My granddaughter, Kira, isvintageKira such a young warrior. She is very quiet, but she is armed (with the Word) and committed to prayer. Her father (my son) spends morning time reading the Word to her and teaching her how to stand, He is building a battlement of silver on her. He is teaching her how to bring redemption to others, and to keep the lambs growing.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to sand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13

Kira keeps these words of Paul in the forefront of her mind. Kira has a long rope attached to the wall running the length of her loft bed. It runs the whole length of the bed and makes a turn where the one wall ends and continues on the wall over the head of her bed. The last 6 inches of this long rope is painted red. I asked her about it. She told me (at age 11) that the rope represented her life and the red part was her life on earth. “Mamie, that red part is what determines the rest of my life. I only get this one short space of time to make an impact for God.” I was undone. You know some people build with wood, hay and stubble; some people build with gold, silver and precious stones. I want my granddaughter to have all the silver for her embattlement that she needs.

Tomorrow…the door.

Of Walls and Doors

8We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister in the day when she is spoken for? 9If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar (Song of Solomon 8:8-9).

Song of Solomon is dividing the young converts (little sisters) into two types: walls and doors. He is telling his readers that the support needed to grow the young in the Lord differs depending on the type of young believer nurtured. Some are to be prepared to be the defensive line and some, the offensive. Scripture calls them walls and doors.

Mike Bickle explains, “There are two directions the little sister might respond—to be a wall or a door. The Lord and the Bride respond to the little sister’s response, which is according to what God put into her heart. They will work to help her be effective according to her response to God’s call in her life.

If the little sister is called to be a spiritual wall, then the Bride and the Lord will build on her. A wall brings defense to a city and establishes a line of demarcation. “Wall ministries” either function in a pastoral way to protect the people from the enemy or they raise up God’s prophetic standard. They establish God’s line of demarcation for holiness to go forth in the land. When the enemy shoots arrows, the wall stands in the path of the arrows meant for the young ones.

If the little sister is called to be a spiritual door, then the Bride and the Lord will enclose her. A door is the point of entry for others. The “door ministries” open doors of grace and salvation for others as an intercessor, evangelist, teacher, or apostle. Intercessors open doors of opportunity for Evangelists open the door for unbelievers to come into the kingdom. Teachers open the door for believers to go deeper in God. Apostles open doors to regions for new initiatives in God.”

Nurturing the little sisters is quite a task! It takes one wise and super connected to the Lord Jesus. How does the Bride do this? She dwells in Him. Our job is to pitch our tent in tentGod. Psalm 61:4-5 describes the heart of a king who was sold out to the King, and, therein, lay his power.

I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

When people see us (the Bride) live (pitch our tent) securely in God it whets their appetite for God. We do not have to convert, fix or change them. That is not our role. Our role in the family of God is to live in such a way that the children see and want to claim their inheritance, too.

Tomorrow we will talk about the building materials, the battlement of silver for the walls, and the boards of cedar for doors. Stay tuned!

Where are your little sisters?

We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister in the day when she is spoken for? Song of Solomon 8:8

The end of the Song of Solomon is two prayers. Starting at verse 8 in the final chapter the bride intercedes for the end-time church. At the end of the chapter she pleads for Jesus to come quickly. She is a mature Bride now. Mike Bickle states, “One significant sign of spiritual maturity is concern for the spiritual condition of others. The mature Bride remembers her little sister instead of forgetting her as she moves on to deeper things. She asks, “What shall we do for our sister?” This question was deeply rooted in the Bride’s heart.

The mature Bride has breasts to nurture the young and she notices there are those who need her nourishment. The fact that she even “sees” the little sister’s need is the work of the Spirit in her. She feels the same towards the little sister as Jesus does. He is ravished over them (4:9) and longs to see their face and hear their voice (2:14). She joins Jesus, [note the word “we” in verse 8] in mature partnership. She connects her passion to His forming a formidable alliance.

I think about this a lot as an old woman. I am old in years, but I wonder how mature. I have pain, am easily frustrated and I tire quickly. Some days, (most days) I just want to be left alone. Mike Bickle relates: I had a life-changing encounter with the Lord in the summer of 1983. I was very focused on my own spiritual development. I was seeking to grow in prayer and revelation of the Word. I didn’t want to be burdened and distracted by others depending on me. In prayer, I was complaining to the Lord that I didn’t want to be responsible for so many people (the church was 500 people). Suddenly, the Lord spoke to me powerfully from Joshua 1:2.

“Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.” (Josh. 1:2)

The Lord commanded Joshua to lead the people to their inheritance in the land. The Holy Spirit asked me a question in a strong way, “What is more important to the Lord than a holy man on the earth?” I was perplexed by this question and could not imagine what the answer was. The Lord answered me, “a whole generation of holy people.” Then the Spirit gave me Joshua 1:2, saying, “I want you and the people to inherit the land.” This verse struck my heart like an arrow. As an immature believer, being holy was enough for me. But as I grew, the Lord began to say, “Where are your brothers? Where are your little sisters?”

So this morning I am being asked, “Where are your little sisters?”