Lesson 11: Our Turning Point

The maiden’s time of listening to Jesus has changed her. Her heart now belongs totally to Jesus, and she discovers she desires to work for Him. Activities done only for self-fulfillment no longer satisfy.

LOVER
4:12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.

The garden of her heart is beautiful because of her absolute surrender of her will. Now her heart is only for Him! She is sealed from all others and lives exclusively for His pleasure. This is holiness—to live for Him and Him alone. She has given Him full, loving control. She seeks to read, watch, say, and listen to what she knows would please Him.

Our minds are to be kept locked so that our imaginations and fantasies are kept pure. When we lock out the enemy, our secret thoughts, meditations, and ambitions are like cool streams of water to Jesus.

If you have difficulty keeping your thought life pure, cleanse yourself through His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a promise. Then apply that Word to the problem by faith.  If we allow Him, He “is able to keep [us] from falling and to present [us] before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” (Jude 24). Claim 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Selah: The Psalmist promised, “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar” (Psalm 101:3 NLT). What is a practical application of that verse for you?


According to Psalm 119:9, how can we cleanse ourselves from what displeases Jesus?

4:13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard,
4:14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.
4:15 You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.

She has now moved beyond a quest for what God can do for her to an understanding that God wishes to produce fruit in her life.

Her heart is an orchard of pomegranates with other precious plants growing among them! She is filled with love for the blood of Jesus (represented by the red of the pomegranates). He has chosen and appointed her to bear fruit (John 15:16), and He sees the fruit of the Spirit in her (Galatians 5:22). His Father is glorified where there is much fruit (John 15:8), for others will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden” (Ezekiel 36:37).

He sees a great variety in her that He admires. She gives forth the fragrance of a life filled with praise to God. What God seeks in our lives is not external performance or an impressive record of achievements but the fruit of the Spirit.

He compares the wisdom that flows from her to the rivers flowing out of Lebanon that are crystal clear. Her heart is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom and graces that flow from her are pure.

The water is streaming down—so it flows without effort. When we are filled with His Spirit, we refresh others without human effort.
Selah: “Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Notice that we produce much fruit by remaining in Him. What does does it mean to “remain” in Him?


Beloved
4:16 Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.
The maiden, moved by His loving words, tells Him, “Come what may—the north winds of adversity or the south winds of blessings—may the fragrance of my love for You spread abroad.” She will love Him no matter what He brings so that the fragrance of her love for Him will be obvious to others.

She is saying, “Lord, whatever it is that is getting in the way of my love growing and maturing, move it out of the way.” Also, she is transitioning from “my garden” to “His garden.” She sees her life and ministry as His garden instead of hers. In the heart that is totally God’s, there comes a desire to work for Him.

This is a turning point. Before she loved him for her personal enjoyment. She had said, “Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade.”

Now she says, “Let Him come to His garden so He can enjoy its pleasant fruits.” She is not content just to enjoy Him for her own pleasure. She is saying, “Please let my garden yield fruit for You—fruit that others will enjoy.” She prays that the winds would allow the presence of God to flow out of her life in a way that was evident to others.

When we begin to do our activities out of love for Jesus, the reward will be grace to love Him more. We no longer need a list of do’s and don’ts when we have a hunger to show Him our love in all we do.

“Deep calls to deep” (Psalm 42:7). God created a “deep” within each of us that is capable of responding to this “deep” call from Him. The “deep” within us is a “garden” in which we commune and fellowship with God. Jesus said we are to go into our closet and shut the door (Matthew 6:6). Think of this not as a physical space but a special place within where we turn aside to commune with Him. “Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside...there I will give you my love” (Song of Songs 7:11, 12).
Selah: Do you do things for Jesus out of a sense of duty or because of your love for Him?


How will others be affected if our love for Jesus is our motivation?

Lover
5:1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.

Friends
Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.
In the previous verse she invited Him to come into His garden and taste its choice fruits. He responds, “Yes!” and comes immediately. Eating her pleasant fruits and delighting in her love and obedience refreshed Him.  She is His sister, His bride. Her focus is on satisfying Him, not on serving herself.

Earlier in 1:6, she had neglected her own inner life, but now she is a banquet table for others. She had been feasting on Him, abiding in Him, and now others can feast on the luscious fruit the Spirit produced within her.

Her friends delight in seeing the maiden’s passionate love for her Bridegroom.
Selah: Jesus delights in your love for Him, your desire to please Him, your gratefulness for His sacrificial death, your enjoyment of His presence. Do as the maiden did in 4:16 and invite Him to enjoy you.