One thing I really miss from being back home (wherever home is for me – but at least one of the countries I lived in the West) is the bath tub with candles around giving a soft light. A place of solitude, of being just ourselves sincere and real .. to reflect and unwind and also chat with God.. providing relaxation and rejuvenation for the physical body as well as emotionally and spiritually too! A secret place!
My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. – Song of Solomon 2:14-15
The Dove (an excerpt from Easton Bible Dictionary): In their wild state doves generally build their nests in the clefts of rocks ….. The dove was the harbinger of peace to Noah ( Genesis 8:8 Genesis 8:10 ). It is often mentioned as the emblem of purity ( Psalms 68:13 ). It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit ( Genesis 1:2 ; Matthew 3:16 ; Mark 1:10 ; Luke 3:22 ; John 1:32 ); also of tender and devoted affection (Cant 1:15 ; 2:14 ).
The beloved addresses her as a dove – he sees and values her peaceful nature and her purity filled with the Holy Spirit and as one who is of tender and devoted affection. Where is she found? “In the clefts of the rock’, in her secret place. A rock is symbolic of God in the Old and New Testaments. The godly woman has immersed herself in the rock of God’s presence, in her hiding place in the mountains. Her beloved calls her out desiring to hear her sweet voice and lovely face. He knows their love is in bloom, it’s fruitful and is making it clear that he is protecting their love – and will catch anything that will hinder. The Beloved knows that this girl was a gift from God found in HIS presence.
As much as this is for an intimate relationship with two people who are on the pathway to marriage, this also has much significance for our relationship with God. It is symbolic.
We are given the RIGHT to be called Children of God when we believe in His Name and received Him (John 1:2). It is when we are led by the Holy Spirit that we do become His children (Romans 8:14). We seek solace in our Heavenly Father, our refuge and our fortress – He becomes our hiding place, our secret place. As His children we want to spend much time getting to know Him and being intimate with HIM, hearing His voice. We build our nest in HIM – preparing to multiply for His Kingdom and His glory … As we rest in HIM and nestle in HIM, we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and lead us… and we then become vessels of peace filled with purity and full of tender and devoted affection.
When our Beloved beckons us out, He longs to hear our voice and see our face. We, the Body of Christ, are the bride of Christ:
Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. – Ephesians 5:25-27
As we nestle in His presence we are made holy and pure… His word washes us and renews us… The Holy Spirit illuminates His Word and leads us. In this secret place, we allow Him to search our hearts for all anxieties – we bare ourselves to Him – and as He convicts us we begin to let go of our fears and insecurities and our hypocrisies and our masks…. We become the vessels that He is moulding and shaping and allow Him to remove our blemishes to become holy and blameless!
As we take refuge in HIS presence, we hear His voice clearly.. Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd and His voice know Him. His sheep follow Him and do not follow the thief who comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Sin is not doing what He is calling us to do, not following His voice.
The Beloved is all out to cherish His bride, to protect the vineyard – the Body of Christ. He is calling out to see your lovely face and hear your sweet voice.. Are you ready to respond to HIM?
Bring all your relationships to HIM today – whether it be your intimacy with Him, your relationship with your life partner (whether prospective or courting or spouse) and with other members of the Body. Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and bring to light areas that need to be shaped.
Are you hiding in the secret place of God the Rock, nestling into HIM and becoming the vessel that He wants – pure, filled with the Holy Spirit, tender and affectionate and full of peace? Have you come to the place where you long for HIM and are getting to know HIM intimately? If not ask God to reveal ways you can make time and give Him the priority?
When we haven’t found our clefts, our relationships with others will also be inhibited as our security and love comes from HIM. We won’t even be able to recognise who He has placed on our way – and who isn’t of Him! Are we letting HIM examine the motives of our hearts in each relationship we have with one another? Are we letting Him wash us with His Word? Are we soaking in His Word?
Are we able to recognise the gift He has given to us like the Beloved was cherishing his wife to be? Or are we falling into the traps of the enemy? Are we asking God to help us discern HIS voice from the voice of the enemy (who uses people) ? Are we protecting HIS vineyard (the Body of Christ as a believer and also our marriages / prospective marriages)?
May we discern the schemes of the enemy and the works of the flesh to protect ALL what belongs to God and may we seek the clefts of the ROCK!