Yesterday (my day off) I had the chance to read many selections from Charles Spurgeon's devotional called "Morning by Morning."
There were many selections worthy of sharing, but one in particular stood out above the rest and I caught myself thinking: "This could only have been written by one who had experienced the reality of Christ in a deep and profound way."
It is based on a passage from the Song of Solomon, which he relates to the believers love-experience with Jesus. If you are a believer I trust that as you read this you will be saying the occasional "amen" (or translated, "yes, this is true"). Enjoy.
"I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my lover, tell him I am faint with love." (Song of Solomon 5:8)
"Such is the language of the believer panting after present fellowship with Jesus: he is faint for his Lord. Gracious souls are never perfectly at ease unless they are in a state of nearness to Christ; for when they are away from Him they lose their peace. The nearer to Him, the nearer to the perfect calm of heaven. The nearer to Him, the fuller the heart is, not only of peace, but of life, and vigor, and joy -- for these all depend on constant spiritual intercourse with Jesus.
What the sun is to the day, what the moon is to the night, what the dew is to the flower, such is Jesus to us. What bread is to the hungry, clothing to the naked, the shadow of a great rock to the traveler through a sun-scorched land, such is Jesus Christ to us. And, therefore, if we are not consciously one with Him, little marvel if our spirit cries in the words of the Song: 'I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, tell him I am faint with love.'
This earnest longing after Jesus has a blessing with it: 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.' And if that be the case for righteousness, how much more for those who thirst after the Righteous One. Blessed is that hunger, since it comes from God. If I may not have the full-blown blessedness of being filled, I would seek the same blessedness in its sweet bud, pining in emptiness and eagerness until I am filled with Christ.
If I may not feed on Jesus, it shall be next door to heaven to hunger and thirst after Him. There is a hallowedness about that hunger, since it sparkles among the beatitudes of our Lord. But the blessing involves a promise. Such hungry ones 'shall be filled' with what they are desiring. If Christ thus causes us to long after Himself, He will certainly satisfy those longings; and when He does come to us -- as He will -- oh, how sweet it will be."
Those who do not know Christ, or have not experienced the reality of His presence filling their soul, will not understand Spurgeon's words. Until the Holy Spirit enables our spirits to "taste and see that the Lord is good;" until one personally experiences the soul-strengthening and heart-satisfying presence of the Tribune God filling them, they will not be able to grasp how much it makes one yearn for ever further expressions of His fullness, love and grace.
A. W. Tozer once penned the words: "O God, I have tasted of Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more... I want to want Thee, I long to be filled with longing, I thirst to be made more thirsty still." The yearning is sometimes as pleasant as the filling and just as much an expression of our desire and love for Him.
Or as Bernard of Clairvaux once wrote (words since put to music by Edward Caswall, in the hymn "Jesus, the very Thought of Thee"): "The love of Jesus, what it is, none but His loved ones know." In fact, in a verse from that hymn not found in most hymnals, Clairvaux utters the same truth as Spurgeon. Speaking of Jesus he writes:
"Celestial Sweetness unalloyed,
Who eat Thee hunger still;
Who drink Thee do still feel a void,
Which only Thou canst fill."
Jesus, may you come and fill anew the hearts of your people!
In Him, Pastor Jeff