His left arm is under my head and His right arm embraces me.
Song of Songs 8:3
This short series of blogs is based on, and encouraged by, a book I recently read called Jesus lover of my soul by Julian Hardyman*. The purpose of the book is to present Christ to the reader in a deeper and more intimate light than that which is normal in UK churches. I don’t have enough time (and frankly am not brave enough) to cover all the content in the Song but I believe that these things are necessary and extremely edifying for all Christians to know and accept!
It is important that we accept this relationship as legitimate. The Song can be uncomfortable and alien to us but when you realise that the picture of God as our lover is used right throughout scripture it becomes legitimate to apply the Song to our lives (Hosea, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 21:2). Hardyman gives 6 reasons why this is a proper reading of the Song.
The thought that Jesus longs to have deep spiritual intimacy with us can be difficult to get our heads around and yet it is true. It is so easy to fall into a formal relationship with the living God and only accept the picture of God as The Father, continually loving, in every way protective, responsible, caring; yet this wonderful picture can (as any other picture can) become formal. The vastly more intimate picture of Jesus as our lover is transformative in our walk and dependency on Him. He longs for us to be vulnerable before Him, for us to desire Him like a young woman desires a man, to want nothing more than to be in His company. At the beginning of this potentially new revelation of God’s relationship to you, are you ready to sink deeper into the caring heart of your Saviour? Are you eager to fall more in love with the lover of your soul?
*Jesus lover of my Soul is published by IVP