By LESLIE LUDY
My Beloved spoke and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one and come way.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13
When I married Eric, I took on his name. I became Mrs. Eric Ludy. I took on Eric’s name to solidify my marriage covenant with him. It wasn’t just accepting the title “Mrs. Eric Ludy,” it was a total change of focus and lifestyle.
Bearing Eric’s name meant building my life around my new name. To truly bear the name of my husband – not just in title, but in my daily reality – I had to leave my own life behind and join my groom in a new life. I had to become one with him.
To become a true Christian – the one who bears the name of Jesus, our beloved Bridegroom – we must leave behind our own life, and come away with Him. We must put aside all of our own selfish desires and pursuits. He must become the sole focus and worship of our lives.
Our precious Bridegroom is calling us, beckoning us to leave all behind and come away with Him. This is not just a theoretical request – it is a practical one. We must ask ourselves what in our life is keeping us from being consumed by Him alone. Is it our habit of laziness? Our selfish attitude? Our addiction to worldly entertainment? Our thirst for comfort and material possessions? Our desire to be appealing to the opposite sex? Our longing to be center stage? Our need for control over our own future? Our need for popularity and attention? Our fascination with pop-culture?
We must ask ourselves the question, is Jesus merely a part of my life? Or is He my entire life?
When Christ says, “Rise up and come away,” He is asking if we are willing to walk away from those things – to leave them far behind – and ride off into the sunset in the arms of our precious Prince.
As Charles Spurgeon wrote,
Jesus says, ‘Rise up, My love, My fair one and come away.’ He asks you to come out from the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing. Make no reserves. Come altogether away from selfishness—from anything which would divide your chaste and pure love to Christ—your soul’s Husband. Come away from your old habits. Avoid the very appearance of evil. Come away from old friendships which may tempt you back to the flesh pots of Egypt. Leave all these things. Come away to private communion. Come away, shut the doors of your chamber and talk with your Lord Jesus and have close and intimate dealing with Him. Oh, take care that you begin aright by coming right away from the world, by making your dedication perfect, complete, unreserved, sincere, spotless.
This “coming away” from the world must apply to every dimension of our life as a set apart young woman; areas such as music, entertainment, dress, and language. Take some time this week to think and pray through each of the following areas of your own life, allowing God’s Spirit to gently reveal any un-Christlike attitudes or patterns that need to be transformed by His grace. I am continually challenged by this powerful statement from Leonard Ravenhill:
Are there chambers of the mind with unclean pictures hanging in them? Have we skeletons in the cupboards of our hearts? Can the Holy Ghost be invited to take us by the hand down the corridors of our souls? Are there not secret springs, and secret motives that control, and secret chambers where polluted things hold empire over our soul?
We cannot expect an intimate, passionate daily relationship with Christ if we are not willing to seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. When we are preoccupied with pop-culture and the pursuit of our own selfish pleasure, we cannot truly know Him or hear His voice. But when we, like Mary of Bethany, are willing to pour out everything we hold dear upon the precious head of our beloved without reserve, we will experience firsthand that “in His presence is fullness of joy and in His right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).