DAY 17 - Awake, O north wind, and come, O south WIND!
Read the Bible verses related to each devotion.
Then follow the actions and prayers for yourself and a nonbeliever at the bottom of the page.
READ Song of Solomon 4
In 2011, I had a dream that was alarming, provoking, and encouraging all at the same time. I was alarmed at what was revealed in my heart. I was provoked to come nearer to Jesus, and I was encouraged that God spoke about our future. All this drew me closer to His love. Let me take a moment to share, because our God said, “He would pour out His Holy Spirit and give us dreams, and this would lead to a great harvest of souls.” (Acts 2:17-21) (After 25 years of walking with Christ, I am convinced that not all dreams are from God, but some are.)
In the dream, I was on a university campus and the weekend was fast approaching. I felt the pull of boredom and lust all around me. I had the choice to either stay or flee. I chose to flee. I went to a safe place and stayed there for the weekend. Next, I was catapulted many years into the future.
I was at my home, with my beautiful wife and 5 children, and I heard a knock at the door. I opened the door and it was the Lord. He was standing there, drenched with the storm that was raging all around. (It was at that moment that I understood my house was fixed on the solid rock; a cliff high above the seashore below.) I instantly knew a few things: first, my family was safe; second, the storm was raging, and there were people trapped in the storm; last, Jesus was out in the storm.
He then asked me to come with Him out into the storm, and save the people who were trapped. (I knew this was a great harvest of souls.) Immediately, I said, “Yes!” And I proceeded to enter into the storm. But Jesus forcefully put His hand on my chest, stopping me from going forward. Shocked, I looked into His eyes to see why He was stopping me. (I was trying to bring my whole family out into the harvest field.) Looking into His eyes, I saw that they were filled with compassion—the kind of compassion that a father has to have when he is about to take a thorn out of his child’s foot. It will hurt, but ultimately, it’s for the child’s good.
He then said, “In order for you to come into the harvest with me, you have to let Me judge your time and energy.” (Which I knew He was talking about how my family spent our time and money.) Then the most amazing thing happened.
Jesus stepped aside and two HUGE male lions entered my home. (I knew I had invited them into our home by saying yes to Jesus’ invitation.) Immediately, I stood completely still, not wanting to draw attention to myself. I urgently shouted to my family to not move as the lions moved through our house. And move they did. Expertly, they went through our whole house. Walking over countertops, tables, on top of furniture, near appliances, and next to technology devices. And anything that was not helpful was destroyed. (At that moment, I knew I had things in my home that were not wrong, but they simply were not beneficial.) Then, the lions walked out the door. I gasped for breath and had a choice. I could try to put my home back in order the way I had it before, or gather my family and go into the harvest field.
Speed things up from 2011 to today….
Last night, I had a dream that there was a horrible giant over a city trying to destroy it. I knew that God was inviting the church to fast and pray, to become a unified church, with a heart like David, and together we whirled the stone which defeated the giant. In order to get into the battle, I had to run to the seventh floor of the building. But I could not get there on the elevator, so I took the stairs. As I did, the lions showed up again. (I knew that they were there to confront how I spent my time and energy.) Instead of dealing with them, I tried to throw scraps of food at them so that they would eat the food, leave me alone, and I could enter the battlefield. Then wisdom spoke, as wisdom often does, and said, “You can’t fight the giant in the land without first defeating the sin in your heart.” Wisdom continued, “You cannot defeat the lions in your heart by appeasing them with scraps.”
As I awoke, I knew God was trying to confront the giants in the land, by confronting the sin in my heart. You see, in David’s day there were giants in the land. As a result, they had to face the giants. But David had to first fight the lion and the bears in his own life. And so must we. Today, God is shouting to me, “Son, I love you, but your toleration with sin is an idol before Me. Walk free from sin. Rend your heart and turn towards Me.” And this is what I believe He is inviting us to do. Let’s not hide our sin. Confess it before God and walk in freedom. And together we will defeat the giants in the land.
So, where are we? Where did we leave the Shulamite? She was…yes, I recall, she was just getting further acquainted with king Solomon. She was maturing quickly in love, and king Solomon was about to respond.
“You have ravished My heart, My sister, My spouse; You have ravished My heart; You have ravished My heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace.” (Song 4:9)
King Solomon speaks. And what he says is overwhelmingly awesome! He declares, “You have ravished My heart, My sister, My spouse; You have ravished My heart; You have ravished My heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace.”
She would have been weak in the knees, and she probably fell to the ground. The definition of “ravished” is being filled with emotions of joy or delight because of one who is unusually attractive (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). The king is declaring that her inner beauty has the power to bring joy and delight to his heart. He is also declaring that just one look of her eyes, just one link of her necklace, has the power to overcome the king of the land. With this one phrase, he affirms, he builds up, and he casts vision for their future relationship. Now whenever they go through a hard time, they have this testimony. She knows he will fight for her. Love wins.
And this is the same way that God loves you. You, little you. The little yes in your heart, with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace (your will), you have the power to overcome King Jesus. You move the heart of the King. He truly loves and cares for you.
Remember, God loves you the same way that the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Spirit. Jesus said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you.” (Jn. 15:9) Jesus, loves the Father, He loves you, and He loves people. Weak people have the ability to ravish, to bring joy, to bring delight to His heart. I love Christ, because He first loved me. I love people, because He continually reaches out to me in my weakness. God has deep emotions and affection for you. Love wins.
“How fair [beautiful] is your love, My sister, My spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices! Your lips, O My spouse, drip as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.” (Song 4:10-11)
Again, the king affirms that she is beautiful, and her love is better than all wine. Her perfume is amazing. In the beginning, the Shulamite declared that God’s love was better than wine, and His perfume was amazing. And now the king declares it back to her. She has matured in her love, and the king is affirming her inner beauty. He is affirming that the inner accomplishments of her heart are awesome; they are a perfume. The king is not looking at outward beauty according to the world’s standards. Instead, he is affirming her inner work is beautiful. This is true love.
In the same way, Jesus declares that your love is better than wine and that your inner works, your perfume, is amazing. He declares your words and thoughts move His heart. WHAT? Can you believe it? You get to become like Him, and your weak yes moves His heart. You get to grow in deeper in love.
This is breathtaking. God declares this over your life. He gives worth to your life and answers, “I love you, and your love towards Me is better than wine.” (Remember Jesus is fasting wine until the wedding day; Matt. 26:29.) He continues, ”Your inner beauty, the inner workings of your heart, your yes to obey, the yes in your heart towards My will, is an amazing perfume that flows back to Me.”
Her love is growing and maturing. Her love used to be just what she got from God. Now it is both what she gets from Him and what she gives to Him. He affirms that her love is amazing. Oh, friend, I pray that you understand this. Never be content to live in a shallow walk with the love of God. His love for you is so much deeper. And His love for you is the only thing that can transform your heart so that your love towards God grows DEEPER still.
“A garden enclosed is My sister, My spouse, a spring sealed up, a fountain sealed. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits, fragrant henna with spikenard, spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices. A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” (Song 4:12-15)
The king describes the Shulamite as a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed, and an orchard of fruit. He is speaking a powerful metaphor. She is a private garden; time in her presence is safe and refreshing. She is a fountain sealed; she is pure from outside defilement and influences. She is an orchard of fruit; her life of love with the king is growing and fruitful.
In the same way, your life of love in Jesus can be private, safe, refreshing, and pure. You have the ability to love God. You have the ability to move His heart with your weak yes. If you could see how your little acts of obedience move God’s heart, then you would gladly throw off the little things that are keeping you down, and give yourself to His mercy and grace. He loves you and you move His heart. But the best truly is yet to come as she stands up to pray, and if you understand this, your life will never be the same.
“Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.” (Song of Solomon 4:16)
She is full of confidence and courage, not false assumptions or a house of cards. Instead, she is resolute and confident in her life with king Solomon. She stands up and utters, “Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out.” And then she declares, “Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.”
These are two extraordinary verses. The north and south winds are important in agriculture. The north winds were the winter time when the ground would suffer the hard times, but it was necessary for growth. The south winds were the time of refreshing and growth. She is declaring she trusts the king in all seasons because she knows he is for her. So, she invited him into her garden, or deeper into her life. And as she grows in maturing love, it moves his heart.
Jesus is inviting you to this same place—that place where you trust Him and pray, “God, I trust Your leadership in all seasons of my life. Come blow Your winds in my life. I am no longer my own, I am Yours. Come to Your garden. Let my life be a secret resting place for you. I know that I move Your heart.”
Today, you can trust God. As you grow in love, you can then PRAY, “Awake, oh north winds; come times of testing.” And you can PRAY, “Awake, oh south winds; send the times of refreshing.” You can trust that in the good and hard times He is working on behalf of LOVE, and you can gleefully shout, “Come Jesus, come to Your garden!” Your life is now for HIM, and the best is yet to come.
Take a moment to listen to this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-JuFCwVaVM
Now write down the two things that are holding you back from following wholeheartedly after God. (Remember, there were two lions in my dream.) Write them down here:
Now give these two areas of your life to God, and pray the prayer below.
PRAYER4U “Father I trust You. I know that You are for me. Awake, oh north winds. Awake, oh south winds, and come into my life. Jesus, take the two areas above out of my life. I need victory, through the finished work of the cross today. Take me; I am Yours. And come to the garden of my heart. I am for You.”
ACTION4ONE Today, reach out with a text or a “hello.” Try to ask them how they are doing. If you want, bring them a bottle of water. Everyone has to drink water. If you can meet in person, smile, and ask them how their day is going. Pray for them if you can. (Pray the prayer before you go to them.)
PRAYER4ONE “Father, today, I ask that You would minister to the heart of the __________. Touch them in a way that only You can. Show them that You are God. Show them that You are Majestic. Let them see You. Open their eyes to see You. Break into their heart with Your north and south winds. Overwhelm them with Love.”
Have you been blessed by this and want to be a blessing?