Can the life of being RightWithGod, be portrayed in a picture? Certainly no picture could display all aspects of the christian life at the one time. However there is one picture of the christian life in the bible that, to my mind, portrays most accurately the basic relationship of the christian life, i.e., the relationship beteen the believer and Christ. I speak about the Song of Solomon, chapter 8, verse 5, the first part: “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” A simple question that portrays so much. Clearly the picture is of the believer, leaning on Christ. Let us take a closer look.
The first thing we notice is that there is forward movement on the part of the pair. They are not static, but constantly going forward. We are on a journey. We are just passing through this life, heading towards our final true home in heaven. We walk, not alone, but with Christ constantly beside us. Stasis and stagnation are alien to the christian life. God will not allow it in His children
The second thing we notice is that the emphasis of progress is not so much on the destination as to what is being left behind: “coming out of the wilderness”. What is this wilderness that is being left behind? The bible often speaks of this world as a wilderness, and certain it is that God makes this world a wilderness for the christian: a place which was once home, but is now increasingly a strange place. This speaks of the fundamental of a holy life: progressive separation from the world. That is the first thing in holiness. Purification of character comes later, and follows naturally, if the first is right. This is not isolation, we are not allowed that; we are still God’s witnesses in the world. We can be making progress in holiness, and still be engaging the world with the gospel. We can have friends and contacts in the world, but we must not love the world itself (1 John2:15).
The third thing is the postural relationship: “leaning on her beloved”. The believer here is a picture of weakness. How true what God says to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: “My strength is made perfect in weakness”. How different from much that is preached and practised today! Christ loves dependant children. He is not looking for heroes doing great exploits, although He may be pleased to use us in that way. He is looking for ‘leaners’, who are happiest when they are leaning on Christ. He alone is strong, and He is very strong, and able to take the weight of all His children, yet making us feel as if He was our own personal and intimate support.
The picture is incredibly simple and accurate, it supremely, effectively portrays the life of being RightWithGod moment by precious moment. This is happiness full and running over, even if we have many trials, as we must have.