Coming into my office this morning, aware of a long list and a longer day ahead, I grabbed an old paperback from the shelf which I haven't touched for 20 years. It literally fell open on a page which stopped me in my tracks, and pulled me up short from my unthinking tendency to busyness without intimacy. Ever been confronted by a text which shows you up in this way so readily? Well, here it is.
The book, Mike Bickle's Passion for Jesus. The quote, as follows:
Song of Solomon 1.4
"After the maiden in the Song of Solomon awakens to fervency, she prays a twofold prayer. 'Draw me after you and let us run together.' The order of that prayer is very important. First we are drawn to him in intimacy, then we run with him in ministry. If we are to become co-labourers with Christ, running with him, we should first focus on being drawn as worshippers, consecrated in purity with affectionate passions.
It's easy to pray, 'Let me run, increase my sphere of ministry and influence,' without also fervently seeking the Lord to draw us near to him. But as we are drawn to greater intimacy with God, we have a greater spiritual depth and touch other people's spirits more effectively. That is what 'running' or real ministry is all about - bringing deliverance to the hearts of human beings so they can know and worship God intimately too.
On the other hand, some believers say, 'Draw me,' but never go onto run with the Lord as a partner with him in his work on the earth. The Holy Spirit does not draw us so we can hang a 'do not disturb' sign and sit in our little comfort zone singing love songs to Jesus the rest of our lives. As fellow heirs with Christ, we are drawn into intimacy, the empowered in ministry to bring others into intimacy with the Lord."
It's a really good thing to run hard this Christmas before we rest. But it's an even better thing to run hard out of this place of rest. 'Draw me after you and let us run together.' Let me hear a hearty 'Amen' from every flagging runner!