Like a Moth to a Flame
August 10, 2015
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NLT)
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
Love flashes like fire the brightest kind of flame. Everyone is looking for love like that portrayed in Song of Solomon. The kind that seals the heart. Displayed proudly for the world to see. Love as strong as death. Jealousy enduring as the grave. The love that everyone wants but few will ever find. Not because it is not out there but the soul ties created among humanity with all its unreal expectations, overbearing demands, imperfection in both parties mixed all together in a society that really has no concept of what true love really is. True love…real love…enduring love…forever love is not possible outside of God’s Love. My grandparents were married seventy (70) years when he passed away. They married as teenagers and clung together through a lifetime. My dad and step-mother who really is my mom married when I was in elementary school. They have been together more than thirty (30) plus years. My husband and I have been together more than sixteen years (16) years. I think if grandma and grandpa were still with us and all of us could gather around a table to discuss the success of our marriages – the central theme would be Jesus Christ. Love and respect for the Lord will change the way others are perceived in our life allowing us to love them without expecting our spouse or partner to be our God. This is vitally important to successful unions.
If our love for the Lord is foundational in our lifelong loves, it seems that to have such things requires a passion for God. We are drawn to God with the hope of discovering His Unfailing Love. Many approach the Lord with fairytale visions of a prince on a white stallion coming to the rescue. It is with an expressed need of fulfillment, acceptance and affirmation that we come to Him. The humility felt on the way to the altar is seldom maintained and our carnality begins to surface early in the relationship as people become demanding partners who want more than they can give to the partnership. Rather than love and affection showered on the Life Giver who rescued us from certain death, it becomes a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” arrangement. We give nothing expecting Jesus to meet our requests. I have a revelation. Jesus already did. He gave His All to this covenant. He died…yes. But He came back to life. When He emerged from the grave – He thrust the Keys to His Kingdom to everyone who calls Him Savior and makes Him their Lord. Boom! Done! We are free to choose to use those Kingdom Keys and take part in His Household as His Partner – His Bride or return to the world as its lover. We don’t “have” to love Jesus back for what He did for us. We don’t have to do anything for His Love. He just hands it all over to us. The problem is that sin prevents us from having the relationship described in Song of Solomon. We must fall in love with Jesus like He loves us! Drawn to Him like a moth to a flame, we must keep that fire alive in our heart every day to be His Bride.
I am jealous. When it comes to my husband, I have a ferocity in my heart that rises up without regard. There is no filter and from the beginning I have been candidly honest about it. I want his love and attention. All of it. But what if I said that I was jealous for him but ignored him all the time? Love is a commitment. On the good days, it’s a breeze. But on the not-so-good days, what then? If there is no commitment, we will turn and walk away. That is the societal norm. When you are done with something, simply throw it away. If you don’t want it, discard it. Recycle and Reuse is a relationship term as well as the products we use each day. The breakup and makeup syndrome is alive and well. Couples back and forth all around with children caught up in the crosshairs. Are you jealous today? What is the object of your jealousy? If you want all of God’s Love that He is offering you – you must become as jealous for the Lord as you are for the other things in your life.
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NLT)
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
The question rose up in my mind, so why are moths drawn to a flame to such an extent that an idiom would be created bout their plight. For many years science pointed to the moon thinking that it was some sort of migrating tendency. But in the seventies, the Department of Agriculture made a discovery that may very well explain the moth’s attraction to light. It is love. The infrared light spectrum emitted by the candle’s flames contain some of the exact same wavelengths of light given off by the female moth’s luminescent pheromones. Who would have thought? We are attracted to the Light of God’s Love but few will move any closer to it afraid of its consumption. Moths dive straight into the flame of a candle in pursuit of love. What if we did the same with God’s Love? Allowed that tiny spark to become a raging fire?
God promises that the fire of oppression and flames will not consume you! Jesus handed all of Himself over for you. He loves you. He proved it. How far will we go to prove our love for Him? Are we willing to be like a moth diving into the flame?
2 Timothy 1:5-7 (NLT)
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Our daughters attended two camps this summer. One was a huge youth conference in Atlanta, Georgia. A giant pep rally for Jesus Christ that encouraged young people to live what they believe and not be ashamed in their schools and among their peers. Famous Christian recording artists performed, popular worship bands led them into the Presence of God and mega preachers called them to accountability. The girls had a blast. But then we changed gears getting back to our roots and they attended an old-fashioned holiness camp in the middle of the woods. No flashing lights, loud sound systems, professional Christians to get their blood pumping. Just men and women after God’s Heart going all in and taking as many young people as would go with them. Our daughters came back from the conference fired up but like a match it didn’t last more than a day. When they returned from the other, they were changed. They did not come back with a “charge” something to do, a message to tell or a mandate to serve. No, they came back changed from the inside out with a personal passion for God that comes from encountering Him for ourselves. They are not the same. I am not the same from just being near them. Their faith, not their dad’s faith or my own, became real to them in that place. They didn’t want to come back. Now I am hearing different sounds coming from their rooms. I am seeing different children in the way that they live. I am encouraged to reach higher and go deeper in the Lord just to keep this flame alive in my children so they will have a passion for the Lord that will keep them in His Embrace.
“I remind you to fan the flames of the spiritual gift God gave you…” In the Old Testament, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. Why was Moses drawn to it? Because although it was burning it did not burn up or burn out just kept burning. (Exodus 3:2-5) His encounter that night in the desert changed his life forever. When the Lord spoke to the Children of Israel, it was from the heart of the fire on a mountain. (Deuteronomy 4:11-12) it was outside of them and because their sin was not yet paid for they could not step in. When Jesus died on the Cross – He released His Spirit. (John 19:30) In that moment, the curtain in the Temple representing the separation of God from His People was torn from top to bottom and graves of many godly people were opened and they arose from the dead. (Matthew 27:51-52) On the Day of Pentecost, the Lord released His Spirit to His People for holy inhabitation. (Acts 2:2-4) This is the mark of those who belong to God and changes our spiritual DNA. What we do with the Gift of His Spirit is up to the individual? I choose to fan that flame into a fiery passion for the Love of God? In Acts it appeared as flames or fire settling on each person in that place. We have this very same gift available to us. What we do with it is up to us? The Holy Spirit is the part of us that allows us to truly connect mind, soul and body with the Lord. He is the Seal on our heart that sets us apart as God’s Children. He is the guarantor of our inheritance and the One to show us where it is. (Ephesians 1:14; 4:30) When my youngest daughter compares the two camps, she feels like the big conference gets her all hyped up and excited about Jesus but that the little church camp out in the woods touches her here (as she places her hand on her heart). Sweet Jesus! How I thank you for revealing yourself to our girls this summer. Their love for You is evident. They have developed a passion that is not like other humans. Lord, make me who I need to be to fan the flame inside of them.
Revelation 3:15-20 (NLT)
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
God is an all-consuming fire. It is clear that He is not interested in “lukewarm” lovers but those who come to Him like a moth drawn to a flame unconcerned of what will happen next but driven by love. Is their passion in our love for the Lord today? Will we stop at nothing or withhold anything from our One True Love. He compares to part-time, mediocre Christians as vomit in His Mouth. I have been that person off and on my whole life going a little deeper in His Love and stopping. Starting again… and stopping. I don’t want to be that person anymore. His Grace is sufficient for me and marks my place until I get myself together. He knows my heart and will work with whatever I give Him to reveal more and more of His Amazing Love.
The Lord has given me all of His Love. I want to experience it firsthand in my life. I am willing to make the commitment to change and be changed if that is what is necessary (and it will be) to finish the course. Passion for God’s Love will not allow for indifference. It is a seal on our heart that says, “Jesus I am Yours!” It is like a band on my arm that says, “Good soldier of God” so I am always on a mission to share His Great Love. It is love so strong that the close proximity of death will not change my mind. It is a jealousy that requires me to take my faith and confident hope all the way to my grave so I can be resurrected with the redeemed of God. Love that flashes so brightly others are drawn to it. I love so secure that near drowning cannot quench it. A love that is not for sale. I have this Great Love. Lord, let me live like a moth drawn to a flame completely consumed by Your Love.
Psalm 27:4 (NLT)
The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.