Posted by izonprize

ARISE MY DOVE, my fair one...February 19, 2016 (Leeanna Porter). 

Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come along, for behold winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines, and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.  The fig tree has ripened its figs and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance   Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come along....

Because my years before Christ were sprinkled with legalistic do's and don't's of the Kingdom, after I was born again, it was a very difficult transition to go from the mind of religious legalism to freedom in the truth of the mind of Christ.  My spirit was born again, but my mind still needed renewing!

My spirit became born again the moment I trusted Christ according to Ephesians 2:8-9. Specifically that I was saved by grace through faith and NOT as a result of my own works, but it was a FREE GIFT so that no one could boast (before God, but Christ).   

Before Salvation, I had Ephesians 2:10, "You have been created for good works which God prepared (before you were born) that you should walk in them", pretty well ingrained into my soul.  Works were easy for me.  In fact, they always have been.  It's the resting in Christ part that was hard to remember.  Couple that with spiritual gifts of prophecy/pastor/teacher and VoilĂ ! I'm off to conquer kingdoms for Jesus!  Get with my program or get out of my way! God have mercy...

One of the things my flesh had learned to do very well was to self-condemn.  As easy as it was for me to expect others perfection, I expected it of myself on higher levels.  My sins - both "big" and "little", were like vomit to me: Horrid and shameful.  Even though I was born again, I had years of legalistic propaganda to unravel. 

At my conversion to Christ, I was in awe of God who had chosen to save me in my sinful state and, the fact that I didn't have to work for it, was like butter on the toast-smooth and palatable.  It calmed my fears of judgment and I understood eternal life was not my own doing but his alone.  

When I was about 25 years old and a relatively newborn babe in Christ, like everyone else, I still had a few sin habits to break.  Every time I committed a transgression, I would beat myself up for DAYS.  It was so grievous to me.  I would continually cry out to God for his forgiveness: "Please forgive me God, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! (My own self-condemnation left little room to hear God's voice of truth). 

One of those mornings when I was crying out for mercy, I heard a sweet kind Voice whisper to my heart, "Come away my dove, my fair one..".
I wiped my tears and thought, "That sounds like a Scripture; was that GOD talking to me"?  So I grabbed my Bible and looked up the word "dove" in my Bible's concordance and this is what I found:

"O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your form, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your form is lovely. Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom" Song of Solomon 2:14-15. 

For the first time, regarding God and my sin, I didn't feel condemned at all.  I felt His presence of peace and understanding love.  Although He was acknowledging I had sinned, He wasn't harsh at all.  In fact, He began our conversation with calling me His dove! THEN He encouraged me to catch those little foxes of sin for "us"!  Unity. Wow.  The Spirit walk in a body of humanity took on new meaning for me that day.  I was no longer alone when I sinned. It was no longer God in heaven disapproving of me for "being bad" and putting me "in a corner to think about it", but He was right there with me in the muck of it, gently assuring me of His commitment to walk alongside of me, as He instructed me in the way I should go.   

My voice of prayer was sweet and acceptable to God.  Doves tend to hide in rocks yet just like Noah's dove, God called me back to Himself.  Christ is my solid rock of hiding.  To hide in Him is peace. To hide in my own "rock" is fruitless.  

Faithfully consistent, He didn't leave me in that spot.  He came for me.  He heard my cries, and as my Great High Priest, He reminded me of His sacrifice and IT WAS ENOUGH.  Self-condemnation became nothing less than an attack on the finished work of Christ on my behalf. 

Deep within all of us, Beloved in Christ, is an inner sanctuary, an altar unto the Lord.  A place where our prayers are heard and the incense of our groanings arise to the Father.  It is a place of Eternity in our hearts that calls us home to Christ no matter how far we may have roamed.  This tabernacle travels wherever we go.  Because of the eternal covenant of His grace, the temple can never be torn down again.  God will finish the good work He began in me.  I am confident of this.  According to Christ (Hebrews 9:26), I "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself".  In His roll "up yonder" my sins: past, present and future, are all atoned for.  I may have been wallowing in my bed of self-condemnation that day, but His presence reminded me that Christ was already condemned in the flesh for my sin. God no longer sees me in grave clothes.  He sees me clothed in Christ; clean and white.  
He sings over me with joy! He exults over me with singing! Zephaniah 3:17, The word  "exult" in Strong's is refined this way, "to spin around under the influence of a violent emotion"!  
I am His "violent" joy and His very great reward, for enduring the humility of the cross.  I am His Pearl of Great Price.  When He sees me, He sees no flaw in me at all!

"How beautiful you are, my darling.  How beautiful you are! There is no blemish in you! Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes. How delightful you are, my love, with all your charms! 

Come away...

Love Never Fails,
Leeanna Porter