Not supposed to be just superficial. Not supposed to be selective or divisive. Not supposed to be willy nilly but purposeful.
How about your relationship with God?
How about your relationship with God’s people?
How about your wife or husband?
God’s got a plan and a purpose and today’s reading speaks to all three of these areas! The word for today is intimate relationships.
Intimacy with God … Psalm 99:1-9
Intimacy with one another … 1 Corinthians 12:1-26
Intimacy in marriage … Song of Songs 1:1-4:16
Psalm 99 speaks to our relationship with God. Although God is Holy, thanks to Jesus we are able to have an intimate relationship with God! He isn’t God out there somewhere, he is “our God” and so not only do we get to worship and praise Him because He is mighty, holy, and just, we can have an intimate relationship with Him through Jesus Christ our Lord who made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way, He opened the door for us to come into relationship with God who is with us, not out there somewhere, but with us each moment of every day.
1 Corinthians 12 speaks to our relationships with one another. It speaks to the fact that we are all important and we each have been created with a purpose (not the same purpose, but a purpose). We each are important to both God and to the body. We each have a part to play and we need to have a relationship which takes hold of the importance of one another to bring unity and support to the rest of the body. It speaks to celebrating together! It speaks to supporting one another just as the human body can’t disassociate itself from any other part and how they are important and connected to each other. Each part is necessary! Each part is important in its own way. We may not look the same or act the same, but we are supposed to have intimate relationships with one another just like the different part of the body do so that nobody is alone and just because they have a different purpose we don’t exclude them. We were never been created to do this thing called life alone and hence why God gave us one another! No need to have labels, when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became part of the body and so we need to come together to glorify Him and fulfill the purpose and plan He has for us!
Today’s devotional speaks to the body this way…
God has designed the body so that there will be this mutual dependence. ‘I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of’ (vv.19–20, MSG).
We particularly need the parts that ‘seem to be weaker’ (v.22). Our internal organs ‘seem to be weaker’ in the sense of being more vulnerable. That is why they need protection. However, they are ‘indispensable’ (v.22). Likewise, those parts of the body that are ‘unpresentable’ are treated with ‘special modesty’ (v.23). No one would suggest that these parts are not important. Indeed, they are vital.
Because we need each other so much there should be ‘equal concern for each other’ (v.25). There should be such intimacy and love that ‘if one part suffers, every part suffers with it’ (v.26a). This is the community we need where people can process their pain. It is also a place where people can share their joys: ‘If one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it’ (v.26b). As St Augustine said, ‘Take away envy and what I have is yours too. And if I banish envy all you possess is mine!’
Songs of Songs is such an intimate story about a husband and wife. It speaks to God’s purposes and plans for love and sex and how this type of intimacy was designed to be saved and protected for the purpose of marriage. There is so much to to say about the importance and impact of waiting till marriage rather than giving away such an important part of who you are. I remember in the Cleansing Stream class learning about Soul Ties and their potential impact if you have them and get them taken care of. I remember it speaking to the description of good and bad soul ties and how with each such relationship a new soul tie occurs or put another way their soul get tied together. Not all soul ties are sexual and not all soul ties are you good for you either.
In a godly marriage, God links the two together and the Bible tells us that they become one flesh.
- and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? –from Matthew 19:5
Soul ties can also be found in close strong or close friendships.
- After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. –from 1 Samuel 18:1
Soul ties can also be used for the devil’s advantage. Soul ties formed from sex outside of marriage causes a person to become defiled.
- 2When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her. 3His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. –from Genesis 34:2-3
Demonic spirits can also take advantage of ungodly soul ties, and use them to transfer spirits between one person to another.
- Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. After she had been defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust. –from Ezekiel 23:17
Today’s reading in Songs of Songs speaks to the importance of the good and avoiding the bad. It shares the importance of intimacy within the marital relationship. It shares the warnings of allowing such intimacy into relationships prior to marriage too.