Monday, June 24, 2013

Drag Me, Seize Me, Take Me Away!

                Do you remember that old commercial from Calgon? The lady was always frazzled and hurried and would cry out, “Calgon, take me away!” Then in the next fame she would be soaking and relaxing in a tub full of fragrant bubbles. Lately, I have felt that I needed some Calgon to take me away. My life has been less than easy lately, and things that I know I need not put my attention upon are exactly where it goes. The more I pay attention to these things, the more they begin to draw me away and lead me down a path I do not want to be on.

                Yesterday, during service we sang an old worship song. Most of you will remember the song if you have been around the church long enough. The song is “Here I am to Worship”. As we sang this song, I felt a distance between me and my God. I felt a gulf had been fixed and I missed Him, I missed His embrace. I have been reading my bible, doing my bible study, and all the other “routines”; but still, there has been this sense of distance, like I have drifted away. As the song played and the people worshiped, I cried out to the Lord to “Draw me!” The desire to be close to Him was overwhelming, the power of His love in my life became so great that my heart broke at the distance that I have put between us. I needed Him, I need Him desperately in my life, and the only way I know how to get that back is to cry out to Him as the Shulamite once did.
                “Draw me away! We will run after you.” Song of Solomon 1:4
                Many of us have found ourselves in the same place, distanced from the Lord, feeling a gulf fixed between us. Our hearts desire to be near Him, to feel His presence in our lives, and to feel the warmth of His embrace upon us. I am a passionate person, always have been. The notion of romantic love is something I have always been drawn to. When I became a Christian, the Lord Jesus romanced me, He wooed me and showed me the love that He has for me is a romantic and special kind of love. So when my heart feels adrift, and I find that I have distanced myself from Him, the Song of Solomon is His way of bringing me back. The Song of Solomon is His love letter to me, His calling out to me to tell me how greatly He desires to be in my life, and I in His.
                The word “Draw” means to “drag or seize.” It also means to draw someone anywhere. Right now, I pray the Lord Jesus Christ would drag me away, that He would lay seize of my heart and bring me back to that place of love and grace that I have allowed to drift away. But will He? Will He drag me off to someplace where He and I can renew our love? Will He hear my cries to be seized by Him? Will He take me away to a place of restoration and peace in Him? He promises to us, who desire to be drawn away by Him that He will, and that He already has.

                “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying, ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again, I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt O virgin of Israel!” Jeremiah 31:3-4
                The Lord gives a promise to those of us who are in need of being drawn away that He has been drawing us, He has never let go. He desires to draw us away unto Himself. He has loved us with an everlasting love, and in His lovingkindness He has heard our cries and has come to rescue us and take us away. He also tells us that He will “draw {us} with gentle cords, with bands of love” (Hosea 11:4) When our hearts feel adrift and our lives feel the emptiness of His presence, all we have to do is cry out and ask Him to “Draw us away!”
                There are times when I just want to escape. I want to free myself from all that is around me and escape to some deserted place where it is just me and Him. I want to be like that woman who is sitting in her bath full of bubbles and reveling in the warmth and peace that is around her. I want to run away to an island and escape the bonds that hold me back and the “worthless things” (Psalm 119:37) that tear my attention away from my Lord Jesus.       
The reason why I have become adrift is because I have allowed distractions to fill my days instead of allowing Him to fill me. I have allowed my eyes to look upon the worthless things of this earth and allowed my heart to be led by them. I have made my time with Him one of duty and not of devotion. But there is hope; there is an escape for those of us who find ourselves adrift, there is a deserted place where we can go, a place for us to revel in His love for us.
                First, we must desire to be drawn away. We must desire to be one with Him again; we must humble ourselves before our Holy God who has been drawing us with Grace and Lovingkindness. James 4:8 tells us that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. We recognize that we have allowed the distractions of the world to draw us away; we confess this before Him in response to His grace. These distractions have caused us to feel absent from His presence, and we see holes in our lives where we once allowed God to reside. We see that we have been drawn away to other things, and our hearts have followed after them. This will cause us to cry out to Him, “Draw me away! Seize me and drag me back to You!”
                After we cry out for Him to draw us, we must take the next step and we must run. The Shulamite cried out to be drawn, but responded with “we will run after You.” It starts with the desire to be drawn, but unless we run, we will not get across this gulf of absence. So we must reject those things that have drawn us away, and we must deliberately choose God over all others, and over all aspects of our daily lives. We will “walk and run with an eagerness of desire, a readiness of affection, a vigor of pursuit, and a swiftness of motion.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

                To fill this gulf that has formed, to stop ourselves from drifting away even farther, we must desire to be near Him, and with all earnestness run after Him. He will draw us; He will show us the things that have caused us to drift away. But we must run after Him, we must turn away from those things that have led our hearts away from Him, and He will be the boat that brings us back. His love for us is everlasting, He desires to be one with us, and our hearts desire to be one with His. His great love for you is spoken throughout His Word. He sings over you, He draws you, He wants to be the beat of your heart, the blood that runs through your veins and He desires to be in you and with you from everlasting to everlasting.

                When the world captures us upon the currents of our attention, we will begin to drift away; we will see a gulf being formed between us and our Holy God. But God will not let you go; He will keep His anchor of love upon you and will cause you to come back to Him. When you are feeling that need for escape, or feeling the need for someone to take you away, I pray that you will cry out to your God who desires to draw you, to drag you and to seize you for Himself. The gulf is only there because we have allowed it to be. Jesus has never left you, though you may have left Him. He is still there, holding onto the cords of love that
connects your heart with His. Cry out to Him today, “Draw me away!” And I promise you, He will come running, because He desires you above all others. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen. “