Worship: The Kiss of Intimacy

Jesus the bridegroom kissing the Bride of Christ, woman person kneeling in praise and worship, prayer, worshiping God, Worshiping in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24), Romans 12:1-2. Christian praise and worship art image, prophetic art.

PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERIES 2

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SOLD, 23.5cm x 39cm (9″ x 15.5″), Watercolor Pencil, Colored Pencil, Prints and Cards Available

 

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine.” (Song of Songs 1:1)

Song of Songs is a book in the Bible which depicts the beautiful love between the Lord and his people. Through masterful poetry it describes the precious spiritual intimacy we believers enjoy with the living God. This intimacy is mostly expressed through worship and adoration of the One who loved us enough to die for us, our precious Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Scriptures, the Lord often refers to himself as the spiritual “husband” of his people, the Church. “For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5).

Furthermore, the Scriptures also tell us how we believers will one day be spiritually ‘married’ to the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb [Jesus] has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear,’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints). Then the angel said to me, ‘Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9).

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless…’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 25-27, 31-32)

Jesus is, by far, the most precious One of all. Our personal relationship with him is to be treasured, guarded and nurtured above all things. (See “Above All Else, Guard Your Heart, For It Is The Wellspring of Life (Proverbs 4:23)” (Believer’s Road Series 2)).

Intimacy with Jesus is the most precious, beautiful thing because there is nothing between us and him; we have a completely transparent relationship with him. Through Jesus’ loving sacrifice on the cross, he has fully cleansed us, his bride. (See “The Gospel Series” and “John 3:16 (For God So Loved The World) in Many Languages”).

There is no more wrath or anger against us, for through the cleansing of his blood, he has removed every offensive, sinful thing in us (justification). We are therefore a bride without spot or blemish. This is why the Lord says of his Bride,

“All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me…You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!” (Song of Songs 4:7-10)

We are completely cleansed, fully loved, wholly accepted and totally desired by God–never to be cast away or rejected by him (John 6:37-40, John 10:27-30). Therefore we can stand before him with a completely honest, naked heart and worship him in all our fullness without any shame or fear, for everything that would cause us to feel shame has been forgiven and cleansed (Hebrews 9-10, 1 John 1:8-2:2), and every reason that would cause us to fear drawing near to him has been removed (1 John 4:14-19, Luke 1:74).

“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25).

We never draw near to God on the unsure ground of our works. Instead, the Bible says the only way we can draw near to God is by faith in his cleansing blood (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Grace is the pathway to intimacy with God.

We can take great encouragement in knowing that the Lord fervently longs to have this kind of loving, intimate relationship with all of us and that he has made it possible through Jesus Christ. If we would just open up our hearts and receive his boundless grace and love, we would find what our souls have been thirsting for all our lives–intimacy with God. We also find the power and presence of God in this place.

Once, during a season when I was struggling to come into that intimate place of God’s presence in worship I asked the Lord, “For some reason I just can’t seem to come into your presence, but I don’t know why. Please reveal to me what it is. Is it sin? Am I in idolatry? Do I have an unresolved issue with a brother or sister?” Immediately when I finished my prayer I began to see a picture:

A light began to emerge out of blackness; it was the radiant face of Jesus. The light coming from his face was so intensely brilliant that I could not clearly make out his features. It was brighter than lightning. The glorious light was ‘unearthly’. It was heavenly. The brightness of his countenance was his holiness and righteousness.

That picture slowly faded away to blackness.

Then, once again, out of the blackness emerged that same radiant, heavenly light. I could see its brilliance, but this time I could not work out where it was coming from. Then, as my eyes began to adjust to the light I was totally startled! I realized the light was coming from me!! I realized I was clothed in an unearthly, brilliant, white robe! I realized I was clothed in the exact same substance that was radiating out of the face of Christ–HIS righteousness and HIS holiness!

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10)

I knew with absolute certainty that I could boldly walk straight into God’s presence because I was clothed in a righteousness not my own…but Christ’s. My robe was of the same substance of the holy, righteous nature of Christ; therefore, it was completely ‘natural’ for me to belong in his presence.

Interestingly, underneath the brilliant robe which gave me full confidence to approach God, I was still the same person with all my failures and weaknesses and humanness. I was still “naked” underneath, but I had been clothed. The robe itself was all-sufficient to clothe even my most shameful nakedness.

I thought to myself, “How FOOLISH I had been to think I could actually approach God on the basis of my own works and righteousness!”  (God had answered my prayer as to why I was struggling to come into his presence. I realized that I had subconsciously tried to approach God upon the basis of my own good works (which would never be good enough) instead of the Scriptural way of faith in Christ’s blood (Hebrews 10:19-22).) In the light of his radiant righteousness, my most righteous acts were clearly revealed to be the filthiest rags (Isaiah 64:6). How foolish I was to think my own works could be more acceptable to God than Christ’s finished work for me!

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I first got the idea for this drawing when I was deep in worship at our house church. After this, during other times when I was deep in worship, this image kept returning to me.

Above the worshiper in my drawing is what is reflected in the spirit as she worships. Her bridegroom, Jesus, is kissing his Bride. It is a precious, loving, intimate expression of their mutual love for each other. This is symbolic of heartfelt worship, in accordance with Song of Songs.

I chose to draw a veil for the background. In doing so, I am alluding to two different Scriptures.

The first is: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain [veil], that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). God opened the way for all believers to come into his presence in the Most Holy Place through his shed blood (See “Into The Most Holy Place” (Praise and Worship Series).) In my drawing, the Bride has boldly come through the torn veil to be with Jesus. She has drawn near to him by his blood. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).

The second Scripture I have alluded to is found in 2 Corinthians 3:12-18. In context, this passage is talking about the greater glory that comes with the New Covenant. It says that when the Law is preached (a works-based system of ‘salvation’), a veil covers the hearts of the people. This veil prevents them from seeing (with the eyes of their hearts) that there is something far more glorious than a works-based system of ‘salvation’, and that is the gospel of grace which effectually brings us into an intimate face-to-face relationship with Jesus Christ, through which we are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.

In my drawing, this veil that comes with the reading of the Law (the works-based Old Covenant) has been removed by Christ. The Bride now beholds the glory of God in the face of Christ, and she is as radiant as a bride on her wedding day.

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit…

…And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God…For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 3:12-18; 4:4, 6-7)

(See also, “Where We’re Meant To Be: Worshiping Jesus” (Praise and Worship Series))