#1. GET STARTED!
“My beloved spoke, and said to me, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come way’” (Song of Solomon 2:10). God is the initiator. He speaks to us; but having said that, we still need to get started by responding to Him. So in that sense, it starts with you. How hungry are you? Set a time to meet with God. Set a place. Rise up! Purpose this in your heart and say, “God you are my God! Early will I seek You!” Don’t wait for the grace to pray. Pray for the grace to pray. Rise up and say, “I will stir myself up to take hold of God.”
There are times when the presence of God comes and it’s like four hours of glorious Holy Ghost! And there are other times when you need to purpose in your heart to rise up and pray for four hours because you’re hungry. So sometimes it just starts with you. Be disciplined.
#2. REMEMBER GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU!
“…We will remember your love…” (SOS 1:4). There is something that happens in our heart when we remember visitation—when we remember the promises of God. We get stirred when we think back to those days in which we really were experiencing the “rapture of love.” Remembering God’s love for us is so important, because in the remembering, our hearts are touched once again with God’s faithfulness toward us. This helps us to trust Him and stir up and awaken lost love.
#3. BE A STEWARD OF HIS PRESENCE!
Every day we need to allow the presence of God to touch us. This is called soaking or marinating. More, Lord! We need to allow ourselves to be touched daily by the glory of God. Sometimes wait every day for a whole hour for His presence to come. Just lie on the floor and get filled up with the Holy Spirit. Spending time with the Holy Spirit soaking in His Presence is crucial to our love relationship with God.
#4. BE REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST!
“I am dark, but lovely ...” (SOS 1:5a). The Shulammite bride is saying [about herself] that she is dark but lovely. Being dark symbolizes sinful desires. She goes on to say, “Don’t look upon me, because I am dark…” (v. 6a). It’s like she is saying, I am dark. Don’t look upon me. Don’t judge me. There is shame, guilt and condemnation. But the flip side is that she is lovely. We're lovely when we’ve been redeemed by Jesus Christ (1 Pt. 1:18-23). When we’re redeemed, this goes hand in hand with being in the right position so that God can awaken our love for Him.
#5. PURSUE GOD FIRST AND FOREMOST!
Then in her next breath the bride says, “My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept” (SOS 1:6b). The “vineyard” can represent numerous conditions but today including how the “work of the ministry” can sometimes rob us from taking care of our own “vineyard.” To paraphrase: They made me the keeper of the vineyards—ministry. They gave me all this responsibility but I’m burned out. They gave me all this work, all this ministry, but my own vineyard I have not kept. And because of that I am ashamed because I’m not looking after my own spiritual life with God. And I am really feeling abandoned because somehow the church has rejected me even though I’ve been working so hard.
There is something wrong with this picture! Pursue God. Don’t pursue vineyards. And God will desire your beauty and He will draw you aside with Him so that He can awaken and renew your “first love” for Him (Rev. 2:4).
#6. REST IN GOD AND BE CONNECTED IN THE BODY OF CHRIST!
“Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock, where you make it rest at noon. For why should I be as one who veils herself by the flocks of your companions?” (SOS 1:7). Here we see the bride’s earnest desire for him. She had a cry: “Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock…” It’s like she was saying: Tell me O you whom I love. Even though I am dark and even though I am burning out. I have a hunger for you. Can you please tell me where I can get some revelation? Can you please tell me where you feed your flocks the manna of heaven?
Isn’t that the cry of the church today? We want to know the place of revelation even like Job had it—the friendly counsel of God waiting at his tent (Job 29:4). We want to hear the voice of God and have visions, dreams, encounters, experiences, and visitations. . Find a place in the spirit where “He feeds His flocks” and go there.
[Here are two keys that reveal where revelation is found:
a. “Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock, where you make it rest at noon…” SOS 1:7. God feeds His flock in rest. Just think of Psalm 23:2 “…He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters…”
b. “If you do not know, O fairest among women, follow in the footsteps of the flock, and feed your little goats beside the shepherds’ tents” (v.8). Follow the footsteps of God’s people, His flock. Look for the footprints of the “God chasers”—those that have prophetic history and destiny. Find out where they walked. Be inspired by the stories of Abraham, Moses, David, Deborah, Esther, and Ruth, just to name a few. And then we have such good biographies that tell about people like Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn Kuhlman, Aimee Semple MacPherson and others. Find the footprints of the flock.]
You see, God wants to give us revelation and we need the rest of God (Heb. 4:9-11) as well as being connected into the body of Christ, beside the shepherd’s tent (Heb. 10:25). And when we have a revelation of God’s love for us, then our passion and love for Him are aroused.
#7. FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS AND THE HEROES OF THE FAITH!
“…but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12). Something happens to us when we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. And let’s not forget the heroes of the faith from days of old and in modern times. As we imitate or try to be like Jesus and the great men and women of God, our love and passion for God is stirred. Let’s not miss the forerunners, the men and women of God that spur us on!
#8. CATCH THE LITTLE FOXES!
“Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes” (SOS 2:15). If we want to awaken love we need to catch those little foxes—the subtle areas of our life that distract, disturb and hinder us from resting in the secret place. And many believers are not caught up in big sin but there are subtle areas that are dulling their love for God. These are “the intimacy robbers.”