“Come with Me from Lebanon, My bride, with Me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” vs8
The Lord calls us away unto Himself. We must LEAVE SOMETHING behind, in order to fellowship with Him, but it is worth it! The world doesn’t satisfy; Christ does. The world doesn’t save; Christ is the Savior. The world is perishing; Christ’s word endures forever (1 Pet 1:24-25).
Do not be deceived by dainties. James Durham said, “The world has its own trapping excellencies, its heights and mountains, whereby it looks very pleasant to many.” We must, however, come away, because they are dangerous. Like lions and leopards, the friendship of the world is perilous, separating from God. James says, “Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy (James 4:4).” John writes, “Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15).” This is how it is: We cannot have Christ and the world, so choose wisely. Choose the Son of God and give yourself to Him. Seek Him while He might be found and live in the highest communion.
1 It is difficult to come to Christ. We must leave behind the world, what’s in our flesh, and what Satan is constantly trying to give us. We must leave pride, self-exaltation, and unbelief. We must live for what can’t be seen, leaving behind all that allures our senses. We must give ourselves to prayer and fasting, trusting Christ in hard situations, and we must do so as the GREATEST internal struggle in existence. Paul told Timothy, “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle [war a good warfare] (1 Tim 1:18).” Why is it easy to die for Satan but hard to stand for Christ? Why does denying yourself, even though the gain is so rich, seem so unappetizing? This is the curse. God cursed us in Adam, and the world is against us (Rom 5:12)! He cursed our very flesh, which we carry around as believers, and He alone can cause us to obey.
Therefore, coming to Christ – whether as a believer or a sinner for the first time – is an act of sovereign grace, whereby He allures you by the power of His word. You hear Him say, “Come”, and suddenly, the powers that held you back are broken. You say, “I will arise and go to Jesus”, and then He receives you (2 Kings 7:4). Let us preach, “Come”, even though it is impossible, so that God can give grace.
2 Coming to Christ is trusting Him; it is realizing that your highest pleasure and greatest security are in Him. When I was tangled by the world, tempted to go off deeper, I could hear the Son, saying, “Come to Me, or lose it all, forever. Come, or be found wanting. Come, or I might never call you again.” Do not play with grace or take it for granted! There’s no security in sin, no peace, and you’d better turn fully or risk losing your eternal soul. What if He makes you like sin? “The Lord instructed Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, make sure you do all the wonders before Pharaoh that I have put within your power. But I will harden his heart so that he won’t let the people go (Ex 4:21).” Leave sin now or suffering forever may be your eternity, and it’s not worth it.
Then, He met me with power, and I wanted Christ and His will. Then, He met me in the sweetness of fellowship and the power of His Person, and I wanted to serve Him forever. This is how it must be with us: We must have something to avoid – sin, danger, and misery – and we must have something to gain – eternal life, peace, and power. We must lay down the gauntlet, brothers! We must proclaim the wrath of God, warning all men to repent, and we must set forth His mercies, promising comfort to every wayward sinner. Hear the Son of God and know that it will be better for you after you’ve believed Him (John 11:40).
3 Come to Christ for riches of pleasure: He says, “You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. You have ravished my heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck (Song 4:9).” He delights in us, and He delights to show mercy to all who look His way. Our faith is small, but He sees it with pleasure. He is ravished by every believer, so let this drive you to your Lord.
You are BETTER OFF with Christ than the world – happier, more holy, and you miss nothing. The world says, “You need me – my praise, my joy, and my pleasure.” But, there is infinitely more in Christ – more pleasure now and much more exceeding abundantly in all of eternity. David said, “I have asked one thing from the LORD; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His temple (Ps 27:4).” Just as heaven is better than hell, Christ is better than all that unbelief can give you. He’s more lasting than self-praise, more desirable than living for self, and you’ll count the cost of serving as nothing, compared to the riches He gives you. Do not fear. Taste and see the Lord is real. He says, “Since you have tasted that the Lord is good. Coming to Him (1 Pet 2:3-4).
Brothers, we have everything in Christ: Let us draw out our hearts and come to Him.