Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Pillars of Smoke

Song of Solomon 3:6 “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?”

Here, the believers back is turned to the world….coming out of the wilderness.

It is “cometh”…..a determined choice…..Leaving all of the wandering around in the wilderness of this world….behind.

But how is the believer traveling?

Like pillars of smoke.

Smoke is such weak stuff…a puff of air moves it here and there.

But here it is seen as a pillar….steady and strong.

This is a picture of the Holy Spirit filling us (who are weak in ourselves) which makes us strong in the Lord.

If there is smoke….then there is, or has been, fire….that is what makes the smoke.

In this pillar of smoke we see,….

…..all that speaks of “self”, “the old man”, or “the flesh” is being burnt up by our self-denial….

…..and then God is empowering us by His Holy Spirit to do.

We are filled with the Spirit of God, to the degree we are emptied of self.

(The Holy Spirit is often pictured as “fire”….which purifies, and cleanses.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit” or don’t put out the fire.)

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

Joel 2:29-30 “And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.

And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.”

When God poured out His Spirit on the church on the day of Pentecost,……He opened a way for us…..who are so weak in ourselves….to be “strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16).

This “strengthened with might” is of course to have Christ’s life and character flowing through me….into the circumstances I am in, now….everyday.

The truest expression of His Will and influence is, of course, in me.

There His Will will be done most perfectly…..then as we do His Will the Holy Spirit’s influence is felt through us…..

….not that we make others do His Will, but because we are yielded to the Holy Spirit, and His power is flowing through us….we are strong as pillars of smoke.

The greatest duty in our lives today, as Christians, is to stand true to Jesus Christ….and we will never be able to stand….until we take our place in subjection to His Kingdom come.

Song of Solomon 3:6 “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

Myrrh speaks of death….we are to die to self, by denying ourselves in every area of our lives (Matthew 16:24)…..and following the leading of the Lord, by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 6:11-13 “Likewise reckon also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof.

Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments unto righteousness unto God.”

(What is our self life? Self-righteousness, self-pity, self-glory, etc. all are centered around us….our thoughts….our feelings….our hurts….our plans, etc.

What about God’s thoughts,….God’s plans,…..God’s Will?

We are often unaware of the narrowness of self….till God shows us…and calls us to enter into the fullness of His life….and it is so full.

He can see beyond today….this pain, this heart-break, this success, even….and bring us into what He has planned for us……with Him in it all.

To be filled with the Holy Spirit…He needs a vessel prepared for His filling….

We need to be emptied of the fullness of ourselves.

The Holy Spirit helps us here….we are to yield to Him.)

As Myrrh speaks of death…..it must be, for we must “die” to our self-life…..but God never leaves us there….

So Frankincense speaks of the Lord in His risen and triumphant life….the life He has for us….a life of victory….in Him, by His Holy Spirit.

And surely we can not have all Christ has for us (Ephesians 1:3)…. without the enlargement by His Spirit.

(When I say enlargement by His Spirit….think of how ‘small’ our lives are…

….they include ourselves, our family, our “world” of ideas and attitudes.

Yes, the internet has increased our viewpoint……but it has not enlarged our hearts and minds to see the reality in our world……only God, by the Holy Spirit, can give this enlargement of being.

And even more….we are to be enlarged in our attitude toward our circumstances…

….we are to look at them the way God sees them…..pretty hard, considering the narrow span of my experiences.

But God sees everything…..and everyone. He is never fooled by outward things….and as we yield to Him….He shows us the grand view of things….the way He sees.

Remember, He wants us to be pillars of smoke….strong in Him….coming out of the wilderness of this world…..into more and more intimate fellowship with Him….in our circumstances.)

Our lives are to…..increase in the knowledge of Christ, increase in goodness (Ephesians 4:32), increase in the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), increase in usefulness to God (2 Peter 1:5-8)…..we are to continue to grow in His grace as long as we are here.

Ephesians 3:19 “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Jude 20-21 “But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

And all powders of the Merchant….Christ is this Merchant….Who sells without price….

…who does that?

Only Christ, Who paid all the price that we might come….

….and eat at His table….and drink the “water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

Isaiah 55:1-2 “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness (in fullness of Spirit).”

Are we coming out of our wilderness of this world?

Are we denying ourself, so that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit?

His promise is that He will make us Pillars of Smoke by His Spirit…..are we yielding?

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