I come into my garden, my sister, my spouse. —Song of Solomon 5:1
One of the surprising things for me about Christianity was its relationship with the heart. Before I was born again I had explored various other religions including Bahai Faith and the Hare Krishna movement. Both carry a strange (dare I say demonic) attraction back in my hippy days but at the end of my search I found that they were both another system of works. Man trying to please God by his actions. You can dress religion up in all sorts of ways but it is still religion. That’s what I always thought Christianity was, me trying to alter my behavior to please God. I was wrong, I mean really wrong. When Christ came into my life I became aware of love, a love more profound than anything I had ever known. This love opened my heart. As Solomon taught, my heart had become the garden of the Lord. Here is how Spurgeon describes this garden.
“The heart of the believer is Christ’s garden. He bought it with His precious blood, and He enters it and claims it as His own. A garden implies separation. It is not the open common; it is not a wilderness; it is walled around, or hedged in. Would that we could see the wall of separation between the church and the world made broader and stronger. It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, “Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that,” thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity. A garden is a place of beauty, it far surpasses the wild uncultivated lands. The genuine Christian must seek to be more excellent in his life than the best moralist, because Christ’s garden ought to produce the best flowers in all the world.”
As John said, “I love Him because He first loved me”. His love opens us up to receive love and to give love. So what about my behavior? Does He just accept us like we are? Yes and no. We come to Him as we are; goofed up, hurt, and maybe addicted to some form of sensual pleasure. He cleanses us but then He changes us. His love for us effects us so deeply that our hearts are literally changed. We begin to love Him as well as the things He loves. So, Christ has come into the garden of my heart and He has made it His very own.