Scarcely had I passed them when I found Him whom my soul loves.

I held Him, and would not let Him go…

[Song of Solomon 3:4]

From this passage in Song of Solomon, we see the Bride (which represents the both individual believer and the corporate church) searching for her lover (Jesus Christ). The frantic pursuit of the “missing” Bridegroom is indicative of the level of desperation that each of us can and should have for the Lord. The Bride does not just have a mild desire for her beloved, she longs for Him intensely with all her heart and soul. She can not live without Him. She needs Him.

But, in order to find Him, the Bride needed to pass “them.” “Them” (who are the watchmen as indicated in the previous verse) are the spiritual authorities–leaders and ministers that we have in the church. The message here is not that ministers and leaders are unnecessary or a hindrance to our relationship with God. The point is, we all need to seek the Lord for ourselves, and cultivate intimacy with Jesus face to face, and no other person can do that for us.

Christian ministers can teach us and equip us through the Word of God. They can inspire, encourage, and exhort us to follow the commandments of the Lord. Overall, we need to submit to authorities in life (Rom 13:1) But as much as we need spiritual authorities, they cannot build our personal relationship with the Lord for us.

Intimacy with God is truly a personal quest. When we have sought Him beyond what others can show us, we will be so captivated by who He is. We would hold Him forever and never let Him go. His love and beauty are beyond description.