Place Me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its’ jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame (Song of Solomon 8:6).
Have you ever seen this portrayal in a war movie?: A soldier is shot and is lying on the battleground wounded and helpless. His friend is desperately trying to get to his side to help him. He sees an enemy plane coming near, firing rounds right in the path of where his friend is stranded. He knows that if he does not get to him soon he will be killed in the line of fire. He gets within feet of him, but enemy bullets are outpacing him. He has a life and death choice at this moment~ him or me. Does he save himself by running to safety, or attempt to save his friend? He suddenly leaps into the air, dives down and lands with the bulk of his body laying directly across his torso~ protecting his heart and other vital organs. He quickly cradles his friend’s head in his arm that is within reach, and buries his face alongside his. The back of his helmet then serves as a defensive shield. He whispers in his friend’s ear as the enemy fire comes straight overhead~ It’s going to be okay.
Have you ever had anyone protect you like this? Most of us have not. And most of us have not laid down our lives for someone else in this way either. But what a great feeling it would be to have someone so devoted to us that they would protect us to the death. The wonderful news is that you have someone who desperately wants to show you love in this way. It is Jesus.
When Jesus died on the cross, He laid down His life for you. His body protected you from death by covering over your sinful heart with His own blood. He saved you! But it doesn’t stop there. He wants to protect you from all danger and temptation as you live each day in this world. Salvation is just the beginning. There are few people who would give their life for another, much less offer life-long protection! This is what is available to us through Jesus. Who wouldn’t take Jesus up on His phenomenal offer!?
Your heart is going to be either protected or unprotected as you live this life~ you must decide. It is a very real choice that exists and must be addressed. Most Christians have never even thought about this. Are you one of the Christians who believe protection comes automatically upon salvation? The Word shows us that this is not true.
In the verses above, Jesus is calling us to take a very specific action. He asks us to place Him over our heart and on our arm like a seal. He knows our hearts need to be made impermeable to the ways of this world and the evil influence of the enemy, for our sake~ but foremost for the sake of our relationship with Him. He knows that we need to always remember who we belong to. And He wants others to plainly see that we are His. With Jesus as our seal~ our relationship with Him cannot be tampered with by the world~ and our loyalty to Him unbreakable.
Historically, seals were used as a mark of identity. A tool was used to make this mark, most often on wax or other soft material. Each mark had a unique design that branded onto the wax, showing who it belonged to. For example, if someone had a messenger deliver a letter, the envelope would be securely held closed by the seal hardened in the wax. So not only was the seal an identifying marker, it was a protective barrier. The content of the letter was preserved for only the eyes of the recipient. If the letter arrived safely, the recipient could be assured of who the letter was sent by. And with the seal unbroken, no third party had been able to defile the communication designed purely for the sender and receiver. Could tampering occur? With the seal in place, it would take a blatant act of adulteration. No matter how cleverly one might have tried to cover-up their messing around with a sacred trust, it does not change that the betrayal took place.
Have you placed Jesus like a seal over your heart? Do you wear Him like a seal on your arm? We know that we as Christians are sealed in God through the Holy Spirit for salvation and eternal life. But why does the Lord specifically tell us to place Him as a seal over our heart and on our arm? Isn’t it interesting how Jesus always wants us to choose whether we are going to be faithfully devoted to Him or not? It is always about what is really in our heart. It is never about empty vows. Are we truly willing to let our heart be sealed over~ no longer having control over how we can use it? For some this feels like safety and protection. But for many it brings an unwanted level of accountability. This person wants to be able to stray and still be called faithful. A seal would make it impossible to self-indulge (do whatever they want), because it would mean breaking the seal. Someone who wants to be known as a Christian, yet do their own thing~ needs a lot more room to move around so the Seal would certainly cramp their style.
The enemy has been fooling humans throughout the history of mankind into believing that a little straying is okay. What will it hurt? In fact, because denial of responsibility is involved~ the individual would not call it straying. It’s just having a little fun; I’m just doing this to relax~ to relieve a little stress; and on and on the justification goes~ God wants me to have a little enjoyment doesn’t He?. Really what we’re doing if this is our thinking is keeping our options open. God does not give us options when it comes to being faithful to Him:
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God (Hosea 4:12). Does this sound like harsh language to you? It is just a very small sampling of how God sees any form of unfaithfulness to Him:
Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? (Ezekiel 8:17a) This is what God said to Ezekiel after leading him to the house of the Lord to observe the unfaithfulness of His people. They turned their backs to the house of the Lord, bowing down to the sun in the east. They were also doing other rituals that angered the Lord greatly:
Look at them putting the branch to their nose! (Ezekiel 8:17b) No matter how much we minimize our behaviors and choices that are not truly of God~ dishonoring our relationship with Him, they are not trivial to Him at all:
They made me jealous by what is no good and angered me with their worthless idols (Deuteronomy 32:21a). Are you bowing down to anyone or anything besides God? Are there any rituals you are enjoying that smell of the world?
What causes us to believe that God will not provide what we need and so turn our hearts elsewhere? For one, especially in our society~ we have all learned to desire what we want when we want it. Waiting upon the Lord; knowing His ways; trusting in Him; having a deep love for Him; and desiring to be with Him; are things most of us did not learn. And so very sadly, most never see the glory of their deepest needs being nurtured and satisfied by the outpouring of God’s love~ as we entrust our hearts to Him. We impatiently grab at what our eyes see is in reach~ never grabbing hold of the Lord who will provide exactly what we are longing for.
Deep down, most people do not really believe that the way God will meet our needs could possibly feel as good as what we have used to bring ourselves comfort. This I can guarantee you~ what the Lord will do in your heart and soul will feel better than ANYTHING you have ever experienced in this world~ if you place Him over your heart so you stay put!(: If not you will surely gravitate toward people and things that in the moment look and feel good. This is what lust is all about. It doesn’t have to be sexual. Your heart has gotten set on something that will satisfy the flesh. It has nothing to do with love for God or others, it is about self. We then lust after and pursue what we want~ and will get very agitated with anyone who might get in the way.
God knows that we will let wolf after wolf into our lives unless He is laid across the door of our heart. He knows that unless He is the permanently secured seal~ the irremovable, tamper proof protector of our heart, we WILL be influenced by the evil one. We have no power when it comes to the enemy. Only pride and foolishness would say we can control our own boundaries. The boundaries the Lord sets are perfect and honoring to us, our relationship with others, and with Him:
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance (Psalm 16:6). When we truly desire God to determine all of the boundaries in our life~ they will feel pleasant and delightful. The Lord’s love is as strong as death~ as strong as sin. When we choose His protection and His boundaries, sin cannot pull us away from the Lord. But if we do not humble ourselves to His ways~ we are saying we don’t want his constraints. In this case sin will rule our hearts.
It is vitally important to let our hearts become sequestered behind the seal of Jesus. What an inexpressible blessing it is to know that nothing and no one can break this protective shield that only He can provide!
For the unfaithful heart~ the Seal is simply too confining. Many Christians want God’s protection at the very same time they are exposing their own heart to any and all evils of this world. It is unwise to think we can allow our heart to wander down our own path of desire without calling it sin. Who is it that we are trying to convince anyway? Many Christians have come to think in the back of their mind: What I’m doing is no big deal compared to the rest of society? It is often things they have rationalized as harmless. That somehow it will not harm themselves or others to do their own will? It is often things they have deemed as acceptable in their own eyes. They want to play with fire but not get burned:
Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? (Proverbs 6:27-28). Isn’t this what happened with Adam and Eve? Do we think God will not see?
So we must choose. Are we going to place Jesus like a seal over our heart? It must be either a resounding Yes, or it is a resounding No. Making no choice is a choice~ you default to No. Ignoring the choice; saying you have already said yes, but you really have not; or any other human rationalization or manipulation will not work with God. But God knows a sincere heart. This person will struggle with the flesh at times just like everyone else. But because they have surrendered their heart~ the love of Jesus will win out every time!
God tells us that He is a very jealous God. This is a wonderful thing! His jealousy is protective and loving. His jealous love burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame for us. When there is any threat of our affection being stolen away from Him there is nothing He won’ do to stop it. Rightly so! God wants to be the one and only forever! And we will feel like the one and only love of His life as our heart is overflowing with true bliss. His jealousy is unyielding to the grave because He will fight until the end if He has to for those who have not given their hearts to Him~ yet. For those who struggle with straying~ He will be relentless in us turning our affection back toward Him. That is why the seals are so important. He will not be provoked to jealousy by us, because we are His faithful bride. We are to be living with Him as our husband. This is why He speaks of faithfulness and unfaithfulness in terms of marriage. Jesus is urging us to truly join with Him in Holy Wedlock. It is only then that we truly have given ourselves to Him. Jesus will make you the happiest man or woman in the whole world!