Friday, January 13, 2012

Living in Beulah

“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.”  Isaiah 62:4 (KJV)

I love the old hymn, “Is Not This the Land of Beulah”.  What deeply profound words are found in this song!  Squire Parsons and Cynthia Clawson (accompanied by the Gaither Homecoming Singers), sing a beautiful rendition of it here:

Recently, I spoke with a dear friend on the phone.  At the end of each of our conversations, we always have prayer together before we hang up.  As she prayed with me, she thanked God for leading both of us “to the land we hold today”. She was referring to verse two of this sweet, old hymn that says, “But the Spirit led unerring to the land I hold today.”  The land I hold today!  The place in God that I have found and inhabit.  After all of the doubts, fears, disappointments, and battles with the enemy along the way, what beauty to dwell in the land of Beulah!  Today’s Scripture verse says, “…thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah…”  In the original language, the word “Hephzibah” means “My delight is in her” and the original meaning of “Beulah” is “to master” or “have dominion over”, or “to be married to”.

“Thou shalt be called Hephzibah” – meaning God’s delight is in “her”.  “Her” refers to Jesus’ Church…His bride…the body of Christ….you and I, as Christians, my friend.  He takes great delight in us as we surrender our will to His and follow Him with obedient and submissive hearts.

“Thy land shall be called Beulah” – meaning a place where we have mastered and have dominion over a certain portion of spiritual “land”, and we are married to Christ…we are a part of His bride!

Isn’t this wonderful?  The song says that “the Spirit led unerring, to the land I hold today”.  As I look back over my spiritual life, it is wonderful to recognize and identify the unerring leadings of the precious Holy Spirit through all of the ups and downs and trials and tribulations.  God promised the Israelites the land of Canaan.  It was to be rightfully theirs, but in order to acquire ownership of it, they had to fight the inhabitants who currently owned it.  There were giants and kings that had to be slain and brought down in order for them to acquire the land and live there in peace.  Each portion of land they conquered became theirs, fair and square.  When they attained dominion over it and mastered it…it was theirs.  And the enemy couldn’t take it back.

What if they would have stood still and never became aggressive and offensive?  They would never have gained the ground.  God promised it to them, but it was on the conditions that they fight and conquer the enemy to take it.

God has promised us great things in His Word.  He has spiritual heights and depths that we haven’t yet attained in our individual walks with Him.  We will never take the land He has for us and become conquerors over it, if we stand still.  We must go forward, take an offensive stance against the enemy and his tactics, and be aggressive in taking what is our rightful inheritance in Christ.  We will be faced with many “giants” and hindrances along the way.  We must face them head on, fight and conquer them, and afterwards, the land they used to occupy, rightfully becomes ours.  As we master those places in our lives, we obtain dominion over the land.  The more ground we gain and take possession of, the less control satan has over our lives. 

I believe it is God’s perfect will for each one of us to inhabit the land of Beulah.  To me, the land of Beulah is a place of total surrender to Christ…complete sanctification….having EVERYthing about ourselves set apart and consecrated to God and His perfect will.  It means being “married” to Christ.  It means holding no reserve to ourselves, but relinquishing all we have to Him.  To live in Beulah land, we cannot be half-hearted in our walk with the Lord.  It is not a “dating” relationship with Christ, but a “marriage” to Him….a whole-hearted giving over of ourselves to Him…no longer our own, but completely, totally submitted and dedicated.  I don’t believe Beulah land is off in the distance someplace…I believe it is land we can claim right here, right now…in this life!  The writer of this song certainly had such an experience, and how sweet it is to sing this song and know exactly what he meant when he wrote it.

I encourage you to read these lyrics and ask yourself….is this where I am living?  Have I attained this place in Christ?  Am I truly living in the land of Beulah?
  1. I am dwelling on the mountain,
    Where the golden sunlight gleams
    O’er a land whose wondrous beauty
    Far exceeds my fondest dreams;
    Where the air is pure, ethereal,
    Laden with the breath of flow’rs,
    They are blooming by the fountain,
    ’Neath the amaranthine bow’rs.
Is not this the land of Beulah?
Blessed, blessed land of light,
Where the flowers bloom forever,
And the sun is always bright!
  1. I can see far down the mountain,
    Where I wandered weary years,
    Often hindered in my journey
    By the ghosts of doubts and fears;
    Broken vows and disappointments
    Thickly sprinkled all the way,
    But the Spirit led, unerring,
    To the land I hold today.
  2. I am drinking at the fountain,
    Where I ever would abide;
    For I’ve tasted life’s pure river,
    And my soul is satisfied;
    There’s no thirsting for life’s pleasures,
    Nor adorning, rich and gay,
    For I’ve found a richer treasure,
    One that fadeth not away.
  3. Tell me not of heavy crosses,
    Nor of burdens hard to bear,
    For I’ve found this great salvation
    Makes each burden light appear;
    And I love to follow Jesus,
    Gladly counting all but dross,
    Worldly honors all forsaking
    For the glory of the cross.
  4. Oh, the cross has wondrous glory!
    Oft I’ve proved this to be true;
    When I’m in the way so narrow,
    I can see a pathway through;
    And how sweetly Jesus whispers:
    “Take the cross, thou need’st not fear,
    For I’ve tried the way before thee,”
    And the glory lingers near.
Are there giants in your path?  Is there something keeping you from making that full surrender of a “marriage” to Christ?  Pride?  Unforgiveness?  Unwillingness to fulfill the calling He has placed on your life?  Selfishness?  What giants need to be slain in your spiritual life?  Only you and God can answer that.  There is so much joy awaiting you!  Whatever it is that is holding you back from a total commitment will seem like nothing once you have experienced the glory of living in Beulah! 

It’s a new year…step forward and take the land, my friend!  Set your mind to follow Christ…all the way.  The things in this life lose their appeal as we die out to self and consecrate our all to God.  Verse 4 says, “And I love to follow Jesus, Gladly counting all but dross, Worldly honors all forsaking, for the glory of the cross!”  There are great things in store for you!  God has spiritual land that you’ve never experienced before.  Living in Beulah…it is glorious!  And just think!  It is only a foretaste of what awaits us on the other side! 

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