(Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Canticles 8:5.  The LORD wanted everyone to look at this spectacle:  a woman coming up out of the wilderness!  He pointed her out, He acknowledged her presence, He drew attention to, noticed, discerned this person coming UP out of the wilderness having the victory.  He said, "Who is this that has the victory"?  There are two meanings for wilderness:  1. unrestrained growth and 2.  barreness.  "Who is this that is ascending up out of unrestrained growth and barreness"?  "Who is this coming up out of the unrestrained growth of feelings and emotions"?  Notice what she was doing---leaning!  She was bending, not standing upright, exhibiting little strength.  In her wilderness experiences she had learned that she could not depend on the barren, dry, parched earth of her sinful nature and its wild emotions but only on her Beloved.  Self and others had let her down too many times.  She knew that only her Beloved could offer her the strength to have victory.  She experienced the weakness of self and others and learned not to lean on anybody.  She learned dependence by leaning.  Notice too, that she brought no attention to herself; no boasting in her own ability.  She was taught that the wilderness was a place not for what she could do, but what she could become through Him.  What is the lesson of a "wilderness"?  Learning to lean!  

Please read Exodus 4:22-23.  This was what the LORD told Moses to say to Pharoah.  Now compare Exodus 5:1 to Exodus 4:22-23.  This is what Moses actually spoke to Pharoah.  Moses failed to convey the preponderant message intended for Pharoah.  The word "serve" in verse 23 has the meaning of serving because this is what you do, this is your way of life, this is what you have committed to be and do.  The message to Pharoah was diluted.  It meant to him that they just wanted to go offer sacrifices.  The LORD wants our relationship with Him to be a commitment.  He wants Him to be our all-in-all.  Paying partial lipservice to the existence of God is good for some (minus much of the responsibility of being a Christian) but He asks us to know Him so well that we learn to lean on our Precious Bridegroom.  He wants us to experience the failure and weakness of the old man and others.  He wants Himself and His Son to be our way of life, what we do!  He wants all other things to revolve around our personal interaction with Him!  He desires the carnal head to relinquish its commanding interference with the Head of Christ.  He also desires for us to find strength only in Him when the unrestrained growth of our wild emotions swirl violently and captivate our minds.  We are the Bride FIRST; all other things in our lives are only tools to make us a Bride!  It is not the importance of the journey but what we become through the journey.  The journey is provided to allow us the chance to be His Bride.  God is what we do!  

Please read Matthew 5:16.  As we travel toward the High Places and  become more like Him, He pours into us His attributes to replace the caustic behavior of the old heart.  We find ourselves more merciful, compassionate and kind.  If He is our way of life, we pour out to others what He has poured into us.  The more we pour out and exhibit Him, the more He is faithful to pour His nature into us.  Verse 16 does not give any conditions upon which we are to let our light shine.  Just let it shine---EVERYWHERE!  Pour out His nature in whatever situation is at hand.  He pours in, we pour out.  By displaying His nature we are helping Him fulfill His commitment which He swore to do:  make His Name (nature) known.  We have been offered the chance to help Him make His Name known to a dying and dark world.  We are the Bride first, God is Who we are!