Of Growth
And Strength

The Purpose of Submissive Dependence
Wade Taylor

(Edited as per usual all our comments are blue)

“Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?” Song of Solomon 8:5a

There is a particular quality about this “one” who is coming up from the wilderness that attracts special attention. She is “leaning” upon her Beloved. This position of leaning demonstrates the fact that she has become “dependent” upon Him. Something very special has taken place within her during her experience in the wilderness, which resulted in her becoming “submissively dependent” upon the Lord.

Our Lord intends each one of us who desires to be a part of this Bride to experience this change. We are to place ourselves in her “shoes” and then walk with the Lord through the wilderness experiences that brought her to this place of “dependent oneness” with Him.

Throughout Biblical history, the Lord often used a wilderness experience to “test” His servants, in order to perfect His desire or purposes for them. The wilderness speaks of a barren and desolate area, in which inner desires become intensified, but where there is no availability of the necessary means to satisfy these desires.

“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments, or no. And He humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and then He fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know.” Deuteronomy 8:2-3a

In the wilderness, needs can only be met through an external source, by intervention. Thus, the wilderness becomes a “set apart” time in which there is an intensified seeking of the Lord, due to an utter dependence upon Him, as no other means is available. “Fasting” also brings us into a dependent state, before the Lord.

In contrast to this barren wilderness, the Lord had planted a garden in Eden, which provided everything that could be desired. It provided an environment of both beauty and provision - complete beyond imagination.

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Genesis 2:8-9

The first Adam failed and lost his place, or position, as an overcomer. This was regained by Jesus, who overcame as the (Second and) last Adam. He was faithful in maintaining His place of dependence, and as a result, is seated with His Father in His throne.

Adam and Eve were placed in this garden and commanded,

Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16b-17

This requirement caused them to be dependent. There were two specific things to which they must submit; they were to eat of all the
trees, bushes, and plants, in order to maintain their earthly bodies (take ... eat, and live. Genesis 3:22), and they were to abstain from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). And they had to partake of every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Father in order to maintain the life in their spirit by taking and eating of breath of life in every word God spoke unto them. By so doing day by day they were daily partaking of eternal life – and doing so in a deep abiding personal relationship with the Lord. In much the same manner are we are commanded to do as His beloved.

But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 

The only restraint to their eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the “word” that the Lord had spoken to them, telling them not to partake. This tree was in the midst of the garden and was both desirable and available. Eve had observed that the fruit of this tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes - and a tree to be desired (Genesis 3:6). Herein was Eve’s problem; the fruit of this tree was appealing. However, she knew that God had said “no.”

Therefore, when Satan approached Eve, he came against the word that the Lord had spoken by raising doubt; “Has God said?” In effect, he was saying, “Would God tell you to give up something that you like and really want?” Even though the Lord had said “you shall not,” the attraction was so enticing, and the fruit seemingly so desirable, that Eve disobeyed and partook, and gave to her husband and he also ate.

Through this act of disobedience, Adam and Eve forfeited their position of “willing dependence” upon the Lord. They failed to “overcome” in the test that had been placed within the scope of their pattern of life, and were thus spiritually separated from God. As a result of this,
(They were no longer able to freely partake of every word that proceedeth, and) the process of death entered, as they no longer “leaned” upon Him. Along with this, they lost all that would have developed, had they been obedient and overcome in this testing.

The Word of God is “silent” concerning what might have taken place in their relationship to the Lord, had they chosen to remain submissive and obedient to Him. The only clue we have as to what might have been is to consider the outcome in the testing of the “
Second and Last Adam,” our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus took upon Himself, in human form, the identity of a new Adam, and then faced a test that was similar to the one which the first Adam had failed.

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a living (quickening) spirit.” I Corinthians 15:45

Jesus, as the last Adam , overcame in every situation where the first Adam had failed. As a result, after paying the penalty for our sin on the cross, He was resurrected and then ascended to sit with His Father in His throne.

“Even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21b

An “overcomer” is one who “submits” to the Lord, and then abides in a “leaning” position upon his Beloved. This is an indication of complete trust in, and dependence upon the Lord. It is the result of having become obedient and submissive to the will of the Lord. Being an “overcomer” means rising above all that is less than the Lord’s best. It involves facing the test of the wilderness, and remaining dependent upon the Lord for provision.

Adam and Eve were tested concerning the possibility of their becoming overcomers. Because of their desirability and attraction to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they chose for their own seeming good, and failed to overcome. All spiritual gain must be tested, if it is to abide and become productive.

Adam and Eve failed their test while abiding in a perfect environment, and as a result, entered death. Jesus, as the “Last Adam,” had to face a similar test, in order to qualify for the place in life, which the “first Adam" had forfeited.

In contrast to the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden, Jesus faced Satan in the barren environment of a wilderness that provided nothing.

“And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry.” Matthew 4:2

In this wilderness, there was nothing available that could satisfy the intense hunger that Jesus felt. Then Satan appeared to Him and suggested that He turn stones into bread in order to satisfy this gnawing hunger.

There was nothing wrong with turning these stones into bread, except that God had not told Him to do so. Jesus refused to act on a word from Satan, and waited for supply from His Father. Had Jesus exercised His Deity in order to provide for His own need, He would have become independent. He qualified, by remaining in the place of total dependence upon His Father for provision.

This was exactly where Adam and Eve failed, for Satan had said to them,

“For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5

Satan told Adam and Eve that they should act independently from God, that they could decide for themselves what was right or wrong. Now, Satan was telling Jesus that He should act on His own to provide for Himself, just as he had told Eve to do.

Jesus confirmed His complete dependence upon God when He said,

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

He had refused to act apart from a “word” from the Lord and came forth from the wilderness in the “power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).

“And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness ... And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.” Luke 4:1,14a

As a result of His “willing obedience” by which He remained dependent upon His Father, Jesus is qualified to say to us, “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” Revelation 3:21.

We also will be tested, as Jesus was, “if” we desire to come into this relationship of “submissive dependence” with the Lord, in His throne. Those of us who choose to abide in this position of “leaning upon Him,” will then be led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness (a place of spiritual barrenness), where we will develop a great hunger (dissatisfaction), or an intense desire (frustration) in some area of our being.

Then, at a critical moment, when it (apparently) seems that the Lord is no longer interested in our problem, and that He is (wrongly) delaying His answer, the enemy will be “allowed” to come and tempt us. He will try to provoke us to act in some way to produce, or bring about, the satisfaction we desperately long for, which is presently apart from God’s provision for us.

As we steadfastly refuse this temptation and persevere, in due time the Lord will feed (satisfy) us.

“But He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

If we will be patient during our times of being tested, and “wait” for the Lord's provision for us, then it can truly be said,

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9b

The first Adam failed and lost his place, or position, as an overcomer. This was regained by Jesus, who overcame as the last Adam. He was faithful in maintaining His place of dependence, and as a result, is seated with His Father in His throne.

Now, Jesus is offering to all those who overcome, a place with Him in His throne. These overcomers are the “one” who was seen coming up from the wilderness, “leaning on her Beloved.”

There is no greater joy than that which comes from making a determined choice to become dependent upon Jesus, and then to faithfully abide in this new found place of “submissive dependence,” until the greater day comes.

Then the Lord will be able to say to us,

“His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:23