Therefore, My beloved brethren whom I long to see, My joy and crown,
so stand firm in the Lord, My beloved. Phillipians 4:1
I remember when I heard this term of affectionate endearment years ago on a Sunday morning as our pastor addressed the congregation. The man spoke with such passion and urgency, intent on getting his point across on a particular matter.
Having been so addressed, I inclined more of my heart to his teaching.
In Scripture, Song of Songs refers to Beloved as the woman who’s being pursued in a passionate, wedded love relationship by her Lover. It describes and celebrates the Biblical connection between God-authored conjugal love and sex. The two are designed as a package deal… should anyone be unclear on that point.
With expressive and unleashed dialogue, Beloved and Lover exchange verbal and physical affection, letting readers indulge in their God-created paradise.
What a beautiful picture of God’s fiercely jealous love for me, His bride. His beloved.
Even in heartache over the sins of His people, God addresses His wayward Israel as ‘Beloved’ (Jeremiah 11:15).
The most recent of Christian singer/songwriter Jordan Feliz’s songs is entitled Beloved. It was written for his daughter so that she would come to know that, indeed, she is beloved.
But then there was another time when I was addressed as ‘Beloved’. Only it was as a snare.
I was followed by a particular someone on social media who keeps close company with celebrities and prominent political figures. Naturally, it caught my attention when I received a private message notification from her account.
The message began with, ‘My beloved…’
And with that, she had me. My soul jolted as though ignited by sparks.
She’d referred to me as ‘Beloved…’ Then said she’d been praying for me, wondering if my needs might be either spiritual or financial.
Giving this some careful thought, I shared a few things. Nothing too detailed. But, hey, she’d referred to me as ‘Beloved’ so I took that to mean we had an authentic spiritual connection.
We ping-ponged a few messages back and forth, each of hers addressing me as ‘Beloved’. But the truth began to dawn when it was boldly suggested that God told her I should give $$ money $$ to support a particular cause. Over the course of the next two days, a few more message for ‘My beloved’ appeared, the wording almost exactly the same as the previous.
Can you say ‘cut and paste’? 🙁
It seemed I was engaged in a relationship with artificial intelligence, not a beloved sister in Christ.
With that, the romance ended.
And that’s really okay. Because only God sees and knows me with such completeness, yet still calls me Beloved. He doesn’t have to ask how to pray for me. He knows. And is doing so unceasingly, while maintaining sovereign control over all things.
When God addresses me as His beloved He means it. And my heart does that same shimmy each and every time.
Next time I’m addressed as ‘Beloved’ it might just get me. Or not. Depends on the heart of the one who uses it.
So, my Beloved readers, be discerning.