Posts Tagged ‘afraid’

Clothed in Glory

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. This means they walked together in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a covering) and God’s Honor (atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing and they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear.

Spiritual Death:

We are able to see a powerful expression of God’s Fathering love in the moments following the broken relationship. God, seemingly unaware of man’s location, calls out to man and asks him of his connection to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3:11)

Spiritual Life:

Then God makes the first sacrifice, in order to clothe them properly.  ”The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God would spill the blood of a lamb; one of His created beings, to provide a garment suitable to cover human shame. This would serve as humanity’s first revelation that spiritual life is in the Blood.

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

Our spiritual death has its connection to sin by the loss of our covering (God’s Glory) and our relationship (God’s Honor) based on His Presence (Holy Spirit atmosphere). Yet the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us of the reality of God’s grace… God’s favorable actions toward us who trust in Christ Jesus. He  tells us that God has restored access to His Glory and Honor in the free gift of salvation. Access to all that was lost could be restored through the Blood of Jesus. 

“We have been freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

The Gospel of Restored Glory:

This good news cannot be overstated, because it is not accomplished by anything man can do (Rom 3:20)(2 Cor 5:21). God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for us, in our place and for the spiritual relationship to be restored that once was established in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when anyone turns to God in faith, a veil is lifted from their hearts and they are enabled to behold the Glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:16-4:6). As believers who continue to look into that Glory a transformation takes place, whereby we are being changed into the same image (God’s original intent) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18).

Jesus Said – Be Clothed In Glory: Power from On High!

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

Where Fear Began

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

The first thing we learn from this verse is that fear is a spirit… an atmosphere that is personified. This means a being with a spirit is occupying some space in our thoughts and imagination that is not from God. In other words, its a demonic stronghold… a house of thoughts ruled by a demonic spirit. We understand that this spirit is not from God, because of two realities. First, has to do with what God has given every believer… “power, love and soundness of mind, or peace. These are the greatest platforms to build a spiritual identity! Now the second reality is that what God gives has authority or dominion over fear… power dissolves fear, love casts out fear and soundness of mind breaks the power of fear. Well… that means there is just no place for the devil to hide in the believer’s identity, unless that believer allows squatters. The true believer can be clothed in the Glory of God!

Let Me Explain:

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering… as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven… a fearless place full of worship and love. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. Even the term “cool of the day” is ruach in the Hebrew language and means spirit or glory. This means they walked together daily in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a heavenly covering) and God’s Honor (heaven’s atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing. They were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish? Yet an opening of their eyes also left an opening of the door to a spirit of fear.

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear and torment.

But – God has Restored the Glory!

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6) NO MORE FEAR!

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us (or restore to us) all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32) HE HAS DELIVERED US!

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 Jn. 4:17-19) LOVE HAS CONQUERED FEAR!

Receiving the Prophetic Voice

“Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” (2 Chron 20:20)

I take you back to the time when Jehoshaphat, the son of Asa, was king of Judah and Jerusalem. It was a season of terrible anxiety. The Ammonites and the Moabites had declared war on the people of Judah. Those of Judah were vastly outnumbered and their cause appeared hopeless. Jehoshaphat gathered his people together to plead with the Lord for help. He cried out in prayer:

“O our God, … we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do: but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chron 20:12)

Then the Prophet Jahaziel spoke into the situation:

“Thus says the Lord to you: Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not need to fight in this battle: Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you…” (2 Chron 20:15 & 17)

The Prophetic Voice:

These are not just words of encouragement that can make an anxious situation go away. The prophetic activates and releases a platform to position yourself, stand firm and see the supernatural demonstration of God’s hand upon your life. The need to believe God is obvious, but the activity of believing comes from the prophetic voice! Its the strategy for success. Jehoshaphat understood the dilemma, but it was the voice of the prophet that would release the strategies of God’s thought process.

How do we trust when the enemy outnumbers us? How do we respond when the storm outmaneuvers us? How do we know what to do? Believe the voice of the Prophet… for the battle is not yours, the battle is the Lord’s!

Enabled to Prosper:

In this context, God is not speaking about money or wealth, He is speaking about peace or the path that brings us into victory. When we receive the prophetic voice we are enabled to prosper. The word prosper in the Old Testament is the same word as peace or success. Recently I heard someone describe it as a “smooth road”. When in the midst of anxiety and strife; it feels like a rough road, but along the journey of leaning on God’s Will there is a “smooth” road made visible.

Receiving is like Eating:

Jesus said we will enjoy the reward of the prophet, when we receive the voice of the prophet (Mt 10:41). The Greek word “receive” means to take hold of something with the hand, or lay hold of a person or thing in order to use it. It is not passive at all, but active. The starving man who suddenly finds himself receiving a banquet does not sit and wait for the food to jump into his mouth! At the mere mention of the Father’s thoughts; as spoken by the prophet, we are to respond like the starving man… the prophetic is our food and prosperity. We must receive the prophetic voice by taking hold of it and “eating” it (Ezek 3:3)(Rev 10:9). We boldly and aggressively embrace the prophetic, because it will activate faith in the Will of God and cause us to navigate safely through any difficult situation.

“Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

Taking Your Stand

Scripture: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…” (Ephesians 6:13-14a)

Thought for Today: “Having Done All – Take Your Stand”

When you find yourself at the place where you have done all you can, prayed, fasted, stood your ground, fought the battles and declared your position then all that is left is… to stand. As futile as it sounds, the battle is the Lords and we must let it be won by Him.

Moses told the people of God, “Do not be afraid – Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today! The enemy you see today you will never see again.” (Exod 14:13)

Stand & See:

When your back is to the wall and the enemies are breathing down your neck, hype and empty promises feel like a wet blanket. The battle is for your stance. Its the highest prize of all, because the ground you have already taken came at such a cost. A weary saint must be able to keep their heart in the fight (Mt 15:8). So positioning to see His salvation can feel like waiting for a victory in the midst of the midnight hour. What we reach for and what the goal has meant to us is that we be found faithful in Christ Jesus.

Trust Positioned:

Our trust in Him is a prevailing force that enables us to now be still and watch His hand at work on our behalf. This lifestyle of prayer and fasting can be bitter-sweet, because at times its triumph and at times its stillness. Its the knowing part of the Psalmist’s words “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). Having done all to stand… we stand… and stand again.

3-Ways We Take Our Stand:

  1. Resistant: (Jms 4:7) We resist the demonic forces that battle in the spirit realm, defying our advancement and challenging our right to the promises of God.
  2. Consistent: (Ps 149:5-6) We stand firm in our praise of God as warriors, equipped for battle wait for the sound to advance.
  3. Persistent: (Mk 11:22-23) We speak His Truth in faith to friend or foe and acknowledge that the battle is the Lord’s. He shall do it!

Now the Just shall live by Faith! (Hab 2:4)

Having Done All

Today is day 15 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Ephesians 6:13
Thought for Today: “Having Done All” 

Spiritual Battles in Uganda

Spiritual Battles in Uganda

When you find yourself at the place where you have done all you can, prayed, fasted, stood your ground, fought the battles and declared your position then all that is left is… to stand. As futile as it sounds, the battle is the Lords and we must let it be won by Him. 

Moses told the people of God “Do not be afraid- Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today! The enemy you see today you will never see again” (Exod 14:13) 

Stand & See: 

When your back is to the wall and the enemies are breathing down your neck, hype and empty promises feel like a wet blanket. The battle is for your stance. Its the highest prize of all, because the ground you have already taken came at such a cost. A weary saint must be able to keep their heart in the fight (Mt 15:8). So positioning to see His salvation can feel like waiting for a victory in the midst of the midnight hour. What we reach for and what the goal has meant to us is that we be found faithful in Christ Jesus.   

Trust Positioned: 

Our trust in Him is a prevailing force that enables us to now be still and watch His hand at work on our behalf. This lifestyle of prayer and fasting can be bitter-sweet, because at times its triumph and at times its stillness. Its the knowing part of the Psalmist’s words “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). Having done all to stand… we stand… and stand again. 

3-Ways We Stand:
Resistant: (Jms 4:7) We resist the demonic forces that battle in the spiritual realm, defying our advancement and challenging our right to the promises of God.
Consistent:
 (Ps 149:5-6) We stand firm in our praise of God as warriors, equipped for battle wait for the sound to advance.
Persistent:
(Mk 11:22-23) We speak His Truth in faith to friend or foe and acknowledge that the battle is the Lord’s. He shall do it! 

Now the Just shall live by Faith! (Hab 2:4)

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