Posts Tagged ‘Birds’

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)

Evidence of Glory

What transpires as humanity moves toward the culmination of all things… is it disaster or restoration?

Scripture reveals that the Kingdom of God will come in all of its fullness… that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD and culminate in a great awareness of His Presence and Preeminence. Our God shall come enthroned saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne will say, “Behold, I will make all things new.” (Rev. 21:3-5)

The Bible reminds us that the great tragedy in the Garden of Eden was not just sin, but separation and the fact that man had “fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Although many, professing to be wise; have “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:22-23)… this tragic estrangement was never God’s intent. His delight is with man, sharing fellowship in the brilliance of His Glory (Gen. 3:8)(Ps. 8:5).

Man was created for experiences in God’s Glory (Isa. 43:7). The Children of Israel saw the Glory of God in the cloud (Ex. 16:10), and on the mountain (Ex. 24:17). The same Glory that shaped the hearts of Moses, David and Solomon; was seen filling the tabernacle (Ex. 33:7-11 & 40:34-35) (2 Sam. 6:2) (2 Chr. 5:13-14). Both Isaiah and Ezekiel saw visions of God’s Glory. From the earliest of days until now, the knowledge of God’s Glory has been a topic of prophetic importance (Hab. 2:14). The Hebrew prophets envisioned a day when God’s Glory would increase; impacting the nations and transforming the fabric of cultures and governments. For example, Isaiah prophesied the following decree of the Lord, “I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see My Glory” (Isa. 66:18). Ezekiel proclaimed, “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and behold, the Glory of the LORD filled the temple” (Ezek. 43:5). Each of these Old Testament people insisted that the same Glory they had experienced, would be manifest on the earth.

Just listen to these words: “The Glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isa. 40:5)

Overlooked by many, this reality began to emerge during the time of the New Testament. Jesus came as the Glory of the Father (Jn. 1:14), announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mt. 4:17). Through the person and work of Jesus, a great shift took place. Strongholds of darkness were torn down. God’s Presence was increasingly experienced on a level that rivaled ancient encounters in the Garden. Reflecting on this wondrous reality, the Apostle Paul boldly declared: “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s Glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

It appears that many are looking for more… driven by concerns about darkness and fear. They’re not cognizant of the ever-increasing glory. They’re blind to the fact that they’re actually living in the age that the prophets longed for. Everybody keeps asking when we’re going to experience God’s Glory? Not realizing that the day of the Lord’s Presence has already begun. Jesus said, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the Glory of God?” Therefore if we, who believe; would only open up our hearts, we would finally discover the desire of the ages.

Just look into the eyes of Jesus… and there you will find the knowledge of the Glory of God (2 Cor. 4:6).

Waiting for Strength

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14)

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord! Waiting is not just something we do in order to get what we want. Waiting is the process of becoming what God wants us to be. What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for. Waiting – that is “biblical waiting”; is not passively sitting around for something to happen that will move us beyond our troubles. Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not resignation, but spiritual posturing… for our heart to be renewed.

Waiting is an Obedient Posture – of Trust:

Those who wait are those who expect harvest, because they know their work is not in vain. The farmer can wait all summer for his harvest, because he has done his work… sowing the seed and watering the plants. Those who wait on the Lord can go about their assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the strength in their lives and the blessing in their toil. Notice the emphasis on trusting in the Lord. Waiting is the confident discipline of an expectant believer. Faith is something active and sometimes even painfully stretched by trusting in God. It knows that we will reap a reward… if we endure to the end (Heb. 11:6).

When Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem (Lk. 24:49), He was offering a key to renewed strength. His strength is the primary means of experiencing His peace, His purpose, and His power. But you have to wait for it with a trusting heart!

Four powerful things happen in our waiting for renewed strength!

  1. We come to the end of ourselves. We stop moving, fixing and over thinking life. (Acts 1:8)(Zach. 4:6)
  2. We see God moving. We catch the wind of God’s Spirit. (Jn. 3:3-8)(Acts 2:1-4).
  3. We find a prophetic destiny that we cannot achieve on our own. (Acts 2:14-21)(1 Cor. 2:9-12)
  4. We unlock the door to the Father’s Heart. (Acts 2:38-39)(Jer. 29:11-14)

Flapping, Gliding or Soaring:

Ornithologists are people who study birds and they say birds have three methods of flight. Flapping is keeping their wings in constant motion, like a hummingbird or robin, to counteract gravity. Flapping keeps them in the air, but it is a lot of work. Second is gliding. Here the bird builds up enough speed, then coasts downward a while. It is much more graceful than flapping, but unfortunately it does not get the bird very far. Reality, in the form of gravity sets in quickly. Gliding is nice, but it does not last.

The third way is soaring. Only a few birds are capable of soaring like the eagle… but it is because of their ability to wait for the right winds. Eagle’s wings are so strong that they are capable of catching rising currents of warm air called thermal winds that go straight up from the Earth. And without moving a feather, they can soar to great heights. Eagles have been clocked at up to 80 mph without flapping at all. They just soar on invisible columns of air.

I believe its time to learn how to soar!

Seeing and Hearing

The Mysteries of the Kingdom

Reading the Bible is a challenge in our busy lifestyles. There’s no guarantee that we will understand what we have been reading, because Truth is revealed by the Holy Spirit. But as disciples, we are invited into a search for revelation! Hearing and seeing are active in nature… they require something beyond our casual observation. I would encourage every student of the Word of God to become a student of the heart of God! Wait in the moments that follow your reading and hear what the Holy Spirit will whisper into your spiritual ears. Good revelation fills the understanding and allows the Kingdom of God to find a place to rule in our mind and renew our thinking. The “heart” is the seedbed for spiritual understanding, so until Truth gets embedded to that level, it will never produce the fruit we are after… wait for it!

(Mt 13:1-18)

“On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaAnd great multitudes were gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat down; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: Behold, a sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.  Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.  But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.  But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

“ And the disciples came and said to Him, Why do you speak to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”

“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; or assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Asking – “Why?” …just feels better sometimes, because it requires no responsibility! But the Blessing of God emerges in our spiritual seeing and hearing!

Then Jesus makes this statement: (Verse 18) “Therefore, hear the parable of the sower!”

Time to Soar

Waiting is not just something we do in order to get what we want. Waiting is the process of becoming what God wants us to be. What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for. Waiting – that is “biblical waiting”; is not passively sitting around for something to happen that will move us beyond our troubles. Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not resignation, but spiritual posturing… for our heart to be renewed.

Waiting is an Obedient Posture:

Those who wait are those who expect harvest, because they know their work is not in vain. The farmer can wait all summer for his harvest, because he has done his work… sowing the seed and watering the plants. Those who wait on the Lord can go about their assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the strength in their lives and the blessing in their toil. Waiting is the confident discipline of an expectant believer. Faith is something active and sometimes even painfully stretched by trusting in God. It knows that we will reap a reward… if we endure to the end (Heb. 11:6).

When Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem (Lk. 24:49), He was telling them that this was a means of experiencing His peace, His prosperity, and His power.

Four powerful things happen in our waiting for renewed strength!

  1. We come to the end of ourselves. We stop moving, fixing and over thinking life. (Acts 1:8)(Zach. 4:6)
  2. We see God moving. We catch the wind of God’s Spirit. (Jn. 3:3-8)(Acts 2:1-4).
  3. We find a prophetic destiny that we cannot achieve on our own. (Acts 2:14-21)(1 Cor. 2:9-12)
  4. We unlock the door to the Father’s Heart. (Acts 2:38-39)(Jer. 29:11-14)

Flapping, Gliding or Soaring:

Ornithologists say birds have three methods of flight. Flapping is keeping their wings in constant motion, like a hummingbird or robin, to counteract gravity. Flapping keeps them in the air, but it is a lot of work. Second is gliding. Here the bird builds up enough speed, then coasts downward a while. It is much more graceful than flapping, but unfortunately it does not get the bird very far. Reality, in the form of gravity sets in quickly. Gliding is nice, but it does not last.

The third way is soaring. Only a few birds are capable of soaring like the eagle… but it is because of their ability to wait for the right winds. Eagle’s wings are so strong that they are capable of catching rising currents of warm air called thermal winds that go straight up from the Earth. And without moving a feather, they can soar to great heights. Eagles have been clocked at up to 80 mph without flapping at all. They just soar on invisible columns of air.

I believe its time for us to soar!

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