Posts Tagged ‘cool of the day’

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)

Bring My Children Into Glory

“I will say to the north, Give them up! And to the south, Do not keep them back! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I have created for My Glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”  (Isaiah 43:6-7)

We as God’s Children were made for His Glory! We were designed to enjoy His fellowship and advance in the knowledge of His heart for us. In the Scripture above, we can feel the passion of the Father calling His Children home. Its more than an invitation… its more like a declaration of war! As if God Himself is speaking to the spiritual forces of darkness and all human governing bodies saying, “The day of confinement is over! I am establishing an order of release and recovery!” Truly it amazes me to watch as God puts His foot down upon the neck of principalities and powers in the spiritual realm.

The Voice Itself:

Make no mistake; this voice is the prophetic voice of Isaiah, yet it is the passionate heart of the Father as well. Our perception of a prophetic voice is so important as we hear with the ears of faith. You see, it cannot become only a prophetic “suggestion” in our daily routine, because God is serious about recovering a people who know Him and are waiting for a pathway to be established in the wilderness. Remind yourself of how God found you in your sinful condition and called you to Himself. He did this because of His love for you… to bring you back into His Glory!

Our Assignment:

John the Baptist was not the only Messenger of the Lord who has been assigned the task of making a highway visible for the people of God to find His Glory (Isa. 40:1-5). Jesus said, “Go – into all the earth and make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). It is our assignment to bear witness and make available a pathway back to the Father’s heart! This thought of ”bringing them back” means we have a mandate from heaven to grab the hands of every person within reach and speak of God’s love for them. We have a task that requires our diligent understanding and our personal commitment!

4 Practical Principles:

  1. Be People of the Glory… You cannot bring people to where you have never been. Recognize your own chosenness and royalty in God’s Kingdom. You are a holy and special person, designed, formed and called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pe. 2:9-10). Being a person who understands the Glory of God cannot happen without your participation daily in prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. You must be a Child of God and have obtained mercy… in order to offer mercy and a path into His Glory.
  2. Be Equipped… God’s desire is that all of His Children be filled with all the fullness of His Spirit (Eph. 5:15-21). Jesus said all we need to do is ask for the Holy Spirit, because it is the Father’s desire to give us the Kingdom (Lk. 12:31-32). Making a priority for the things of God will begin to establish your pathway into the Father’s heart. That is where the resources are found. You will need grace, intimacy and yieldedness in order for your life to display fruitfulness.
  3. Be Observant… You carry the Father’s Glory in that you carry the testimony of Christ. Christ is the Desire of the Nations (Hag. 2:7) and because He lives in you, you will become the desire of those around you in need of Him. “Arise and shine, your Light has come and the Glory of the Lord has risen upon you” – these words of Isaiah 60:1-3 speak of the Gentiles coming to your light and kings coming to the brightness of your “rising” or testimony. Its spoken of Christ and it is speaking to you, because “Christ in you is the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).
  4. Be Prophetic… Speak to people what God is saying about them. Bless those that curse you and love those that speak evil of you because of your testimony in Christ. Recognize the real battle is in the spirit realm (Eph. 6:10-12), with forces that aim to confuse (2 Cor. 10:3-6) and works that aim to deceive (1 Jn. 3:8). You are God’s anointed voice to the principalities and powers in the spiritual realm, wherever God has given you influence. Speak boldly and speak often of the reality that God has made a way through Christ, back into the Father’s Glory (Eph. 3:10-11).

Notice: The Goal is the Glory!

Finally, I want to emphasize the spoken desire of God is to bring His Children back into the Glory. Adam was created for the Glory and lived in a Garden that was designed to allow him to be “formed” by his fellowship in Glory. He was visited daily by God who walked with him in the cool of the day in an atmosphere permeated by the Glory. And God’s greatest gift to mankind was to give His Only Begotten Son - Christ, in whom is the brightness of His Glory and the express image of His person (Heb 1:3). In Christ, God has opened up the pathway home and in you and I, He is making His purposes known in all the earth.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

Father’s Garden

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed.” (Gen. 2:8)

The Garden of Eden - God’s Original Design:

The Garden of Eden is more than a historical place in the Bible. It is more than a lost paradise. And it is more than a bright future that can only be entered through death’s doorway. Life in the Father’s Garden reveals God’s original design and our restored inheritance. Eden teaches us what it means to live as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.

5 Revelations from Father’s Garden:

1. Intimacy with the Father…

  • “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”  (Gen. 3:8)

At the heart of Eden is a personal relationship with Father God. The first face Adam and Eve saw was the face of a loving Father. The name Eden means “delight”. This delight does not mean happiness as we use the term, but the joy that comes through being intimately connected with God. David speaks of his revelation of intimacy with the Father, saying, “You will fill me with joy in Your Presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand” (Ps. 16:11). When Jesus died, there would be no more seperation from the Father’s Garden. The veil in the temple was torn in two, signifying that the way into the Father’s intimate Presence was restored (Mt. 27:51, Heb. 10:19-20). And that place of intimacy can be our home.

2. Clothed in the Glory of God…

  • “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:25)

Although Adam and Eve were physically naked, they were covered with the Glory of God. David says of created humanity, “You [God] crowned them with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5). The Hebrew word for crown also means encircled or clothed. The righteous are “surrounded with God’s favor as a shield” (Ps. 5:12). No wonder Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness at that moment, sin caused the Glory of God to be stripped away from them. Physical clothing is here to stay, but consider the spiritual truth in Christ. Jesus reclothed us in the garments of salvation and covered the believing heart with the robe of His righteousness (Isa. 61:10). We are the righteousness of God in Christ and we can live transparently before God without shame or fear. Freedom in God’s Presence is not as a result of behaving perfectly, but of placing our faith in Jesus, the only Perfect One. Through His grace, we are in the process of being transformed in His glory, by His glory into His glory. (2 Cor 5:17-21, Phil 1:6)

3. The Father’s Blessing…

  • “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:28)

The first words God spoke over Adam and Eve were words of blessing. They experienced His favor before they had done anything. They did not have to prove their worth. Their worth was based in who they were… a son and daughter of God, beloved and accepted.

Religious striving and trying to be “good enough” is a performance trap unleashed at the moment the man and woman ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was the devil’s reality. The serpent was fully aware guilt would be unleashed upon humanity if they tasted that for which God had forbidden. Their eyes would be open to their naked condition and they would see how frail they really were. But that is not God’s way for He was their Blessing Bearer, their Protector against all evil. It was not a surprise to God, in fact He already had a plan for this.

In Genesis we learn that we are blessed just, because we are God’s sons and daughters. And in Christ we are renewed in the Spirit of God’s Blessing; given the right to become sons simply through receiving the free gift of life (Eph. 1:3-6) by faith in His Name, His Cross and His Blood.

4. Living at Rest, while Laboring with God…

  • “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Gen 2:15)

The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. And that on the seventh day God rested. It is an amazing observation that the first full day that Adam and Eve experienced was a day of rest. From that place of rest, they labored together with God. We read, that God planted the trees in the Garden of Eden – and that Adam tended them. It was a united effort, a co-laboring if you will, where we observe a life of God-given purpose.

In God’s Kingdom, we are co-laborers with Christ (1 Cor. 3:9) and our Father invites us to tend what He has planted. We sense the calling and the energy of the Holy Spirit, to do the work that He has prepared for us beforehand(Eph. 2:10). Its a work of eternal purpose for our own lives and the generations that will follow. 

5. Deligated Authority to Fulfil His Purposes…

  • “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” (Gen. 2:19)

In Eden, Adam named the animals and after his wife was formed they walked and talked with the Father in the cool of the day. As they heard what was on His heart, they were able to carry out His purposes through the authority He had conferred to them. It was a unique relationship built upon love and trust and free will.

Today that same authority that Adam and Eve lost through sin, has been restored to us through Jesus (Mt. 28:18). Although we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God; we have been freely justified by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:23-24). Just as if we had never sinned, our confession of faith in the Blood of Christ opens up to us the Promise of restored inheritance in the Father’s Garden. 

“For if, by the trespass of the one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Rom 5:17)

Living Inside or Outside of Eden?

Outside of Eden, we experience striving and frustration. We feel and behave like spiritual orphans. We wonder God feels unapproachable, distant and harsh. The perception outside of Eden is that God is not a Father, but a judge. We struggle with insecurity and strive to bear fruit. We wrestle with trust issues like orphans wrestle for a place to call home.

Living inside the Father’s Garden describes the life that we can live today in Christ. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Within Eden, we experience the intimacy and security of our Father’s love. We enjoy His blessing and favor and live in a place of supernatural peace – His rest. We walk with God and hear what is on His heart and then we fulfil His purpose for our lives with the authority He has given to us.

Its the abundant life of the Father’s Garden that is the inheritance of the Sons and Daughters.

Held

  • Psalm 37:23-24 If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
  • Psalm 94:18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your love, O Lord, supported me.
  • Psalm 145:14 The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
  • Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
  • Philippians 4:11-13 …for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Knowing how to be content is one of the most undiscovered disciplines in the Christian world. More than any other skill or ability I can perfect, more than any passion I can muster and more than any amount of influence I can carry; this one character trait puts my life on solid ground. Yet, being content is not a natural thing for me. I’ve had to learn how to cooperate with God and listen for His footsteps in the cool of the day… and all too often I’ve heard His voice cry “Adam, Adam where are you” (Gen. 3:8-10). 

  I am learning to be held by God.

To be held is to discover the secret place in Christ, where the past is settled and the future is secure. Being held is more than just feeling that all is well. Its knowing, with an inward assurance, that even when storms or problems arise, there is a God who walks with me. Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30).

Rest for the Soul:

This is the contentment… the rest for our souls, that every follower of Christ must aim to learn. To be held by God is to delight in the perfect fit of this “yoke” Jesus speaks about. God wants to uphold us by His mighty hand and support us with the power of His love, but we must come up into the yoke for ourselves. Like a life jacket, we must learn how to put it on in rough waters, become familiar with its fit and rely upon it so that it becomes our favorite piece of spiritual clothing.

His Strength Upholds:

I am so amazed at how dependable and constant the Lord is in taking care of His own. Even though I am His child and seek to please Him, He knows that I am weak and imperfect. He says He will “make my steps firm and though I stumble, I will not fall”. “Though” does not mean ”if” but “when”. He knows that I will stumble in my walk with Him. He knows that there will be times when my foot will slip. And yet, in those times when I am weak and falter He does not abandon me, He strengthens me. He stretches forth his hand to catch me and hold me up. He supports me so that I do not fall completely. He bears up under me to keep me upright. He reinforces His love for me and tells me not to be afraid or discouraged. He reminds me that He is my God and encourages me to continue on. He whispers, “Do not give up, I am here to hold you”. Even with all my weaknesses and shortcomings He loves and accepts me.

How awesome is my Lord and Savior! How wonderful is His grace to me! For I am learning that it is far better to be held… than to be strong.

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