Posts Tagged ‘Fathering’

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)

“Shepherd Shift”

“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:4-6)

In a recent gathering of spiritual leaders, we saw a mandate to reintroduce a correct form of shepherding which we celebrated and rejoiced to pass on to our teams. We are moving away from “control”… to real Kingdom Empowerment! This is some of the revelation we began to pray into and see as heaven’s blueprint.

MOVING TOWARDS:

  • Trusting God: God is the Chief Shepherd of His flock (Psalm 23 – the Lord is My Shepherd) – pointing them to engage heaven as their source of life.
  • Spiritual Fathering: True leaders work themselves out of a role and encourage those they are fathering to go higher.
  • Apostolic Models: True apostles always father another and build successors.
  • Spiritual Freedom: Letting people make their own mistakes knowing they will grow more.
  • Humble Servant-Leadership: Being humble seeing we do not know everything and often not more than who we are fathering.
  • Investing in Others: Trusting everyone can hear from God and the more we let them do that the more they will grow in that skill.
  • Empowerment & Encouragement: Everyone is a powerful son or daughter and God gives grace and revelation to the humble and lowly in heart.
  • Mutual Engagement: Finding rapport with people and common ground. Not this is the way we do it.
  • Pointing toward the Glory Realm: Shepherding people to find their “scroll in heaven”… Their Destiny – Calling, Passion and Vision.
  • Spiritual Sonship: Fathered to maturity… as fellow disciples growing in the counsel of respected fathers.

MOVING AWAY FROM:

  • Over control (you must meet this criteria to be in my network).
  • Overseeing (not allowing freedom).
  • Checking and vetting people, while at the same time; not believing the best about them. We are never to judge others according to the outward appearances.
  • Making them wait for your timing.
  • Being intimidated by someones strengths compared to our own.
  • Making assumptions about their contribution or relationship.
  • Asking for commitment to your events instead of respecting their calling may take them to many different activities.
  • Making judgments on a persons spirituality based on outside appearance – the Bible says “do not judge on mere appearances but make a right judgment.” God is the judge and we are not to assess them.

Promised Goodness

Some promised goodness

Friendship...

The Bible is filled with God’s promises for life. It speaks about mercies being new every morning and compassions that never fail. The question most folks have however is, ”How do I recognize His promise when it shows up at my doorstep?” 

The answer: You will need to be expecting it!

 Its no mystery that if your mind is on a ball game, you might miss the mail carrier, who just dropped off a gift. You might catch the big play; but unless you are looking for the mail, you will probably miss the delivery. Its all about getting your eyes on the Carrier. 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (Jms 1:17).

 We can have the best intentions and still miss God’s promised goodness in our lives. Just consider the greatest gift of all! Jesus, God’s only Son was given to take away the sin of the world (Jn 3:16-17). Yet, millions of people are living everyday without embracing the goodness revealed in His death upon the cross.

 Its a strange thought for those of us who have experienced His love, but not so strange for many who believe God to be an angry judge or abusive parent. Our experience or faulty religious teachings can mess with our views on the goodness of God. “Would He? Could He? or Can He?” These questions become difficult to answer, because they require healthy beliefs about ourselves and the True nature of God. 

Let me focus on the 2 most important ideas about God’s goodness:

  1. God is for you! His heart for you is always good and perfect… He is a loving Father. God never gives second class gifts, because His nature is to love us and nurture fruitful living (2 Cor 5:17). 
  2. Forgiveness opens our eyes. It is the greatest gift of all and enables us to recognize that He is good. The Father of lights shines upon our heart; not to condemn, but to free us from sin and guilt that blinds us to His goodness (2 Cor 4:4-6).

Healing and restoration, free us to live our lives in expectation of the goodness of the Lord being experienced everyday. We can recognize His love all the time and connect to His goodness. No matter how difficult the circumstance; believing and expecting the good and perfect gifts of God, will transform the way we see life.

 I’m not talking about extraordinary things. I am talking about living in His promised goodness and prospering as His Blessed Child. Its a choice we can make in everything that happens. It also helps free us to understand that things are not happening to us, they are happening for us (Rom 8:28).

 I see God pouring out His good gifts over me today, gifts that are too wonderful to define by simple observation. I would rather live in mystery than to define everything and possibly be wrong, simply because I live with incomplete information. The gifts of God must have a season to reveal their significance in my life.

So… I’m thankful in all things; and I’m willing to trust in His Fathering, because in this I don’t miss a thing. I can expect to experience more and more of His promised goodness.

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