Posts Tagged ‘Gen. 3:8’

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).

The Glory

What if I told you that there is a place beyond the Presence of God… would you call me a heretic, lunatic or mystic?

Let me speak to the issue of the Glory of God! It is both a Secret Place, where God speaks to us face to face and a Spiritual Realm, where supernatural authority is established within our lives. It is a Place where we begin to truly see… and manifest the riches of the invisible stuff of heaven into our natural reality on Earth. We as Christ’s followers, are called to a “walk” that is able to please God and release the inheritance of spiritual resource into our daily life. But do we understand the Glory of God or just take life as it is presented to us everyday. I want to enlarge your thinking, because the day has come; whereby God is wanting to increase the “knowledge of the Glory of God”… to a level that would be as recognizable as the way the “water covers the sea”.

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

The Apostle Paul spoke about the Glory in terms of an ongoing ministry that began in the Old Testament and advanced into the New Testament. He said that the Ministry of Moses had a Glory that was so strong that the people would cover the face of Moses, because it would shine with the Glory that rested upon him as he ministered face to face before God in the Wilderness Tabernacle. Yet Paul said that the Glory of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit was even greater and more precious to behold (2 Cor. 3:7-18). His message was that our lives are transformed by the Glory as we behold Christ more and more… as we fellowship with the Father and experience the working of the Holy Spirit. He used illustrations from the Old Testament like the Glory Cloud that followed the Hebrew People in the wilderness or the Ark of the Covenant as the fire rested upon the Mercy seat… these images were to encourage us to recognize that our lives are changing as we learn to walk in the Glory of God and behold Jesus as the Glory of the Father (Heb 1:1-4). Notice verse 3 speaks of Jesus as the brightness or manifestation of the beauty of the Fathers Glory and the express image of His person.

Spiritual Atmosphere Heavenly in Nature:

Interesting that the Apostle Paul also speaks of the Glory as a Realm of God’s spiritual atmosphere… an atmosphere that is heavenly in nature. It was in the Garden of Eden as God walked with Adam in the “cool” (ruach/spirit/glory realm) of the day (Gen. 3:8). In other words God was sharing His Glory with Adam before the fall… as they walked together and shared fellowship and communion. This Glory made Adam feel loved, accepted and comfortable without clothes, for he was naked and unashamed until after the fall – after sin came into the Garden experience. Notice that Adam was not alone, yet the woman that accompanied Adam was not named until after the fall: because they were living together naked and unashamed. They lived in harmony, as one in the Glory with the Father, but after sin comes shame and guilt become the overwhelming atmosphere. It was in the fallen state that Adam names the Woman Eve, because he was now very aware of their differences rather than comfortable in their unity with the Father.

As the Glory Lifted:

Now this happens because the Glory had lifted… note that God comes into the Garden to find that man is hiding himself and that he was covering himself with leaves… man was meeting his own need, and hiding in disobedience and shame.

  • Psalm 8:5 tells us that God had “crowned” or clothed man in Glory at creation.
  • Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8 & Ephesians 5:17-18 tells us He wants to do it again in the Holy Spirit as we are filled to overflowing with His Power.
  • Isaiah 43:1-7 tells us that God created man for His Glory… it speaks of “man” as Jacob and that God had formed man in His Glory, redeemed man by His Glory and called man to His Glory… so that man could live as he was created to live – in the Glory of God.

Riches in the Glory Realm:

The Apostle Paul says (Phil. 4:19) that all of his needs were met according to the riches in the Glory in Christ. This is an amazing revelation to know that we can have our needs met as we learn to walk in the Glory Realms with God as Adam experienced before the fall. Indeed Jesus has restored access to the Garden of Eden… by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13) so that we could become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). We can live with all of our needs met and teach as Jesus taught (Jn. 14:12-14)… to walk as Children of His Glory (Jn. 17:22-24).

The Church is to be a Glorious Bride – fully clothed in Glory, the apparel of Loving Fellowship!

A Holy Partnership

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Have you ever experienced a need for breakthrough? The kind where you have done all you know to do, cried out for revelation and yet continued to face a wall of opposition? I have! I’ve seen situations that have lingered for years, though I had purposed to walk in complete obedience, sought God, and even received prophetic words promising the breakthrough… yet still nothing! The Holy Spirit dropped a key in my heart one day that helped me unpack a mystery, I heard Him whisper in my inner ear… “Mercy is at the heart of breakthrough!”

As I began to study mercy a wonderful partnership began to emerge… the partnership between mercy and providence. To understand breakthrough I needed to see how mercy is tied to providence. In essence God was showing me that providence is the “Throne of Grace”. Its the place where God’s plans become our reality. That’s why the author of the book of Hebrews says, “Come Boldly!”. When we realize there is access to grace ( favor with the King), we must begin to figure out how it works… and then we must run to Him in the time of need.

Explaining Providence: 4 Defining Truths

  1. Its God’s Knowledge in Advance. God exists outside of time, knowing the end before the beginning. Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world (Rev. 12:8) and we were chosen in Him before that foundation was established (Eph. 1:4). Our God, knows the battles, roadblocks, and stumbling stones that we will face as we walk out our destiny. He has already prepared victories and breakthroughs for us. His plan is for good, to prosper us and give us a future and a hope… peace (Jer. 29:11).
  2. The Active Governing of God. Governing is the authority to control or manage a people or nation, in order to rule in their midst. Mercy deals directly with our position in Christ. His rule and reign in our lives is literally based upon the reality that we do not get what we deserve. Scripture tells us how Jesus carries out His Lordship by governing our lives through peace (Isa. 9:7). When we cry out for mercy, we are crying out for His rule and reign in our lives. The world system, the strategies of the enemy, the circumstances of life must not be allowed to rule over us. Problems will come, but God has already met the need when we arrive. When providence and mercy, God’s governing authority is allowed to grow in us, there will be peace and Kingdom breakthrough!
  3. It is God’s Protective Covering (Glory). Its the Glory of God that was originally design to crown or clothe man at creation in the Garden of Eden (Ps. 8:5). When we cry out for mercy it pulls us under God’s protection in our lives (Ps. 91:1-2), because it pulls us into fellowship, “walking in the cool of the day with the Father” (Gen. 3:8). Rather than hiding ourselves, we are relying upon His care for us and expressing our trust in Him. We may never know what God is doing in the midst of our struggle and there may be times of stretching our faith, but we must press into God. Fear and unbelief only alienate us from God’s Presence and distance us from seeing God’s plan for good (Rom. 8:28).
  4. The Love and Care of Our Heavenly Father. Fathers exercise a balance of honor and provision. They walk in authority only to the degree that their sons and daughters honor their leadership and delight in their wisdom. Just think about the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-14), who stepped away from his father’s providence and could not gain access to mercy. I like to remind myself that authority is established through intimacy… that my success is hinged to the tree of life, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Elijah’s Example:

Mercy reveals God’s care, but providence establishes our needed resources… long before we even feel our need. A good example of this is when God told Elijah that He would feed him at the Brook Cherith. Elijah would have to go to where the provision was, in order to receive it! When the Brook dried up, so did the provision, which meant Elijah would need to seek God for more mercy and providence… a fresh word of breakthrough (1 Kings 17:2-8). Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives has already been established in God’s providence, because of God’s mercy!

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “and my God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

God is Able:

I look back now and see that when I have cried out for mercy, for needed finances or help of any kind, that mercy and providence worked together for the promised breakthrough. I knew something about God; I know, He is faithful and just, He loves and cares for me, and He knows how to “take care” of that which concerns me. This is why I run to the Throne of Grace… to obtain mercy – to hold it as an abiding reality for breakthrough! You see I know that beyond any of my own efforts, God is able to do the extraordinary, the impossible and that which is exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I can ask or imagine. But I am also discovering that it is based upon the power that works in me (Eph. 3:20). This revelation is so powerful!

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for its time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)

We see that we have our part, -the possible, to sow in righteousness, to break up the fallow ground and to seek the Lord. But mercy is God’s part of the equation, its what causes us to reap -the impossible! I can plant a seed, water it, but only God can bring the increase (1 Cor. 3:7). We know that it is not by our power or might, but it is by God’s Spirit… that we experience our breakthroughs (Zech. 4:6). So we will contend at the Throne of Grace with a boldness that proves we trust God’s providence and desire to obtain mercy to help in our time of need.

“…So that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)

Platform for Reality

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered Him, We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, You will be made free? Jesus answered them, Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (Jn. 8:32-36)

Perspective is 90% of reality… and Jesus here challenges the perspective of the Pharisees so that they would choose a different platform to base their reality. They believed that their connection to Abraham would serve as their platform of truth and Jesus makes it clear that only those who are disconnected from sin would find access to God’s House. Even in the opening chapter of the Bible, two important facts lay the foundation for us, if we can understand them; we will all gain a fresh perspective and a solid platform of reality.

1st. Creation was God’s Work!

“And God said… And God said… And God said”: This phrase beats in cadence all the way through the chapter, a chapter that mentions the word “God” thirty times. And in this first chapter, the very first glimpse of God is as an artist, who speaks the worlds into existence. Creation was His masterpiece! Butterflies, waterfalls, bottle nose dolphins, praying mantises, kangaroos… they were all His idea. This entire world is the product of His creative flow. God, no one else; is the Master of the Universe, and all that follows in the Bible reinforces the message. Behind all of history… all of reality, there is God. And from His mouth (His Word) will come the fabric that holds an accurate assessment of where we go from here… where we get knowledge, wisdom and truth.

2nd. Creation Was Good!

Another sentence tolls softly, like a bell, throughout this chapter: “And God saw that it was good”. In our day, we hear alarming reports about nature: the greenhouse effect, polluted oceans, vanishing species, the destruction of rain forests. Much has changed, much has been spoiled; since that first moment of creation. Genesis 1 describes the world as God created it, as He wanted it, before any corruption. Whatever beauty we sense in nature today is a faint echo of that pristine state. Our view from the outside looking in is of a Garden called Eden. A place where animals and plants may have looked very different from today, but they were good; the atmosphere was good and the Crowning achievement, the Man – Adam, was “very good”.

Freedom:

In Christ, God is restoring Creation through redemptive glory (Jn. 1:14)(Heb. 1:1-4). When we consider the heavens and the earth in all of their beauty, it behooves us to know what the plan of God was in the beginning, before sin entered our existence and clouded our perspective on reality. Freedom means something to God that it does not mean to us. By God’s own initiative, His creation was given more than just an environment. It was given order and governed by a daily experience with its Creator (Gen. 1:14-17)(Gen. 3:8). To man He said, “have dominion over the fish… the birds… the cattle… over all the earth” (Gen 1:26). And as God looked upon all that He had created and set in order, He was pleased… pleased because He had created a man in His own image and likeness for fellowship and love. This was His greatest hope… freedom, to share unhindered love. Remind yourself today that, “as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gives the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of flesh and blood, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:12-13).

Jesus reveals freedom’s goal: “A Son abides in God’s House forever” – to share unhindered love!

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.

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