Posts Tagged ‘image’

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)

Culture of Greatness

We have been commissioned to develop a culture that ignites the greatness in others. Many of us have had negative influences that seemed to suck the wind right out of our sails. Yet no matter how destructive these forces may have become, God has great plans and royal destinies for His people. It is our finest hour when we are able to create pathways for people to find their journey to the Palace.

Memories Vs. Dreams:

A friend of mine once said, “When your memories are greater than your dreams, then you are already beginning to die.”

Imagine if you were raised in a palace where everyone around you spoke to you about your destiny to become a king one day. Who would you be today? How do you think those expectations would effect your dreams? If you knew you were destined for greatness and could not fail, how would that shape your thoughts? …your living? …your personal risks?

Living the Life:

The Lord has told me that it is not too late to think like Solomon… to use God-given wisdom and believe in the greatness inside of me. Even if the role models of my life were negative and stole the joy of my childhood, I do not need to remain an orphan (Jn 14:18). I am a Child of God, which means I have a royal destiny (1 Pet 2:9-10). I follow Christ as my example and hear the Holy Spirit calling me into my true identity. As I begin to act like royalty, issues that felt like mountains in my life have become mere stepping stones to future promise. It feels good to overcome the obstacles that once hindered me.

A Culture of Greatness:

As the Royal Priesthood of God, we are called to develop a Kingdom Culture in our homes, churches, communities and nations that brings out the best in others. We do this by seeing and treating people as God created them to be. Our knowledge and love for others must come from our intimacy with God. We are no longer His slaves, but friends, walking by His side as kings and queens of His court. Being born into a Royal Family means we co-reign with Christ in the Kingdom of God. The culture we reflect is based upon the relational character we enjoy with our Heavenly Father. Jesus gave us the example of releasing a culture of greatness by doing what he saw the Father doing.

The Key is Honor:

Honor expresses value in others. It is one of the greatest attributes of nobility in the entire Bible. When the Kingdom of Heaven rules the heart, honorable behavior comes naturally. We give honor to people, not just because they deserve it, but because we are honorable citizens of the King. It is the standard or condition of the heart, not just the product of a good environment. It eliminates the need for control and manipulation, because it empowers with God-given purpose. People are great, because God created them in His image and for His glory. When we carry honor in our hearts, people can feel it and they respond to it, because it ignites the greatness inside of them.

Made for Dominion

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “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. 1:26-28)

The Paradigm of Creation:

When God created man, His wonderful plan was defined by three Divine realities… 1st God’s image, 2nd a sense of relationship or likeness and 3rd the command to take some responsibility over the environment. This responsibility is called dominion, rule or stewardship; yet it came down to managing the Garden of Eden in a way that pleased God and served their personal needs.

“The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” (Psa. 110:2)

We, as the Church of the Living God; we are the very “rod” of Christ’s strength, called as Kingdom Agents out of Zion! We need to rule in the midst of the enemies of Christ Jesus! The activity of ruling in the midst of enemies should be embraced like a military assignment. A victory has been won in Christ… and now as followers, we are to advance the dominion of our King. There’s been a transfer of authority and ownership in the land and we must run off the present-day squatters. “Dis-possessing” spiritual squatters is the essence of spiritual warfare. Its what Christ did by conquering sin through the Cross of Calvary… yet possessing our victory is a challenge that calls us much higher than casual Christianity. We must press forward and reclaim all that the kingdom of darkness has acquired through lies and deception.

The Spoils of Christ’s Victory – Our Abundant Life!

Unforgiveness is a squatter, bitterness and envy are squatters, competition, jealousy, pride, fornication, sorcery, heresies and uncleanness of all kinds… are squatters upon the promise of God’s work in our lives. These deceiving spirits lie and establish false ownerships. They communicate through intimidation and manipulation. Your history is not your destiny! According to the Word of God – Jesus came to give us life and the kind of life that is growing more abundant as we mature in our faith journey (Jn. 10:9-10).

Speaking – Faith & Courage!

Life and death are in the power of our tongue and we overcome Satan’s lies by the word of our testimony. God’s destiny is not far from our reach, it just gets obstructed by the hindrances the enemy sets in our path. Deuteronomy 30:14 declares God’s pathway for obtaining the inheritance. He says, “Now the Word is near you; even in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”

He is speaking here of the opportunity to move into all that is promised in the “Promise Land” through obedience and speaking God’s Word over our environment. Its the activity of faith… and its the assigned obligation of all who aim to release the Glory of God. In this day; we must have Kingdom advancement for the obtaining of every mountain, every valley and every realm of spiritual dominion. We must rule in the midst of our enemies!

“Rada” – Ruling as Kingdom Agents:

This is our mandate, to “Rule” – Rada {Hebrew} in the midst of the enemies! We are laying hold of all that Christ has obtained and possessed for us. We are fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth and subduing it as Kingdom Agents advancing the Victory of God in Christ. We are not as those who shrink back, retreat or settle into a position of ease. It is our destiny to advance, because we have an anointing for increase and an assignment to make the very creation itself see its future in the light of God’s Purposes. And if God has established this pattern from the Garden of Eden, He will be with us.

Even as the Apostle Paul proclaims – “If God be for us, who can stand against us!” (Rom. 8:31)

Ruling

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “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. 1:26-28)

The Paradigm of Creation:

When God created man, His wonderful plan was defined by three Divine realities… 1st  God’s image, 2nd a sense of relationship or likeness and 3rd the command to take some responsibility over the environment. This responsibility is called dominion, rule or stewardship; yet it came down to managing the Garden of Eden in a way that pleased God and served their personal needs.

“The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” (Psa. 110:2)

We, as the Church of the Living God; we are the very “rod” of Christ’s strength, called as Kingdom Agents out of Zion! We need to rule in the midst of the enemies of Christ Jesus! The activity of ruling in the midst of enemies should be embraced like a military assignment. A victory has been won in Christ… and now as followers, we are to advance the dominion of our King. There’s been a transfer of authority and ownership in the land and we must run off the present-day squatters. “Dis-possessing” spiritual squatters is the essence of spiritual warfare. Its what Christ did by conquering sin through the Cross of Calvary… yet possessing our victory is a challenge that calls us much higher than casual Christianity. We must press forward and reclaim all that the kingdom of darkness has acquired through lies and deception.

The Spoils of Christ’s Victory – Our Abundant Life!

Unforgiveness is a squatter, bitterness and envy are squatters, competition, jealousy, pride, fornication, sorcery, heresies and uncleanness of all kinds… are squatters upon the promise of God’s work in our lives. These deceiving spirits lie and establish false ownerships. They communicate through intimidation and manipulation. Your history is not your destiny! According to the Word of God – Jesus came to give us life and the kind of life that is growing more abundant as we mature in our faith journey (Jn. 10:9-10).

Speaking – Faith & Courage!

Life and death are in the power of our tongue and we overcome Satan’s lies by the word of our testimony. God’s destiny is not far from our reach, it just gets obstructed by the hindrances the enemy sets in our path. Deuteronomy 30:14 declares God’s pathway for obtaining the inheritance. He says, “Now the Word is near you; even in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”

He is speaking here of the opportunity to move into all that is promised in the “Promise Land” through obedience and speaking God’s Word over our environment. Its the activity of faith… and its the assigned obligation of all who aim to release the Glory of God. In this day; we must have Kingdom advancement for the obtaining of every mountain, every valley and every realm of spiritual dominion. We must rule in the midst of our enemies!

“Rada” – Ruling as Kingdom Agents:

This is our mandate, to “Rule” – Rada {Hebrew} in the midst of the enemies! We are laying hold of all that Christ has obtained and possessed for us. We are fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth and subduing it as Kingdom Agents advancing the Victory of God in Christ. We are not as those who shrink back, retreat or settle into a position of ease. It is our destiny to advance, because we have an anointing for increase and an assignment to make the very creation itself see its future in the light of God’s Purposes. And if God has established this pattern from the Garden of Eden, He will be with us.

Even as the Apostle Paul proclaims – “If God be for us, who can stand against us!” (Rom. 8:31)

Leading as Royalty

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

We have been commissioned to develop a culture that ignites the greatness in others. Many of us have had negative influences that seemed to suck the wind right out of our sails. Yet no matter how destructive these forces may have become, God has great plans and royal destinies for His people. It is our finest hour when we are able to create pathways for people to find their journey to the Palace.

Memories Vs. Dreams:

A friend of mine once said, “When your memories are greater than your dreams, then you are already beginning to die.”

Imagine if you were raised in a palace where everyone around you spoke to you about your destiny to become a king one day. Who would you be today? How do you think those expectations would effect your dreams? If you knew you were destined for greatness and could not fail, how would that shape your thoughts? …your living? …your personal risks?

Living the Life:

The Lord has told me that it is not too late to think like Solomon… to use God-given wisdom and believe in the greatness inside of me. Even if the role models of my life were negative and stole the joy of my childhood, I do not need to remain an orphan (Jn 14:18). I am a Child of God, which means I have a royal destiny. I follow Christ as my example and hear the Holy Spirit calling me into my true identity. As I begin to act like royalty, issues that felt like mountains in my life have become mere stepping stones to future promise. It feels good to overcome the obstacles that once hindered me.

A Culture of Greatness:

As the Royal Priesthood of God, we are called to develop a Kingdom Culture in our homes, churches, communities and nations that brings out the best in others. We do this by seeing and treating people as God created them to be. Our knowledge and love for others must come from our intimacy with God. We are no longer His slaves, but friends, walking by His side as kings and queens of His court. Being born into a Royal Family means we co-reign with Christ in the Kingdom of God. The culture we reflect is based upon the relational character we enjoy with our Heavenly Father. Jesus gave us the example of releasing a culture of greatness by doing what he saw the Father doing.

The Key is Honor:

Honor expresses value in others. It is one of the greatest attributes of nobility in the entire Bible. When the Kingdom of Heaven rules the heart, honorable behavior comes naturally. We give honor to people, not just because they deserve it, but because we are honorable citizens of the King. It is the standard or condition of the heart, not just the product of a good environment. It eliminates the need for control and manipulation, because it empowers with God-given purpose. People are great, because God created them in His image and for His glory. When we carry honor in our hearts, people can feel it and they respond to it, because it ignites the greatness inside of them.

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