Posts Tagged ‘oneness’

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)

Giving Us Glory

“And the Glory which You gave Me I have given them that they may be one just as We are one: I in them and You in Me. That they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My Glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (Jn 17:22-24)

All who believe in the Gospel of the Kingdom are included in this prayer. We are being invited to experience the supernatural fellowship that transforms the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. Jesus prays here that we would be one just like He and His Father are one. The Father is in Him and He is in the Father. He invites us to be in Him as evidence, so that the world would believe in Him. This fellowship is the best testimony any of us could have and its available by way of His Glory. Listen carefully to what Jesus said:

“I have given them the Glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.”

I always thought that unity came from all of us coming together and working at getting along, pretending to like each other in the name of Jesus. We just have to put our differences aside and unite around a common cause. Isn’t that what the world describes as unity? However, Jesus makes it clear that it’s the Glory that can change us and draw us together in Him. Its the Glory that creates the oneness He is after. 

Glory Causes Unity:

He gave us His Glory so that we would reflect His perfect oneness and as a result we would be united with each other. I want to propose that there is something about experiencing God’s Glory together that knits our hearts in spiritual unity. The closer we get to the fullness of God’s Presence, the more God’s Glory begins to manifest and the easier it is for us to become one in the Body of Christ. This is what makes Church – Church.

Beholding the Glory: 

Amazingly, Jesus asks His Father to bring us to where He is so that we could behold the Glory, God gave to Him. In the Old Testament, we see that the people of Israel would not even come close to God’s Glory, but now we see Jesus asking His Father to show us the Glory! God allowed Moses to see His Glory, but only as he was able to catch a glimpse of His backside. He would see God’s Goodness from the cleft of a rock (Ex 33:18-23). A protected place. Yet now as soon as we find our fellowship in Christ, we are given access to behold Glory and reflect perfect oneness!

Yearning for God’s Glory:

My heart has been stretched beyond its ability to return to its original shape. There is something about the tangible Presence of God that clothes us and transforms our vision, passion and unity. The Body of Christ is only the “Body” as it beholds and reflects this mystery of the Glory. It was designed to be clothed in Glory and yearn jealously for this covering, so all the world would know what makes us one (Jms 4:5). Human effort is insufficient to make us one. Its found in the Father giving us His Glory… the habitation of God by His Spirit (Eph 2:22).