Posts Tagged ‘serpent’

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)

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.

Battles We Face

Meeting at the Altar

Meeting at the Altar

We must focus on just one thing – the eyes of Jesus!

Today, these are the battles we face in the ministry of reconciliation. The battle to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the rejection we experience. The battle to press forward when things look daunting and others are pointing fingers. The battle to resist the fear of men’s faces when they consider you a fraud. And ultimately, the battle to find your identity in Christ and believe that you can do all things by His power. Most people do not understand the cost of a life well lived in Christ.

Here is what I wrote recently
to a fellow
warrior in Kenya…

I am with you my friend… I’ve been where you are and often find myself wrestling with these same problems. People who call themselves “Christian” yet their hearts are far from God. They flatter God with their lips, but turn on His servants with bitter words and secret meetings. There seems to be no fear of God and no desire for holiness. They redefine their behavior to suit themselves and they have no hunger for the Words that proceed from the Mouth of God. But you must be different! You must continue to look into the very eyes of Christ, Jesus!

The Glory that Covers:

This is your opportunity to discover the Glory that covers (Ps 91:1-2). Remember that Jesus was in the wilderness fasting, when the devil came to Him, but there were other wild beasts Jesus was contending with (Mk 1:12-13). Remember the Garden of Eden, the Serpent was more cunning than any “beast of the field” (Gen 3:1). Beasts represent faces that challenge us, taunt us and try to overwhelm. Your greatest battle is always going to be the fear of man. Jesus warns us of their faces. But there is a Glory that covers and shelters you from harm. It is found beneath His wings, in His Presence and as you look into His eyes (2 Cor 4:6). 

The Battle is over the Word!

What you carry is the Word of Life and although it represents the love of God, it stands as a dangerous threat to Satan’s kingdom. One very important Truth we must remind ourselves:  Tribulation and persecution arise BECAUSE of the Word (Mt 13:21)! Why? 3 Reasons: 1st) The Word comes as a seed and every seed must be cracked open. It requires some kind of crushing force in order to release its potential. 2nd) The flesh resists things that require faith. Change is never easy, even when we can prove it to be the best. 3rd) Your anointing is still finding its platform of influence. The battle with the faces of men will never cease, but in time you will discover the Glory that covers you in the midst of it all. The battle is the Lord’s! 

Realize that the greatest work God will ever do THROUGH you is what He is doing IN you.

I admire your tenacity my brother… do not forget its all about the heart of the Father. Soak in the Holy Spirit’s love for you and keep your heart soft toward people.

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