Posts Tagged ‘Splendor’

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)

Reasons to Pray

I know prayer is important and in this article I want to begin a short series of thoughts that focus on the reasons to pray. It can seem like the primary motivation for prayer is simply to get answers. Prayer can feel like a grocery list: “Our Father, who art in heaven – Gimme, gimme, gimme!” This is sort of a “shop in heaven” way of praying. But I would propose that just filling the shopping list is not the best reason to pray, and more than that – I have found it to be the least satisfying!

The #1 Reason to Pray - Relationship!

I am first and foremost called to pray, because it is the most valuable practice to build and steward my love relationship with Jesus Christ. It is the practice of my faith. Hear me now -this is important. Christianity is not primarily rules. Its a relationship and relationships need to have activity and practices that keep them alive.

Certainly God has standards, but we don’t become Christians because we receive standards. We become Christians because we receive God’s greatest gift, the forgiveness and salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. God loved us and sent His only Son to take away any and all hindrances to relationship. Jesus died for us and lives in us to reveal the Father’s heart and offer us the privilege of abundant life… relational life.

Learning to Live in Love:

What I need, then, is to build my love relationship with Him. I have to learn to allow Him to embrace me, to care for me, to point out my needs and how He meets them (Phil. 4:19). I need to listen to Him and I desperately need to talk with Him. That is the definition of prayer… listening and talking with God.

The Apostle Paul prays, “that you may be able to comprehend… what is the breadth and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge…” (Eph. 3:1-19)

I need to comprehend and “know” His love in all of its facets. The word “know” in this passage is the same word used for the intimate closeness of a husband and wife in sexual embrace. The Apostle Paul is praying that you and I will experience that kind of love with Christ - not sexual, but intimate, deep, close, without distraction. It is so deep that Paul later says it “passes knowledge”.

One place we can experience this is in prayer. When we get honest before God, we have access to His love in a unique way. The Bible calls this experience “fellowship” and seldom do we ever find ourselves closer to Him than in prayer. When we pray, we can experience His love, be bathed in it, clothed in it and overflowing with it… to let it soak into the dry cracks and crevices of our lives and to learn how to give it back. It goes beyond, just being in God’s Presence, we can experience His Glory and Splendor (the essence of who He is) and find His deep affections for us.

A Supernatural Environment:

I could share personal testimony of the wonderful power of prayer. It serves as the environment where our wounds are healed and our broken-ness is restored. As we learn to receive and give love in genuine relationship with the Holy Spirit, God’s power is revealed. Prayer is one place God can get at us and speak to us like He did Moses, ”face to face” as a man speaks to his friend. Prayer is one of the most effective ways for God to minister to us. Think about that for a moment - God wants to minister to you and I. His hope is to walk with us, father us and instruct us in His ways… revealing His thoughts toward us (Jer. 29:11). You and I can taste and see that the Lord is good. We can come to understand that His love is better than life. And when we are captured by love we will reflect that reality to those we come into contact with. Its an amazing relational reality!

Tell of His Glory

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods”  (1 Chron. 16:23-25).  

We were created for praise! Singing, shouting and testifying to the goodness of God, shapes how we see everything. As Children of God, we have access to heavenly treasures and an open invitation to all the benefits of our Father’s House. However, it is only received by faith… a faith that seeks God as the Great Reward in life.

Freedom to Transform Reality:

Salvation is more than freedom from sin, its also the means to our freedom of expression. Praise is the overflow of the blessed life… day after day the righteous declare the greatness of God and night unto night their voices can be heard in spite of the difficulties along the way. Why? Because praise shifts the atmosphere and allows for the angelic winds of heaven (Heb. 1:7). Praise turns the mourning into dancing and the sorrows into joy. Its not just about putting on a garment of praise; its believing that God is faithful, that breaks the spirit of heaviness (Isa. 61:3). Its knowing that “in Christ” things can be transformed; old things can pass away and all things made new (2 Cor. 5:17). I know, He is worthy of my praise! 

Glory and Splendor:

We are living in times that test a believer’s fervency. I want to be found standing in God’s Glory and speaking of His radiant splendor all of my days.  Like Shadrack, Meshack and Abebnego, I want to stand in the fiery furnace with a smile on my face. I want to challenge my Goliaths and hold the ground that God has promised me. These are the days that call for extravagant worshippers to arise and lead with radical obedience. 

We must reflect His Glory as lights in a dark place. Though darkness would cover the Earth and deep darkness the people, there is a King, the Lord Stong and Mighty who will rise over us. His Glory shall be seen upon our faces and heard through our voices (Isa. 60:1-2). For it is our destiny to show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of the darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9). We are the chosen, the royal and the holy; the special people who know the mercy and continually walk in the power of the Living God.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.” (Heb. 13:15) Can I get a witness?