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Posts Tagged ‘Wake up’

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the presence [face] of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” [Gen3:8 AMP]

What Does God Sound Like?

I often wonder what would it sound like to hear God walking in the garden…would there be a mighty roar of wind?…would there be a gentle rustling of leaves?…would there be the sound of God’s footsteps?…or perhaps ‘the sound of the Lord’ relates to a sixth sense, a ‘spirit to Spirit’ sense that Adam and Eve were aware that the Lord was in the garden. Indeed, God did create them in His image [Gen 1:26-27] – which would include a spirit, as well as the soul and body.

God Confronts Adam and Eve

And the mystery of God’s presence being in the garden (more than in any other place) really points to God having a form which, for me, points to Jesus. So my long bow with this verse is that from time to time, or probably daily (knowing the love and character of God), Jesus would walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening (as He also did with His disciples when He was here on earth). You know, I believe sometimes we can get caught up in the harshness of the Old Testament and we can really miss this altogether – How great is the Father’s love is for His creation and how He longs and loves to fellowship with it (and how disappointed He must have been that Adam and Eve were attempting to hide from Him).

In any case (even if you do not agree with the above), Adam and Eve were familiar with the ‘sound of Lord’ and they knew He was in the garden and yet they did not go to Him as I suspect they usually would have, because of their sin. Fellowship and relationship with God was broken that day and instead of perhaps running to Him they hid from His face. This was a very sad day for humanity and for God!

But here is the Good News :-)…

Jesus came to restore everything that was lost through Adam at ‘the fall’!

(‘the fall’ = the fall of humanity through the sin of Adam and Eve)

To understand what has been restored through Jesus let us have a look at what has been lost through Adam.

Through Adam relationship and intimacy with our Heavenly Father have been lost. Our inherited sinful nature rebels against God and His Word. The penalty for our sin and rebellion is death and Hell. We are lost, we are condemned, we are without hope, we are without a purpose, we are without a future, and we are completely powerless and helpless to do anything about where we are heading. There is no way of escape and, because of God’s perfect judgement, nor do we deserve a way of escape.

Now putting the bad news aside here is the Good News :-)…

Jesus came to restore everything that was lost!

Through Jesus and His death and resurrection, our judgement and condemnation has been fully paid for through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We are no longer lost but we are saved by God. We are no longer hopeless but now have great hope in our Saviour and we live in the purposes and calling of our Heavenly Father which He has planned for us before the beginning of time. We are no longer powerless and helpless against the schemes of the enemy but we have given given authority in the name of Jesus through his great victory over the devil at the cross. The authority that had been forfeited by Adam has been restored by Christ. The devil doesn’t even have the keys to His own jails anymore. He is rendered powerless! All he has is lies and tricks. All authority has been given to Christ and to all who are in Christ, Jesus has given His authority. So if we don’t fall into a rebellious life or we are not tricked by the devil schemes we are truly free, free indeed [John 8:36] by the finished work of Jesus on the cross!

Additional reading here Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

A Life of Abundance!

Even further, as if this was not enough, Jesus came to give us far more than we could ever hope for or imagine[Eph 3:20]! Jesus calls us not to a life of mediocrity but a life of abundance!

In John 10:10 Jesus says “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”

When I mention abundant life I am not overlooking troubles that can come our way from time to time that can place great demands on our faith and our character. In John 16:33 Jesus was aware of these and said there will be “tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]  and He said this so that in Him “we may have [perfect]peace.”

This abundant life that Jesus speaks of in John 10:10 is created by the Author and Creator of life himself. The One who gave us life is the One who can give us our best life. God knows all about us and He has made each one of us a perfect and abundant life plan for our lives – imagine a life to the max – a life overflowing in abundance! A life of perfect peace! How can this be possible?

Getting Back to the Garden

What was life like in the Garden of Eden before the Fall and how do we get back there?

Here are a few observations about the Garden of Eden before the fall. The Garden was:

  • a place created by God for Adam and Eve to live and enjoy.
  • a place where God could enjoy and commune with His creation.
  • a place for Adam and Eve to fellowship with one another and to fellowship and commune with God.
  • a place for Adam and Eve to rule and to have dominion over all of creation.
  • a place that displayed the magnificence, creativity and glory of God.

I’ve had a revelation (which I don’t mind if you accept or reject) the Garden of Eden is no longer a physical place but a Spiritual place.

If the Garden of Eden is no longer a physical place but a Spiritual place how do we get back there?

Just before Jesus ascended He said to His disciples “don’t leave Jerusalem until you are baptized, empowered and united with the Holy Spirit” [Acts 1:4-5].

The key here is a life empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit comforts us, gives us peace, teaches us, counsels us, encourages us, exhorts us, gives us wisdom, gives us Spiritual gifts to help others, helps us to worship God, convicts us of sin, gives us strength, shows us the truth, guides us, helps us to pray, produces fruit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, and is always with us everywhere we go.

The Garden of Eden or Utopia or Shangri-La or Paradise or any other place of contentment or peace or rest are not found in a physical place but found in a place in our heart where Jesus comes to live with us by His Spirit.

Jesus says:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” [Matt 11:28-30]

True contentment or true peace or true rest for our souls is found in Christ alone. This is not a physical place (like the Garden of Eden) but it is a Spiritual place. It is a position or posture of our heart to receive the Good News about Christ, and to receive the infilling of His Holy Spirit. Then, as God’s Word says, “our new, real life is hidden with Christ in God” [Col 3:2-3] – the safest, most peaceful, most restful and most contented place we can find!

This life is available to everyone but not everyone finds this life:

See why in Matthew 13:1-23.

Chapter 1: Life in the Garden or Getting Back to the Garden
Communication and fellowship as it should be – life in the garden.

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This clip comes from ‘The Passion’ movie.  It’s poetic license at it’s best as Jesus has ‘crushed the head of the serpent’ at and through the cross, not here at Gethsemene (and not a real snake).  However, for me at least, it is a powerful visual of what Jesus’ death and resurrection has achieved in the spiritual (which is perhaps the original intent).

Note: A snake’s poison is lodged in its head so crushing a snake’s head leads to the snake fatally ‘drowning’ in its own poison.

The reference is:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
[Gen 3:15]

So what is ENMITY? – actively oppossed, active hatred, active hostility

Kind of like a modern day terrorist? – Yes, that right – actively destructive

Who’s involved? – Well, God is speaking to the serpent and the other party is Eve.

Anybody else? – Yes, the serpent’s offspring and Eve’s offspring

I don’t get it? – The serpent’s offspring are the evil spirits and the wickedness of man and Eve’s offspring is all of humanity including Christ and His Church.

It says God put this enmity there, so it’s all His fault? No, no!  Everyone is responsible for their own heart and ‘yes’ the devil has a heart.  It’s just that his heart is divorced from anything good.  There is nothing good in him.  Therefore his heart is filled with hatred, lies, deception and destruction.  He is totally against God, and more specifically those made in God’s own image.  God has allowed this to happen.  And God is still completely in control.

So why does it say ‘HE will crush your head’, isn’t Eve a she? Ah yes, very observant! God is not talking about Eve but one of her offspring.

Who is this? Well, it’s the only one who is worthy and has the authority to crush the serpent’s head and that is Jesus.

What about ‘and you will strike his heel’ bit? The serpent was allowed by God to strike the humanity of Jesus. Also, God allows the serpent (the devil, Satan) to attack the humanity of man as well but Jesus’ death and resurrection gives us victory over anything the evil one can try to do to us.

So this verse is quite prophetic? Absolutely! God not only pronounces a curse over the serpent but also prophesies about His Son!

So this verse is quite important? Yes! It not only explains our past, it also explains our present and our future.

How do you mean? Well, 1) it explains what happened in the past 2) it explains our present and why the world is the way it is 3) it hints or prophesies to God’s solution for mankind (Jesus) and 4) it explains or lays out the future.  You see the future isn’t uncertain; it is set and complete.  The devil has been defeated.  Jesus is the victor!  We no longer have to perish in our sins but we can have a sure hope of our future through Jesus Christ!

But wait a minute, why didn’t God finish everything up at the cross? Good question! Why don’t you ask God this? But do you realise that you wouldn’t be here if God did that!  These days that we live in are days of God’s grace where every person has the tremendous opportunity to receive or reject God’s graceous gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

John 3:16 says this:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,  that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

You will never have this day again. 

Believe Jesus and receive Him into your heart today!

In Jesus name

Amen!

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Would it be possible you are not ‘stepping up to the plate’, to be everything God intended you to be, because you have some warped idea of what humility is?

Let me try and explain.  Humility in the Bible is often mentioned in the context of repentance and being a servant of the Lord.  It is taking a lowly position for the grace and forgiveness of the Lord to come into your life(and mine) and also so that the Lord can use you for His great pleasure.  In contrast, a prideful heart in these situations leads to no repentance, no grace and no forgiveness and also, God is not able to use you for His purposes.  This is easy to see and understand but its application in our lives is often hindered by our own sinful nature.

A Warped Humility

But what if you aren’t stepping into the things of God because you think that if you do, you will be drawing attention to yourself and therefore no longer qualify to be humble.  I mean, somehow, you’ve picked up a kind of  ‘warped or false sense of humility’ that is constipating the things of God in your life.

Are you getting what I am trying to say?

Now on the surface of things, this thinking might sound honourable (to you), but going under the surface, it is a lie and deception of the Devil straight from the pit of Hell.

Am I being a bit strong about this?

I don’t believe so.  You see, this ‘warped humility’ stands in the way of God’s plans and purposes for your life.  It is a barrier or a stumbling block for ‘God’s Kingdom come’ in your life.  Therefore it is ‘anti’-Christ in your life.

Humility is a State of the Heart!

You see, humility is a state of the heart and not the head.  It’s a position of the heart out of which everything else flows.  If you are stumbling over ‘warped humility’ ask yourself these questions:

Do I still have a prideful heart? In other words, are things still all about me?

Have I been deceived in my mind? In other words, has my head deceived my heart?

Am I still preoccupied by the ‘perceptions of men’? In other words, am I concerned about whether others will see my actions as prideful?

It’s All About God!

It’s all about God.  Life is all about God.  It’s not about you(and me) so stop focussing on yourself in whatever form that might be!

Forget about youself and be FREE to be who God meant you to be.

We are Meant to be Radiant!

In reality, we are meant to be radiant, and stand out, and to be salt and light in this wicked world.  We’re meant to shine the light of the glory of God into this darkened place.

BE YOU!

Step into the destiny that God has for you and radiate His glory.   Get over this ‘warped humility’, this stumbling block of Satan and start glorifying the Lord with the plans and purposes that He has for your life!

You were Meant for Greatness in the Eyes of the Lord!

Amen

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This is kind of powerful – The Reason by Hoobastank with clips from The Passion. (Warning – very graphic)

Isa 53:1-11 (Prophecy dated at 700BC)
1 Who has believed our message?  To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? 2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground.  There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 3 He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.  We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.  He was despised, and we did not care.
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.  And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.  He was beaten so we could be whole.  He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God’s paths to follow our own.  Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.  He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.  And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away.  No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.  But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.  But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.  Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.  He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.  And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
[New Living Translation]

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Have you ever really considered the challenge and the freedom of this verse?

James 5:17-18
17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

“Elijah was a man just like us”

I believe there is a challenge here in this verse for you and for me.  You see, “Elijah was a man just like us” and God wants to take the ordinary, impart His Spirit, and make us extraordinary; God wants to take the natural, impart His Spirit and make us SUPERnatural.

Do you know and understand that God doesn’t play favourites?

Rom 2:11 makes it clear: (see also Deut 10:17, Acts 10:34-35, Eph 6:9)

“For God does not show favouritism”

Do you believe this?  Do you accept that God does not show partiality to any man(or woman)?

Well, if you believe God’s Word that ‘Elijah was a man just like us‘ and you believe that ‘the Lord shows no favouritism‘ consider the freedom and the power that God can impart into your life.  There is no limit to what God can do in and through you.  Or is there a limit?

2 Chron 16:9a says this:

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

Do you know what the limiting factor is in our relationship with the Lord?

Is it God? – NO WAY!

Is it the Devil? – NO WAY!

The limiting factor is us!

GK Chesterton puts it this way:

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

Here is a quote from D.L.Moody’s biography here:

It was during this first visit to Britain that Moody heard the words which set him hungering and thirsting after a deeper Christian experience and which marked a new era in his life. The words were spoken to him by Mr. Henry Varley, the well known evangelist, as they sat together on a seat in a public park in Dublin. The words were these: “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him.” “He said ‘a man'” thought Moody, “he did not say, a great man, nor a learned man, nor a ‘smart’ man, but simply ‘a man.’ I am a man, and it lies with the man himself whether he will or will not make that entire and full consecration. I will try my utmost to be that man.” The words kept ringing in his mind, and burning their way into his soul until finally he was led into the deeper, richer, fuller experience for which his soul yearned. The impression the words made was deepened soon afterward by words spoken by Mr. Bewley, of Dublin, Ireland, to whom he was introduced by a friend. “Is this young man all O and O?” asked Mr. Bewley. “What do you mean by ‘O and O’?” said the friend. “Is he out and out for Christ?” was the reply. From that time forward Moody’s desire to be “O and O” for Christ was supreme.

Prayer:

Father, I do not pursue You and love you with all of my heart and all of my mind and all of my soul and all of my strength.  I allow things to get in the way of my relationship with You.  Please forgive me and give me a heart that is fully consecrated , fully devoted and fully committed to You.  I take myself off the throne of my life and put You onto it.  Have Your way with me and my life.  My deepest desire is to see Your Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Lead me and refine me and empower me be your Spirit, in you Son Jesus’ name, Amen


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Here is a basic and essential truth that each one of us needs to ALWAYS hold on to with all of our being…

“GOD IS GOOD!”

Since the beginning of time, Satan and his cohorts and this corrupt and broken world have relentlessly and tirelessly tried to get mankind to believe the lie that “God is not good”.

Let’s look back at the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden for a moment:

Gen 3:1-5
3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”
4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Now there are many things that can be drawn and learned from this story but, for me, there is one very important thing; you see, the serpent sold Eve a lie, the serpent slandered God’s character and Eve bought it.  So, in Eve’s eyes now, because she has bought the lie of the serpent, she believes that God does not have the best intentions for her life.  She believes God is holding out on her.  In essence, Eve no longer believes that “God is good”.

Folks, it’s the same with us.  Many, many things will press in on our lives, either from the enemy or from this broken world and try to take from us that essential pillar of truth in our lives that “God is good”.

Can you see that in your own life?

Can you see where the devil has got in by a whisper or a shout saying something like, “See, I told you so.  Look at what is happening, God is not good”.

And so, you are the one that suffers.  You have bought the lie of the evil one into your heart.  You have been tricked and deceived.  The problem is, this lie robs you of the fellowship and the relationship of your Heavenly Father.

Never let go of the truth and the fact that “God is good”

Else your hope and relationship in the Lord will be lost.

Heavenly Father, forgive me that I have bought a lie of the enemy that you are not good.  I see that now.  Lord, you are good and all your ways are just and right.  Lord, restore unto me the joy and my salvation.  I never want to be in this place of isolation and hopelessness again.  Lord fill my heart with your love and your peace and your joy.  I trust you with all of my heart, in Jesus name, Amen.

To be continued – the justice of God

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Galation 5:1 says this;

It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. [Gal 5:1]

What an amazing truth!  Why has Christ set us free?  The answer is right here in this verse; “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”.  Jesus has set us free for our…

FREEEEEEEEDOM!!!!

Jesus proclaimed and fullfilled the prophecy of Isaiah when He read:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim FREEDOM for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  [Luke 4:18-19]

Now the average person may say; “I (that’s a gi-normous ‘I’) am not a slave to anyone or anything”.  What freedom are you talking about?”  We read a similar response in v33 on John chapter 8 from the Jews;

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants  and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”  34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. [John 8:31-36]

Do these Jews know there history?  Of course they do.  This statement isn’t about the facts, it’s about their pride.  Here’s my interpretation of their response to Jesus;

“We are “GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE”, nobody, I mean nobody is master over us, BUDDY!”

Their response is a statement of their prideful hearts.  Can YOU see what Jesus is saying?  Sin and the Devil no longer have mastery over us.  Everything that sets itself up as master over our lives is torn down.  We are truly and ‘indeed’ set free by (the blood of) Jesus. I’m not talking just about our life in Heaven, I am talking about our life now!  Jesus sets us free NOW.  Those things that bind us and trap us and oppress us NO LONGER HAVE MASTERY OVER OUR LIVES.  Their power is broken by the blood of Jesus.

The Devil hates these verses…

13 When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive — right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, 14 the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s Cross. 15 He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets. [Col 2:13-15 – THE MESSAGE]

The Devil and his cohorts are stripped of all their power.

THEY HAVE NO POWER IN A BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS LIFE.

The only power that they have is the power that we give them; either deliberately by our rebelliousness, or by their deception, or by our accepting and believing lies instead of the Truth.

Do you believe that?  If you do believe that, I have a question; should your life look a whole lot different to what it does now?

Is your light shining?

Here is a prophecy about the ‘Future Glory for Jerusalem’
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see.  For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you.  Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.  All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. [Isa 60:1-3 – NLT]

Do people really not notice any difference?

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. [Matt 5:14-16 – NLT]

Is the light of the glory of the cross shining through your life?

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.  We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. [2 Cor 4:6-7 – NLT]

REPENT!

Turn around and go the other way!  Repentance is not just about stopping what you are doing and asking for God’s forgiveness and mercy (as big as that is).  It’s also about  going the opposite way to the way you were going.  Repentance now has you walking towards the Light, not away from Him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I believe in you.  I believe you died and you rose again and you defeated sin and death and the Devil.  The Devil doesn’t have a hold on me.  I am redeemed by your blood.  I repent of my wicked and rebellious ways. Forgive me Lord Jesus.  Open my eyes to the lies and the deception of the Devil.  Search my heart, and reveal any deceptive ways.  Renew my heart.  Transform my mind.  Set my feet upon the Rock, in Jesus name, AMEN

Message inspired by Gary Althorp – Freedom

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