Genesis 3:7 – Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.
Before Adam and Eve sinned and fell from the place of honor the Lord had given to them, they knew nothing of shame. When their eyes were opened they became self-conscious and aware of their uncovered condition. They instinctively felt separated from the love of God. They hid from each other and from God, trying to cover up their shame. It is shame that keeps us from our destiny. The Greek word for shame means nakedness. We are born naked which speaks of our inherent condition.
It took God’s intervention to begin a true process of recovery. Only when Jesus became sin for us could a true recovery of man’s lost and shameful condition become possible. As we receive by faith His substitutionary sacrifice, shame must go because we are now fully accepted in the completeness of Christ.
Jesus demonstrated the Father’s commitment to removing shame when He ministered grace and broke shame in the life of an adulterous woman as recorded in John 8:1-11. Jesus turned the searchlight back on her accusers when He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). I see Jesus’ response as one of the greatest demonstrations of the love of God. Jesus found Himself alone with the woman. Her accusers had all left. Jesus asked her, “Did no one condemn you? She said, ‘No one, Lord’. Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more’” (John 8:10-11). READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE
Hebrews 12:2 – Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
A simple definition of shame is – a painful feeling of having lost respect of others and of oneself because of improper behavior, failure not to meet the expectation of another, and not living up to your own expectation of yourself.
Many Bible figures had to overcome shame. Abram felt shame not having a child for whom he could leave an inheritance. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning “father of many.” God not only gave him a child, He multiplied his seed so His posterity was like the sand of the sea. Jacob was shamed because he deceived his father into thinking that he was Esau, his older brother, from whom he stole the birthright. Later, God changed Jacob’s name, which meant “deceiver” to Israel, meaning “Prince with God.” Joseph was shamed by his brothers who sold him into slavery. In Egypt, God raised him up to serve Pharaoh and save the nation in a time of famine. Some others I could write about would be Moses – shamed from Egypt and shame that he was inarticulate. Saul felt shame because of his persecution of the church and Timothy because of his age. Then there is Peter, who denied his Lord three times.
People do shameful things because they live from a shame base in their life experience. They are acting out what they believe about themselves. Many see themselves as a failure, evil, rejected, ugly, unworthy of love, and a host of other things.
Jesus broke the shame barrier once and for all in life and death. He gave us power in our life to rule over shame. He has empowered us to receive His forgiveness and acceptance. He wants to equip us so we too might help others break off shame from their lives. The Lord’s call for each of His children is to break shame’s power and be free to serve in humility. READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
The Old Testament gives us illustrations that are types and shadows of those things which were to come. The Tabernacle beautifully illustrates the triune make up of man. The Holy of Holies in the tabernacle is symbolic of the spirit of one who has been born again. The spirit in a person is the dwelling place of Christ through His eternal Spirit. God has met us in mercy as the atoning blood of Jesus is applied to our life. We have daily access to God by the Spirit.
The Holy Place, where the priests daily ministered to Lord, represents our soul and our daily service to God. The priests would bake fresh bread each day and offer it before the Lord. The priests would trim the candle wicks and supply fresh oil to fuel the candles. Each day, incense would be offered to the Lord as a praise offering. What a beautiful picture of our daily and priestly service to the Lord. Giving one’s self to the word of God daily is very important in receiving fresh bread from God. That bread may take the form of instruction, encouragement, and perhaps new insights into the nature of God. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Each day, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, keeping our vessels supplied with the fresh oil of God so we might be His lights in a darkened world. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14-15). Paul admonishes us, “to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE
Ephesians 6:10-11 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God.
Paul finishes his letter to the church at Ephesus by instructing them concerning spiritual warfare. Acts 18 – 20 records the founding of the Ephesian church and the spiritual warfare which the believers faced. Those struggles came from the Jewish religious community and the occult religion of Diana which filled Ephesus. These struggles produced riots against the believers who were being set free from Satan’s power through the power of God.
Paul brings clear instruction to the established church at Ephesus saying, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” This was a clue that the battle was not over and their victory would not be in their own strength, but in the Lord’s. The battle is not over for us either. In fact, it won’t be over until the Lord comes. “Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (KJV).
Paul then instructs, “Put on the whole armor of God.” The people were used to seeing the Roman soldiers, dressed in their full armor, so this provided a wonderful picture of the spiritual armor each believer is to put on. It is not automatic; one must “put on the full armor, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Paul established the reason for this absolute necessity in the following verse. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE
Mark 1:23-24 – There was a man in the synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!”
What a powerful beginning of Jesus’ ministry. The enemy’s dominions could not hold their peace in the presence of their judge. When the Scripture says, “he cried out” it is speaking of the unclean spirit in the man using the man’s voice to communicate. The man was not some mentally deranged individual. That kind of person would not have been allowed in the synagogue. He appeared normal, as many do, but he had an unclean spirit that controlled areas of his life.
The spirit in the man recognized Jesus as his destroyer. He asked Jesus, “Have You come to destroy us?” He spoke as a representative of other spirits in the man or spoke of the demonic realm in general. The spirits knew a day was coming when God would put an end to their existence. He knew that they would be destroyed by “the Holy One of God”. As you continue in this passage you find Jesus did not accept the spirit’s confession of His deity or His humanity, but rather “rebuked him, saying, ‘be quiet, and come out of him’! Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him” (Mark 1:25-26). The scene was messy, noisy, and a bit violent. This is not what most people want to happen in a church meeting. This kind of scene happened quite regularly in Jesus’ ministry. When the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God collide, it is a violent encounter. READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE
Psalm 74:18-23 – Remember this, O Lord, that the enemy has reviled, and a foolish people has spurned Your name. Do not deliver the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast; Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever. Consider the covenant; For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. Let not the oppressed return dishonored; Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name. Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long. Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries, the uproar of those who rise against You which ascends continually.
As we remember September 11, 2001 and the heinous crime committed against humanity, know that God too remembers. Before evil manifested on earth, it manifested in heaven when Satan and his hosts set themselves against God and His kingdom purpose. The next few days we will devote ourselves to three men who understood the true warfare. This will serve to help in understanding the battle in which we are engaged.
Daniel 9 and 10 gives us insight into the warfare happening in the heavens. Daniel discovered God’s timing for the completeness of judgment upon Israel in the book of Jeremiah. Daniel gave his attention to the Lord to seek Him by prayer and supplications with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. I suggest reading the prayer of Daniel 9:3-19. In verse 20, Gabriel brings an answer to Daniel’s prayer. In chapter ten, more insight is given to Daniel after he had been mourning and fasting for three entire weeks. This time, Gabriel told Daniel that “from the first day that you set your heart on understanding . . . your words were heard” (Daniel 10:12). In verse 13, Gabriel told Daniel, “the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. In Verse 20, Gabriel informs Daniel, “he now will return to fight against the Prince of Persia and that the prince of Greece is about to come.” In Verse 21, Gabriel revealed to Daniel that there is “no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.” READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE