241. You Have Not Desired

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott   

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Modern evangelical religion sees the Father punishing and forsaking his own Son on the cross. Yet the early Church Fathers (who were discipled by those that Jesus discipled in love) did not believe that God punished Jesus. The cross is not about abandonment but quite the opposite: healing and reconciliation.

Relationship sees the death of Jesus as the communion, oneness and togetherness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit breaking into our separation.  It sees the love of God breaking into our alienation and darkness with light. The purpose of Jesus’ death is to find us, to establish relationship with us, in our sin, in our death, in our bondage; and to recreate us or to make us alive, to bring us from death into life. That has been His desire all along.

If God is not ‘counting their trespasses against them’, then there is no reason for Him to punish anyone. And fear of punishment is absolutely not the way Perfect Love operates in any case: instead, His kindness leads us to repentance:

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Rom 2:4 NIV).

What is wrong with this picture?

So if we look at the Old Testament law and the sacrificial system and see an angry God needing appeasement, something is very wrong with this picture.

Cain and Abel were the first people we know of who brought God an offering:

So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions (Gen 4:3-4).

God had not asked them for anything. So I wonder who told them that God required offerings or sacrifices. I would suggest that it was the same satanic DIY religion whose lies inspired Adam and Eve to make coverings and hide in the bushes.

Since then, and throughout mankind’s history, making sacrifices (including child sacrifices) to appease angry do-it-yourself gods has been integral to religion. Sacrifices are made to ensure fertility, bountiful harvests, security and victory. Abraham was told to leave his idol-making family behind but he didn’t (Gen 12:1). Jacob’s wife Rachel stole her family idols when she was leaving home (Gen 31:19). Israel sacrificed to idols while they were in Egypt, and even took them with them into the wilderness (Acts 7:43), where they got Aaron to make a golden calf (Ex 32:1-4).

Delight in sacrifice?

It was anger at the sight of the golden calf that caused Moses to break the original tablets God had given him (Ex 32:28), God’s own handiwork which according to the original Hebrew were actually sapphire cubes of heavenly revelation.

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

Moses wrote the law from His own interpretation on the replacement tablets he cut out of stone. He gave the sacrificial law to stop Israel sacrificing (including child sacrifice) to idols such as the golden calf, Baal, Molech and countless others. God allowed Moses to introduce the law to limit sacrifices that could be made, not to endorse them. He neither wanted nor needed the sacrifice of animals to appease His wrath.

At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands… as it is written in the book of the prophets, “It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha, the images which you made to worship” (Acts 7:41-43).

God really did not want their sacrifices.

For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices (Jer 7:22).

Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure” (Heb 10:5-6).

King David, even after committing murder and adultery, knew that appeasement was not what God required:

For You do not delight in sacrifice,
otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God,
You will not despise

(Psa 51:16-17).

Justice, not sacrifices

“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats… Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow” (Isa 1:11, 16-17).

“I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings… But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:21-22, 24).

“…and to love one’s neighbour as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:33-34).

A change of heart, righteousness or justice could only come from relationship with God, not out of the self-righteousness associated with our own DIY religion, or with the Law. In fact the Law only served to demonstrate to those who were under it that they could not have a relationship with God through their own DIY efforts.

A living sacrifice

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1).

Paul is not writing here about trying to appease God by serving Him. It is very easy to slip back into the mindset that we need to do something to make us more acceptable to Him. Political and religious spirits constantly seek to subvert the gospel. Jesus warned his disciples about this:

“Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15).

So let us consider, are we in any way still living a DIY religious lifestyle?

  • Are we praying and reading our Bibles more out of fear than faith?
  • Are we doing good works to earn forgiveness, or brownie points?
  • Are we paying our tithes and giving our offerings out of obligation?
  • Are we sacrificing our children on the idol of ministry?

There’s nothing I could do
That would ever make You
Love me more
There’s nothing I could do
That would ever make You
Love me less
(Outrageous Love by Jonathan David Helser and Ed Cash).

Nothing we can do could possibly make Him love us any more than He already does. Nothing we can do can make Him love us any less. He loves us consistently, perfectly, passionately. Once we recognise this fact, the idol of ‘GOD’ as the distant, angry, punishing deity begins to be demolished in our lives.

What if?

  • What if God was ACTUALLY good?
  • What if God was ONLY good?
  • What if God was ALWAYS good?
  • What if there was NO dark side to God – at all?
  • What if God was FOR us, not against us?
  • What if God doesn’t allow evil, but rather seeks to DISALLOW it by applying His curative energies to both victim and offender?
  • What if God cares deeply, tenderly and intensely for the wellbeing of everyone at all times and in all places?

A.W. Tozer famously said that “by a secret law of the soul, we grow to resemble our image of God.” We become like who we behold; so we need to know the true God if we are to be like Him and represent Him on the earth.

Once again, let me say, I am not trying to invent or convert anyone to a new theology or belief system but I am encouraging us all to meet God face to face and find out what He is really like. Instead of agreeing or disagreeing with me about these things, why not ask God for personal revelation and let Him reveal Himself as the Truth?

SoundTrack: Outrageous Love by Jonathan and Melissa Helser via YouTube

This blog post is adapted from Mike’s teaching in the ‘Engaging God‘ subscription programme. Find out more…

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233. Wider, Deeper, Longer, Higher

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

Face to face

From the beginning we were created to have an intimate relationship with God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-38 to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind” and in John 14:6 that the only way we can come to the Father is through Him. Face to face engagement reveals the reality of who God truly is – Love – and exposes the untruths we may have assimilated over the years. Jesus is the ultimate expression of that Love, so if it doesn’t look like Jesus then it probably isn’t Love.

God wants us to know the truth of who He is and who we are as His children. It is the tactic of the accuser to get us to think wrongly about God and about ourselves. As long as we see God as having a dark side, we will never trust him completely. There will always be a slight fear that contradicts love.

Quantum physics 1.01

For example, somehow we have come to believe that God cannot look upon sin, and that He has to turn His face away. If it were true that He could not look upon sin, we would not be here! Quantum physics 1.01 tells us that if He were to stop observing us, we would cease to exist.

On the cross, when Jesus quoted the opening words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was drawing people’s attention to the content of the whole psalm and its relevance to the events playing out before them. But He had previously told his disciples:

“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (John 16:32).

We can clearly see that the hour He was referring to was His crucifixion. According to Jesus, the Father never turned His face away from Him. He was right there with Him.

God’s justice

How could we have got this wrong? The answer is, because we have got something even more fundamental wrong too. We think that on the cross Jesus was taking our punishment for us, suffering the wrath of a vengeful God in judgment that should have fallen upon us. We are used to our human justice system which requires retributive justice – payback – but the truth is that God’s justice is always restorative. We will look at this whole subject of the atonement in detail in another post, but for now let’s consider what the cross was about, if not punishment.

The sin

The original Greek word for ‘sin’ used most often in the New Testament is ‘hamartia’. It is a noun (the sin) not a verb (to sin). ‘The sin’ is the sin of Adam, choosing to follow the DIY pathway of the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than the pathway of the tree of life. From Adam we all inherited spiritual death (which is a lost relationship with God and lost personal identity), so like Adam we are living in something less than God’s original blueprint or design for us, not recognising our true identity as a person made in His image.

So the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23 NASB), but God has a solution ready: for as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). ‘The sin’ did not need to be punished, as religion would have us believe, but forgiven, corrected, dealt with and removed. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness by doing ‘good’ things (that is the DIY tree again): forgiveness is God’s gift to each of us in Christ.

The word of reconciliation

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19).

The Greek word for ‘the world’ in that verse is ‘cosmos’: it certainly includes the whole planet, and much more besides. Jesus came to reconcile and restore absolutely everything and everyone in the whole of creation back into relationship with God. That is exactly what He accomplished through his death and resurrection, and now we all share in the victory of the cross and resurrection life. In relationship with God we all have a restored identity, knowing we are accepted, forgiven, blessed, and made righteous.

Since we now have the same ministry of reconciliation that Jesus had, we choose to show love and mercy to others just as He has shown love and mercy to us. What is more, the more we engage with the real God, the wider, deeper, longer and higher we perceive that love and mercy to be.

This blog post is adapted from Mike’s teaching in the ‘Engaging God‘ subscription programme. Find out more…

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170. Seeds, Roots and Fruit

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are looking to move from the presence of God into His glory.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2).

God does the transforming (and the non-conforming). We just have to give Him our lives. We present ourselves daily as a living sacrifice, and ask Him to remove all behavioural layers built up through:

  • Trauma – experiential programming
  • Nurture – environmental programming
  • Nature – genetic DNA cell memory programming

Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).

We step into the place of His presence and ask Him to search, to examine and show us:

  • Our sin and behaviours
  • Family sin and behaviours
  • Seed line sin and behaviours
  • Our heart motives
  • What influences and directs our daily choices

It may become very uncomfortable as He starts to show us these things, but it is all part of the process.

Trees

The Bible describes our lives as trees: oaks of righteousness (Isa 61), trees planted by the river of life (Ps 1). What kind of fruit is on our tree? Is it the fruit of righteousness, or the fruit of rejection, fear, anxiety, worry, depression, addictions and so on? All those negative things are just fruit, and certainly God wants to address them. But if we are to be free of that fruit, we need first to deal with the roots which produce it in our lives. There may even be a tap-root in our generational line which goes deeper still.

Root of bitterness

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled (Heb 12:15).

Doing things in our own strength can cause us to come short of the grace of God (His divine enabling ability and power), and that bitter root can spring up and cause all kinds of trouble and defilement.

Soil of insecurity

The soil of insecurity provides the perfect medium for those roots to grow. In the soil of insecurity, seeds of offence grow into roots of bitterness and produce the fruit of resentment.

The soil of insecurity arises because of a lack of love, acceptance, affirmation, approval or encouragement in our upbringing: we all have an insecure soil to some extent. Seeds of offence may be sin, or things said or done – or indeed things not said or done – sown into that insecure soil.

At that point we have an opportunity to deal with it before it has a chance to take root. If, instead of removing the seed straight away, we leave it to germinate, then it quickly sends down those roots. The roots in our lives are the things that we think and feel, our responses, emotions and attitudes which develop as a result of tolerating that seed of offence sown into insecure soil.

Then eventually, the tree will grow up and produce fruit: the things we say and the things we do, our behaviour, all as a result of the roots which have developed. When we see something happening on the surface, it is an indication that there are things going on underneath that we need to deal with.

Seeds of offence

Transformation 2012 7_312
For example, if we begin to nurture anger because of what someone has done, that will trigger a response in our subconscious mind. We will begin to say and do things out of the roots of bitterness, producing the fruit of resentment. Reason filters kick in, distorting our view of everything, feeding our anger and resentment and causing us to make poor choices.

If someone rejects us, seeds of rejection are sown into our life. A root develops because of the hurt and pain, and produces the fruit of protection. That may take the form of rejecting others first and becoming prickly, or doing the opposite and becoming a doormat, accommodating people and being overly compliant, making sure we never do anything to cause anyone to reject us. Still, we feel rejected even when we are not actually being rejected, because we see through that filter.

Injustice may be a seed of offence: ‘it’s not fair’. Life does not always treat us well. If we allow roots of self-pity (‘poor me’) or self-hatred (I deserve it) to develop, it produces the fruit of depression, anger turned in on ourselves. And a victim mentality creates an environment in which unfair things happen.

When lack, poverty and deprivation are the seed of offence, the root of independence may develop, producing the fruit of self-sufficiency on the one hand and a lack of generosity on the other. Or a root of hopelessness, producing the fruit of failure.

One I found operating in me was the seed of false accusation. That produced the roots of pride (‘I’m in the right’) and the fruit of self-righteousness.

In all these cases, very often we simply try to remove the fruit, to change our behaviour. Every time we cut down the fruit, though, it keeps growing back. One day, we might realise that we need to deal with the roots, but even the roots keep growing back.

We have to deal first with the original seed of offence. As long as it remains in place, attacking the fruit or the root will not have lasting success. Once the seed of offence is dealt with, we can remove the fruit and the roots without them growing back. This works for our own lives, and even for the roots of iniquity in our past generations.

Forgive and release

Joff Day taught us the principles of ‘Forgive and Release’ at Freedom back in the early ’90s, and it has become our foundational understanding of how these things work. We forgive whoever offended us (or our ancestor), and release them from the debt they owe us (the negative results of what they did). That deals with the seed of offence.

Then we repent of the roots of bitterness, of our emotional response to the situation, and we renounce the fruit. Because the seed and roots are dealt with, we can actually change the way we behave.

Confess the truth

The problem is that if we stop there we still have that heart soil of insecurity. If more seed is sown, it will find a perfect growing medium. We change the nature of the soil of our heart by digging in the revelation of who we are, our identity, the truth of who we are and who God is. We confess the truth. God meets our needs for affirmation, love and acceptance. We know we are loved and accepted in Him.

As a result of that, we can put down new roots: a tree of righteousness, planted by a river of living water, with roots drawing from the life of God.
Then we will produce the fruit of righteousness.

Let’s pray:

Father I thank you that You have made a way for me to access your heavenly presence
By faith I step in through the veil of Jesus through the way of the cross
I present myself to you Jesus, my High Priest, in surrender as a living sacrifice

I submit to the authority of the living word in my life
I step through the veil of truth into the Holy Place
I stand in the light of your truth
I ask you to search me
Reveal my blind self to me, show me the hidden motives of my heart
Show me the seeds of offence and sin that have taken root in my heart

I commit myself to forgive and release all offences in my life and my generational line
Show me all roots of bitterness that have grown in my heart
I commit myself to a lifestyle of repentance against all negative roots
I repent of all negative emotions and attitudes rooted in my heart

Show me all fruits of resentment that have developed in my behaviour
I commit myself to a lifestyle of renunciation of all negative behaviours
I renounce all my defence and coping mechanisms
I renounce my sin as a way of life

Give me revelation of my true identity as a son of God
Give me a heart secure in its identity
Renew my mind to the mind of Christ
Meet all my unmet needs in yourself
Heal all my unhealed hurts
Restore my soul

I receive your unconditional love, acceptance, affirmation, and approval
I stand transparent naked and unafraid before you
I hear you say “I see you and I love you”
I receive your value, esteem and worth
I choose to live a lifestyle of forgiveness, repentance and renunciation

I step back into this realm to walk in the ways of your kingdom
Manifest your glory through me on earth as it is in heaven
So I will fulfil my eternal destiny

Related articles by Freedom ARC

Other resources from Freedom ARC

Recommended books

  • Forgive, Release and be Free (book by Joff Day) – or you might like to pick up a used copy of the original version which was titled ‘Settled Accounts
    (for the UK only, the links are Forgive, Release and be Free and Settled Accounts)
  • LieBusters (book and ebook by Jonathan Cavan – see also liebusters.org). Jonathan taught LieBusting at Freedom earlier this year and we have found it to be a really effective tool for identifying and breaking off the lies of the enemy, helping us claim our true inheritance and fulfil our destiny as sons and daughters of God. (UK link for the book: LieBusters).

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106. Engaging the Timeline

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott  

We looked last time at our scroll of destiny, how important it is for us to have revelation of what is written on it, and what are the thoughts of God toward us, so that we can be all He intends us to be. Each of us was created in eternity in the heart and thoughts of God. He knew us. We had a substance in Him. He knew all about us and our destiny. We need to engage where we came from, who and what we were then, so that we can live out of that reality today.

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’ (Rev 1:8). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). That is the timeline. He sees and engages with yesterday, today, and tomorrow – He is not confined by time. He can choose to show us things on that timeline. He can also intervene in it at any point, past, present or future. And all of us have access to that timeline once we start to access the heavenly realms. Here are some statements about the timeline for us to consider. Let’s ask God for revelation about these things, and meditate on them. If we try to process them in our mind, our brain is likely to feel like it is being tied up in knots. Let’s bring our spirit into play here:

  • I can change who I am, and what I am today, from what I see of tomorrow.

This is called prophecy. God shows me something of tomorrow, therefore I shape my today to line up with what God says about me tomorrow. I choose to change, so that I am equipped to deal with tomorrow. That is why the Holy Spirit is there to reveal the things that are to come (John 16:13).

  • I can engage who I was yesterday to influence who I am today, and change tomorrow.

My yesterday includes what God said about me in eternity past, my destiny. If God says I am this, then this is what I want to become. That will change who I am today, and it will change who I am tomorrow.

  • I can engage and change who I was yesterday to change who I am today and who I am tomorrow.

When I forgive and release people for what has been said or done to me in my past, I no longer have to live out of my negative experience. When I confess and repent of sins I have committed myself, I can receive forgiveness and they no longer have to affect who I am today. Jesus is present in my past. He is there to set me free from it, to heal me and restore me from it, so that it changes who I am today, and who I will be tomorrow. Here’s a simpler one:

  • My tomorrow becomes my today, and then my yesterday.

That’s just how time works: everything in my life is on that timeline. If I can learn to engage it properly, to see by revelation what is to come, I will be prepared and equipped to deal with it. If I know what was written about me in eternity past, it will equip me to fulfil that destiny in the future. The more my yesterday is influenced by my tomorrow, the more I will reflect my destiny today. These are just words, but we can all go and do it. We can go and experience this for ourselves.

Testimony

We know the power of testimony: it gives God an opportunity to do it again. Testimony is what has happened to me. So if I change my testimony, I can change my present and my future. My testimony, my experience, my potential future: they all need to work together.

As time moves on, my potential future becomes my experience, which in turn becomes my testimony. If I engage what God has said about my future, I will experience it. Then it will become my testimony, to help me to experience more.

Everything in Hebrew thinking is circular. It goes around, it recycles. My testimony shapes my experience; to fulfil my destiny, not to oppose it. That is why I need my testimony to change. Things which have happened to me in my past which are still my testimony – I need to see those things changed. I need to be healed, set free, my thinking needs to be different. Then I can be free to do the things that God called me to do.

God has already written something for me to fulfil, before I was. I need to find it. That scroll is the written record of the desire of God, agreed with my spirit in eternity for me to fulfil. God is not forcing it on me, my spirit agreed with this destiny before the foundation of the world. It is for me to outwork, so I need to come into agreement with it now. Eternity is my destiny and becomes my experience.

Allowing our past to determine our future?

We have a choice: to line up with God in our spirit, or to keep allowing our soul to lead and so to keep allowing our past to determine our future. Our thinking and our emotions need to be changed and transformed, to bring us into everything that God has destined for us, not all the things that the world has messed us up with.

If we continue to allow the negatives in our past to determine our present, then our future will be the same as our past. It does not have to be that way. We are born into a cosmic battle in which the enemy is always seeking to destroy. We cannot allow anything that is written about us by this world to obscure or steal what God has said will be our future. We have to fight for our destiny.

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101. Filthy Garments and Festal Robes

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

The kingdom of God is all around us. Not separate, not a long way away. So close that we can turn and look into it.

So, too, is the kingdom that is in darkness.

Which will we draw from?

Depending on where we look, that is where we will draw our resources from. Our spirit has access to the kingdom which is in light. God wants us to access all that He has for us in that kingdom and to draw all our power and authority from it every day, so that we can overcome.

If we do not, we will inevitably draw our resources from the other kingdom. The soul and the flesh will look to meet their own needs in their own way, and will look to obtain their resources from the kingdom that is in darkness.

Every time we try to do something in our own strength, according to our soul power, it will ultimately prove unsuccessful. We have to get over the fact that we can do nothing in our own strength. So we can turn and engage the kingdom of light or we can turn into the kingdom in darkness. It is a choice we all have, but co-operating with God is much more productive than resisting Him.

God’s desire was for Adam and Eve to be successful in carrying out His plan for them and for the earth. So He made available to them everything they needed to fill the earth and subdue it. They chose to look for resources elsewhere, and failed to fulfil their destiny.

“The Lord rebuke you, Satan”

We have looked briefly before at Zechariah 3, and it is a really important chapter in understanding this:

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the Lord was standing by (Zech 3:1-7).

This scene is set, not on the earth, but in the heavenly realms. Joshua was a man, a priest just as we are, and he had access to the presence of God. But Satan was there to accuse him. So we understand that we are looking at a courtroom in heaven, because courtrooms are where accusations are made and verdicts delivered.

It is God, not Joshua, who deals with Satan here.The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan!”. So if there are accusations against us it is God who will deal with them.

Filthy garments

Notice that Joshua was ‘clothed with filthy garments’. Surely you cannot come into the presence of God wearing filthy garments? Actually that is exactly what you must do: He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.”

God does the cleansing and cleaning up. We do not have to try to make ourselves clean in our own strength, by our own effort and initiative. That is just what Adam did when he messed up. He hid from God in the bushes and tried to cover himself with leaves. It does not work, and it is not our place to clean ourselves up. There is no need to feel guilty or condemned, or try to make amends for our sin in our own strength.

We just have to come into the presence of God, and He takes all the filthy garments off us and gives us a new robe.

Run to Him, not from Him

Now this all sounds very familiar, I know. But what we have maybe not realised before now is where this takes place. It takes place in the realms of heaven. That is why it is so important for us to access the heavenly realms: we can get clean every time we go in there, and when we are clean, we are confident to exercise the authority that God has given us and see the enemy defeated. If we feel guilty and condemned because of the accusations brought against us, then we lose our confidence, and are unlikely to overcome. So when we mess up – and we all do – we can step into the place of God’s presence. We can run to Him, not from Him.

He will deal with the accusations against us. He rebukes Satan. He does so because the blood of Jesus is constantly before Him as a testimony of what Jesus did on the cross:

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them (2 Corinthians 5:19).

From God’s perspective, there is no sin outstanding against any of us. Jesus completely undid the consequence of Adam’s sin which produced spiritual death in us.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor 15:22).

Just as we all inherited that spiritual death and blindness from Adam, so we all share in the victory of the cross and resurrection life. When we take the bread and the wine in communion we are partaking of the life of God, His very essence, His DNA, and we are transformed. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin and all our iniquity is done away with.

One of the enemy’s favourite tactics is to make us believe that we cannot come to God because we have sinned, whereas in fact it is the very thing that we need to do, and as quickly as we possibly can, to benefit from God’s forgiveness and receive His cleansing.

If you confess your sin, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  ‘Faithful’ means that He will always do it. He will ‘clothe [us] with festal robes’ (Zech 3:4).

 Free access to stand 

We will never enjoy our free access to the realms of heaven if we think we have to be worthy. The enemy will always tell us we are unworthy. That is how he operates. We need to know the truth, because then we find the promise:

And the angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here” (Zech 3:6).

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