Part 1 of this post was “Carrying God’s presence”; God’s presence is a place of being, not only a place of experience. God demands a permanent residence in our being, for us to be carriers of His presence and not a visitation when we find time to do so. We are in His creation; this is His place and He is omnipresent in His place.
Jesus is our perfect atonement and has given us inheritance, giving us access to God’s presence, allowing us behind the veil, more than just having access to it, but rather having it being part of us, as we live a devoted life in obedience towards Him… Being carriers of God’s presence takes us to another level… a level of “Be carriers… of His character.”
As I started writing Part 2, I did not know the direction it would go… All I knew was that the Holy Spirit has laid it on my heart to “Be a carrier… of My presence, of My character, of My people…” so let’s dig a bit deeper and see how all of this fits in perfectly.
My first ever published post was “Resurrection needs Death.” Resurrection has no meaning without death, something needs to die for it to be brought back to life.
During my studies of the above mentioned topic, I came across something that has stuck with me ever since… “Loose him, and let him go!!” This was Jesus’ words after Lazarus came walking out of his grave, still dressed and covered with his grave / burial clothes… Jesus instructed to loosen Lazarus from his death clothes. This goes so much deeper than just a mere dress code, I think Jesus saw what was happening in the spiritual realm and rebuked whatever tried to latch onto Lazarus.
A similar passage of scripture can be found in Zechariah 3… Joshua (a Levitical High Priest, a man involved in rebuilding God’s Temple after the return from Babylonian bandage) was seen in a vision, standing before God, with Satan next to Joshua to be his adversary and to accuse him. God rebuked Satan as Joshua was standing there, dressed in filthy rags and garments… God then said “Take away the filthy garments from him.” God then said to Joshua “Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel.”
My train of thought with the death clothes is in the direction of the after “dress”, what they were being dressed with after the removal of the “Death Clothes”.
There comes a time of deliverance, when we become aware that we were set free, released or “resurrected” from an area or season of bondage, however, we often still walk around with burial clothes, habits & thought patterns… we cannot put on the new nature and Godlike character if we don’t drop the death clothes, the old way of doing things, the old way of thinking.
In Zechariah 3:7-8, after God has clothed Joshua with a clean turban and royal garments, God said to Joshua; “If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you access to My presence and places to walk among these who stand here.”
The Hebrew meanings of some key words in this passage;
Walk (Yalak); to lead, bring, lead away, carry, cause to walk… with emphasis on CARRY, and keep “cause to walk” back of mind.
Ways (Derek); direction, manner, habit, moral character… with emphasis on “moral character”
Keep (Shamar); to keep within bounds, restrain, reserve, preserve, protect, guarded
Charge (Mishmereth); obligation, service, charge injunction, office, ceremonial function.
Captioning this to understand it a bit better… “If you carry My Moral Character, keep and guard yourself within your bounds of obligations to the office and ceremonial function… you shall then rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you access to walk in places of these standing around you…”
GULP!!!!! And as I typed that the penny dropped, the “A-HA” moment… “These standing around you” was heavenly beings, in heavenly places… and we will have access to walk amongst these. Giving a better understanding of Set your mind on things above.”
And another “A-HA”… One of God’s first instructions were “Have dominion”… and this just gives a total new meaning to this scripture… affirming our call to authority.
Ezekiel 36 makes mention of this same topic; It starts off with how Israel profaned and defiled God’s name because of their impurity, false idols and evil ways… then how God will cleanse them for His name Sake, He will sanctify His name, and then the most beautiful piece of scripture that joins the previously mentioned scriptures… ”I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. ‘
The “new heart” (LEB) in this passage means inner man, knowledge, determination and MORAL CHARACTER.
The word WALK is the same word YALAK, to carry…
Statutes (Choq) means the decree of prescribed actions, limits and boundaries.
cause (`asah) to make an offering (this blew me away, think about it for a minute, keeping Jesus in mind…)
Rephrasing this in line with the Hebrew meaning… “I will give you knowledge of your inner man and moral character. I will make an offering (Jesus) and will give you My Spirit which will enable you to carry My decree of prescribed actions and boundaries. Then you shall inhabit the whole earth. You will be My people, and I will be your God”
The scripture then goes further by saying “I will multiply the fruit and increase the field.”
And God does this all for His name’s sake as per the scriptures leading to this passage.
Ephesians 4:22-25 is one of my all-time favorite scriptures, and mirrors the above. I am quoting the NIV version;
“You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus.
Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
Do I need to say more? This passage sums it up… Get rid of it, put away the rotten burial clothes, take on a renewed life and God will reproduce His character in you.
Did you notice the word REPRODUCE? It means to copy, duplicate, replicate, imitate… We are created in His likeness and His image… living an obedient, devoted and righteous life towards Him will have His presence resting on us; carrying His presence daily will cause God to reproduce His character within us, as intended from the beginning of our time… His presence builds His character; Things cannot not change the in presence of the Almighty.
And then, being clothed in the character and likeness of God, Paul starts making mention of OTHERS in the latter part of Ephesians 4… “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God did, for the sake of Christ, has forgiven you.”
Carrying God’s presence reproduces His character, Carrying Jesus’ character activates the first instruction given by God to us… “Be Fruitful and Multiply.” Multiply, duplicate, replicate His character… then by carrying His character and identity we by default start to “Be Carriers (Part 3) … Of His People.”
Let me leave you one final scripture, something to savor… the beauty of His presence… 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 in the MSG translation.
‘Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him..