Part 1 - Overlaid with glory: Inside and Out
One autumn morning in 2012 in fellowship with Trinity Church in The Exchange on Gardiner Street, I walked to the front of the congregation, picked up a large gold flag; maybe eight by ten feet and I covered myself with it as we worshipped together. Just beforehand, the Holy Spirit had asked me to “show the church what it looks like for glory to fall on, cover and to rest upon a person”. The call to do this came twice in quick succession and on the second call I moved without analysing or debating the issue.
While I stood covered by this glory flag and we sang Show me Your Glory by Jesus Culture, I heard the words “overlaid with glory” spoken powerfully into my being. I was immediately drawn to the verse in Exodus and God’s detailed instructions for the building of the Ark of the Covenant; the place where His glory would dwell. I was specifically drawn to the detail that the ark should be; “overlaid … with pure gold, both inside and out” Exodus 37:2 NKJV
This prophetic act of wrapping myself up in the glory flag displayed in the spirit realm the Glory that is available to rest upon everyone who wants it. Since that day the Holy Spirit has been revealing something to me that I had not seen before.
Did I get dressed today?
The question I began to consider was; what am I wearing? Functions of clothing in the physical realm is covering, warmth and identity. When we go uncovered; we are naked and ashamed. What’s more, if anyone is not dressed appropriately, and they meet adverse conditions, then they are at risk of exposure and even death in difficult circumstances.
Parents do not send their children out naked, no matter how poor the family. God our Father in his provision has seen to it that we, who have become His children, are adequately clothed in order to provide us with dignity, identity and protection. What I suddenly realised is that, particularly as we grow and mature, God like any natural parent does not dress us Himself. He provides the clothing for us and expects us to put this clothing on and to wear it in all conditions and at all times. This explains somewhat why many drop away from God after the initial stages of their growing relationship with Him. After the early childhood years, or the honeymoon years as some call it when God is doing most for us in building our new relationship with Him, we don’t realise that as we grow, God expects us to put on the spiritual clothing he provides us ourselves; he expects us, as we will see, to dress ourselves in his word and his Spirit.
The spiritual cost of going naked
When we are not wearing our garments in the Spirit we are exposed. There are many examples in the bible of people, even people after God’s own heart, who were caught out, without their spiritual clothing on.
We see this clearly with King Saul, Samson and indeed David when he was in sin.
· Without the Spirit, King Saul led the people from his own power as a man, rather than from his anointing as God’s king. As a result, he was constantly troubled because, in these times, his authority had departed. (1 Samuel 18:12)
· When Samson went without the Spirit covering, his strength departed him and he could not understand how or why he had been physically overpowered. (Judges 16:20)
· Even David, the one that God called His son after (Jesus the Son of David) did not realize the gravity of his sin when he had slept with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. It was only when he was challenged by the prophet Nathan that David realized that he had become naked spiritually. To his credit David repented and was clothed again in the Spirit by God’s grace. (2 Samuel 12)
None of these men were aware that they were not wearing their anointing at these particular times and that the Spirit had departed them. If it could happen to these men can I ask how about you? Did you ever wonder what it must have been like for these men when they realised they were naked. David wrote in Psalm 51:11 “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me”, David was taught a costly lesson during these days which stood to him thereafter.
So what WILL I wear? The armour of God is only the beginning …
In Ephesians 6: 11-17 we are told to put on the full armour of God and many of us are familiar with the garments listed in this passage and we put them on and use them to protect ourselves and to fight our daily spiritual battles. However, in the book of Timothy, Paul also tells Timothy to fight with the prophetic word he had received. In other words, he tells him to dress himself in a specific prophetic word and to use this word to keep himself safe and secure. 1Timothy 1:18
“Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well”
In addition to the items listed in Ephesians that make up the armour of God, the items of clothing God provides are new, fresh and specific words revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in dreams or pictures or through other members of the body of Christ. These words, or garments, need to be activated by putting them on and wearing them like a suit of armour. We need these garments to survive and to overcome the spiritual battles we face. As we individually as believers and corporately as his church wear these words we are clothed with the grace to REVEAL the glory of God to those around us.