Manna is a prophecy about Jesus

Not all prophecies have words. Many prophecies in the bible are pictorial. I guess God already knew that some of us learn verbally and others learn through pictures.

32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father

English: bread

English: bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

I love the way Jesus makes it so clear in just a few words. “This bread called manna was a picture of me. I give life and fulfilment”

How does this affect the way we see things? I guess however deep we feel we have wandered in the wilderness, however hot the sun on our backs, however few the home comforts seem to be there is one who has come down from heaven to give us sustenance. If we feed on him we will never be hungry for things in this life again. Our appetite will be for heavenly bread and heavenly water.

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Presence of heaven

The Rainbow set as the symbol of the Covenant ...

The Rainbow set as the symbol of the Covenant with Noah after the Great Flood of the Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we worship Father God and Jesus we worship them in heaven. Father seated in heavenly places and the glorified, risen Son. Jesus doesn’t leave heaven to meet with us He has already done that two thousand years ago.

What God does is open heaven and allow us to enter into His home. He makes a way into His holy presence for us. He lifts us up and seats us in heavenly places alongside his Son Jesus.

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[c] 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d]

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12

We come to where he is, where the he dwells. He allows the veil between earth and heaven to grow so thin mankind can peep in. God makes the divide between heaven and earth Velcro thin. When Jesus died we see the dramatic rendering of the veil that divided the two dimensions of earth and heaven. The veil was violently ripped open and God left a light velcro fastening attaching the two sides of the veil together to stop it flapping in the rushing wind of the Spirit going back and forth. If you push through in worship it isn’t long before you boldly enter His throne room.

Why then do we not see clearly into the heavenly places? Why does it seem so dim? Could it be the same effect as driving through a long dark tunnel? Looking into the dark for so long our eyes cannot cope with the bright light on coming out of a tunnel.  So might is be with heaven after looking at the world for so long in darkness our eyes are blinded by the glory after heaven and we see very little? So what is the answer? Become accustomed to gazing on the Glory of God. Make your time in the heavens so common place your eyes become able to see angels, beauty and the vision before you. Then our faces will soak up and reflect the glory we see – just like Moses’.

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.

Presence and Character

My eye

My eye (Photo credit: orangeacid)

‘God could trust Moses with this level of revelation because his heart had been tested. In His mercy, God gives us the level of revelation that our character is prepared to handle. At the same time, He continues to reveals himself in order to expose our character and invite us to know him more.’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p88

We are all loved completely. He presences himself in all of us by his Holy Spirit in His fullness (for those born again). Many of us experience His manifest presence in times of worship but it clear that some people experience a greater revelation of God’s presence than others. John saw into the heavens and found himself standing in the very throne room of God. The whole of the book of Revelations is about what he saw. John witnessed  so much it would make your eyes pop out ; angels, beasts, a lamb, things with many heads, a scroll, a dragon, trumpets and worship. Just imagine what it would be like seeing that kind of revelation!

God is calling us higher, to see more and the only person who can stop you seeing as much of God as you like is you. With each revelation there comes responsibility. It takes character to carry this responsibility. With each powerful encounter God has to make sure our spirits can take it. Our hearts and character must be ready.

It says in the bible that we can grieve the Holy Spirit. If we want God to manifest His presence to us we need to be sure that we do not hinder a full outpouring by grieving the Spirit. He is sensitive to rebellion, bitterness, doubt etc. Like a dove He will not land in fullness where He feels aggrieved. Let us check our hearts for habitual sin, proud hearts, bitterness and unforgiveness. Let us walk with our hearts right with God and expect a full outpouring of His presence.

Moses sees God face to face -what does Joshua see?

picture066Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Exodus 33:10-12 (NIV)

God would speak to Moses face to face, as a friend. Moses was so accustomed and used to the presence of God that it didn’t blow him off his feet, he didn’t cower but stood up, looked God in the eye and shared his heart: just like a friend. Wow!

Joshua would enter the place of worship just like Moses. He would be there as God showed up. He was present when God spoke and chatted with Moses – so the question I have is why was it never said of Joshua that he spoke with God face to face as a friend? Was it trust? Was it lack of something? We do know it certainly wasn’t lack of being in the religious tent. He was there waiting longer than Moses. He knew that to see the presence of God he should follow someone who has experienced conversation with God face to face and keep close to them. Yet  he still couldn’t see.

Joshua was mighty man. He led the people. He entered the promise land. He led well. But no-where in the bible does it say that the intimacy with God that Moses had was ever Joshua’s experienced. We will never know what was in Joshua’s heart. There is no telling what went on in the secret place between Joshua and God.

We can be in the same place where some experience the presence of God heavily and not feel a thing. We could be next to someone who is having a vision of the heavenlies and yet not see a thing. We could be standing next to someone being bathed in the love of God and still  be lonely. It isn’t where or how we wait that brings intimacy – the key is our response to God during our secret interactions.

What conversations you have in your heart with God that builds trust and friendship so God loves spending time with you?

We can be like the place of Bethany. The town where Jesus was drawn to. The place where he loved to spend time with his friends. The place where Jesus face was commonplace. Bethany was a place of intimacy but it cost (see picture above). It meant brokenness, repentance, humility, sacrifice, adoration, passion………

Today: Soften your heart toward God and positioning yourself to see God’s face to face

Moses and the presence of God

English: Border collie dog Deutsch: Border Col...

English: Border collie dog Deutsch: Border Collie Hund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15&16

I am challenged by the thought that Moses was not prepared to move anywhere without God. He insisted on following the presence of God himself, saying, “If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here”. He wasn’t satisfied just to make things up as he went, he was not content to keep on going and hope God would turn up at some point. The presence of God was so vital to Moses that unless the presence of God went with him he wouldn’t move, he wouldn’t just guess, he wouldn’t carry on. No matter what the pressure or the embarrassment – he was happy to wait for God.

This is mirrored in my collie dog Gemma. When I take her for a walk she is constantly checking to see where I am. Now and again I try to hide from her, it is very difficult, but if I manage it as soon as she realises she has lost me she comes charging through the undergrowth to find me again. She is not prepared to go anywhere unless I am walking with her, unless she is aware of my presence.

‘We need to pay a price to see God more clearly. Moses’ whole life groomed him to see God. His success as Israel’s leader depended entirely on his ability, moment by moment to perceive and follow the presence and voice of the Lord.’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p86

Am I prepared to pay the price to follow the presence and voice of God? Will I lay down everything at the call of His voice? Will I be prepared to wait on God again and again for as long as it takes? Does the desire for His presence bring tears to my eyes with longing? It is challenging to ask these questions. It is easy to be in a meeting full of habits and empty of presence where there are no risks and we are in control. It is easier to follow the clear loud voice of man than the small whisper of God we may have to wait for.

The presence of God is so special we should hold it in high esteem. We should give time to it, cultivate it and enjoy it. In his presence we are changed, set free and find our identity. In his presence we glimpse heaven, see eternal truths, experience revelation and receive dreams. In his presence we find unity, freedom and flow together. In His presence we receive healing, experience miracles, sense his breath, know his touch and laugh with joy. We should never ever undervalue the importance of the presence of God.

‘Moses was the great leader he was because he was not focused not personal success but on the God who could be known.  Moses preferred the wilderness with God to the Promised Land without God, a noble choice for sure’  Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p87

Today: How much of your daily life relies on the presence of God?

More thoughts on creativity

Creativity

Creativity (Photo credit: Mediocre2010)

Creativity of Egypt and Israel

Egypt was rich, there was plenty of gold and silver. I have never seen the pyramids but in the national museum in London you can see beautiful artefacts from Egypt. They had skilled craftsmen and perhaps woman (I am not up to date with equal gender rights in Egypt).  So what is the difference between the creativity of God’s free people as seen in Exodus and the Egyptians?

Egypt in the bible is a picture of the world.  All people are made in Gods image wherever they live, whatever they believe – creative and skilful. There is some fantastic art filling the four corners of the earth. If, however, we believe that being full of the Spirit of God adds a new dimension we need to ask the question how? and what does it look like? (cf Exodus 31:2-5)

I am aware that I will be making massive generalisations about art and creativity but please give me that licence to work my thoughts through. Creativity in the world is often measured, assessed, pondered written about, judged and criticized. Many make art for a commission, end product or money. Even at college or University the students are expected to be creative for a finished assessed product to attain a pass. This probably affects the way the artist progresses further on in their life. For many artists the appreciation by others of the finished product is their main motivation.

Could it be that creativity for God is not about the end product but of being. Could it  be as an overflow of the mix of our spirit with God’s Spirit? Could creativeness be an expression of freedom with no purpose but just because I am. Is it for our own exploration and for God to enjoy? There is no right or wrong way.

If we are being the creative masterpiece how do we live our life? Predictable, staid, controlled,? If your life is a canvass what colours are you using? Are you constantly learning new skills, developing new thoughts?

Creativity is….

  • A process not a product
  • Treasure inside coming out not made to make treasure
  • Made from enjoyment not for enjoyment
  • Made for heaven not made for earth
  • Has heavens fingerprints mixed with human fingerprints all over it

Creativity in the wilderness reminds me of 2loaves and 5fishesm- the little boy who brought what he had. I mean they had to build a tabernacle with what they had escaped with the land of Egypt with. They didn’t have sophisticated workshops and skilled equipment. They didn’t have furnaces for smelting metals or the right tools. The people used what they had. All their skills and knowledge, and a heart connection with the creator.

What helps creativity?

  • Confidence not self-consciousness,
  • Acceptance not rejection of ideas
  • Flowing of our spirit. God is spirit and we are spirit –we are made to flow together. We can be moving, active, filling spaces, bringing life
  • Reaching into heaven and expressing it on earth -seeing new colours, new shapes, hear new sounds, experience new relationships
  • Taking away the boundaries and boxes – no longer holding tight or controlling but uncontainable, free, open, powerful,
  • Learning new skills
  • Making space and time
  • Drawing the best out of each other

Freedom and Creativity

English: old craft

English: old craft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,  to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts Exodus 31:2-5

This is first time that we see someone as being described as being filled with the Holy Spirit in the bible.  He was filled with all wisdom, ability and expertise in all kinds of crafts in the Holy Spirit. When was this expressed? After freedom had come. Freedom looked like an individual overflowing with decisions and choices, these choices created something from heaven – a spiritual beauty on earth.

There is something about freedom that causes people to find their core identity from which they can express themselves fully. We were made in the creator’s image and when we express our true selves it is full of creativity. We were beautifully and wonderfully made so what we create in the spirit reflects this like a mirror.

Bezalel was filled with the Holy Spirit for practical skills, gifts and knowledge. It wasn’t for experience but for expression. We find the same explosion of expression and release when we speak in tongues. It wasn’t for abstract intensity but for a supernatural reality. It was for ….

  1. Creating beauty out of the ordinary
  2. Skilled engraving –making a mark, writing lasting words, impacting lives with permanence
  3. Mounting gemstones –taking a rock from the dirt, seeing potential, honing it patiently, bringing out its beauty and then put in the best place to show its glory
  4. Working with gold, silver and bronze -adapting to different metal  resistance and properties and bringing the best out of each material
  5. Carving wood  -working with that which people think as base and plain and make out of it something of beauty

First we need to find our core identity. Until we know what this we cannot express who we really are. Who are you and what are you all about?

Today: Start a discovery to the core of your being. Become filled with wonder as you find out who you really are.