Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Cloak

This wrap around presence talks of love and protection. It is the covering we need and with it we can rest in the knowledge that God will be with us in any challenge we may find ourselves having to face and that we can be at peace regardless of the outcome.

Come away with me,
Come and pray with me
Let me hear your voice in prayer
Don’t you know your voice is sweet to me
And I have much I want to share

Come away with me,
Come and pray with me
Your words are music to my ears
I’ve made this time for you to be with me
You have been rushing round for years

Come away with me,
Come and pray with me
Come and set yourself apart
Don’t you know your place is here with me
In the chambers of my heart

Come away with me
Come and pray with me
Come prepare for all you need
So when you’ve rested here a while with me
You can go where ‘ere I lead. 

One morning last week I was reading a book on prayer when I felt compelled to write the above poem, which I believe came from God. Many have said similar things in recent weeks so I think we can take it that God is telling us LOUD AND CLEAR that we must come away with Him, that we must abide in Him, focus on Him, that we must humble ourselves before Him, confess our sins, get rid of worldly ways, get rid of self if we want to bear fruit.
 As the late Sheila Hill once said, not so very long ago, everything must be ‘God given, not man driven.’

A few days ago, when we were on Zoom with the overseers, Lyn said that she had a picture of God wrapping a cloak around us. She said she didn’t know what it meant or what it was to do with but she would leave it with us. I found myself thinking about this a lot and believe it is significant. I started to wonder what this cloak was all about.

Was this cloak the wrap-around presence of God that the Passion Translation uses multiple times? 
This wrap around presence talks of love and protection. It is the covering we need and with it we can rest in the knowledge that God will be with us in any challenge we may find ourselves having to face and that we can be at peace regardless of the outcome. His wrap around presence is preparing us to step into the unknown, trust that He sees what we can’t see and follow His instructions, just like Lyn did when she felt an urgency to share about the cloak without knowing why. 

Psalm 62:1-2 (TPT)
 I stand silently to listen for the one I love, waiting as long as it takes for the Lord to rescue me.
For God alone has become my Saviour. 2 He alone is my safe place; His wrap-around presence always protects me. For He is my champion defender; there’s no risk of failure with God. So why would I let worry paralyse me, even when troubles multiply around me?

Psalm 114:1-2 (TPT)
There is only one strong, safe and secure place for me; it’s in God alone, and I love Him! He’s my shelter of love and my fortress of faith, who wraps Himself around me as a secure shield. I hide myself in this One who subdues enemies before me!

Was it the ‘cloak’ that we have been told to put on in Colossians 3:12
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (NLT)

The Greek word for clothe is ‘’endysasthe’’, which means to put on. It is in the continuous form meaning that Christians must continuously display God’s characteristics. Paul is telling them to dress appropriately in the garments for the person they have been transformed into, to permanently wrap themselves in the Christian virtues.  The Message says, “Dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you.” This seems to imply that these characteristics are not natural to us but we have to take action and put them on.
We have to take the character of Jesus and clothe ourselves in it. We need to unselfishly have empathy with the hurting, to respond with acts of kindness no matter how we have been treated, to have humility, get rid of self, to repent of our sins and to recognise our total dependence on God, to place others first in our thinking and in our actions, to be long-suffering, to forgive others so that God may forgive us. We cannot do this on our own but through the Holy Spirit, as we learn to grow in Christ, his character wraps around us and helps us to be transformed by grace into the person God wants us to be.

Was it the ‘cloak’ (or the mantle) like the one Elisha took up after Elijah was taken up to heaven? (From which we get the expression ‘pass the mantle’)

2 Kings 2 11-15
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two. 13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

Elisha strikes the water with Elijah’s cloak after Elijah was taken up. The water parted the same as it had for Elijah. The ‘Spirit of the Lord’ ministry was indeed passed on to Elisha. The God of Elijah continued to speak through Elisha. 
When Jesus quoted Isaiah in the synagogue, he said: 

Luke 4 1
‘’The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,’’

He added afterwards “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” 

When he ascended into heaven Jesus passed the mantle of His ministry onto us. The spirit of the Lord is upon us. He has anointed us to proclaim good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners and the oppressed, to open the eyes of the blind. We need to take up His mantle, come along side people as He would have done and encourage them to meet Him for themselves. 

So which one of those cloaks do we think it is? Honestly, I believe it is all three. We need to come away with Him for a while where He will give us His wrap around love and protection. He will help us in this resting time to put on the cloak of kindness, mercy, humility, gentleness and patience and then we must take up His mantle, when this special time with him is over, and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to those around us.

Author: Thelma Cameron 

May God bless and enrich your life

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1 comment:

  1. I love the vision of God wrapping Himself around us, and as we abide in Him we become more like Him. God really is shouting at us to come away with Him, abide in Him, surrender to Him etc. Are we listening? Jesus has passed His mantle on to us we need to pick it up take it seriously and come away with Him. Great blog, Thank you. Be blessed.