The Heart Of The Matter: Sermon By Rev. Geoffrey Muchai
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. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And 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. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.
And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”Zechariah 3:1-10 (ESV)
Three key things to note:
1. The work of Christ was completed on the Cross.
It’s a done deal. Everything that God has spoken about you, His promises are completed in Him.
2. When the word of God over Abraham to possess the promised land was fulfilled many years after his death.
Everything God says to do, He will do.
The fulfillment of God’s purpose over our life is based on His faithfulness.
This is a faithful and trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He will also deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself.2 Timothy 2:11-13 (AMP)
3. Our faithfulness affirms our trust in Christ.
When we are faithless, we deny ourselves the opportunity to manifest who God says we are.
When circumstances happen in our lives, we can either choose Christ or to remain faithless and deny ourselves access to His promises.
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.Hebrews 5:1-4 (NKJV)
In Zechariah 3:1-10, we learn that Joshua was a high priest. According to Hebrews 5:1-4, being a high priest was a God appointment.
A high priest makes effective intercession for the people of God. In order for the high priest to stand before God, he was expected to dress in a certain way.
They shall make these garments: a breastplate, an ephod [a distinctive vestment to which the breastplate was to be attached], a robe, long and sleeved tunic of checkerwork, a turban, and a sash or band. They shall make sacred garments for Aaron your brother and his sons to minister to Me in the priest’s office.Exodus 28:4 (AMP)
So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them in continual remembrance before the Lord.Exodus 28:29 (AMP)
The breast piece was made of fine gold. Gold represents Divinity. The high priest’s attire was as per God’s blueprint.
The Urim and Thumin was used to establish the heart and mind of God. When the high priest wore the breast piece, every precious stone on it represented the tribes of Israel.
Make the robe [to be worn beneath] the ephod all of blue. There shall be a hole in the center of it [to slip over the head], with a binding of woven work around the hole, like the opening in a coat of mail or a garment, that it may not fray or tear.Exodus 28:31-32 (AMP)
And you shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLY TO THE LORD. You shall fasten it on the front of the turban with a blue cord. It shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may take upon himself and bear [any] iniquity [connected with] the holy things which the Israelites shall give and dedicate; and it shall always be upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord [in the priest’s person].Exodus 28:36-38 (AMP)
The high priest also wore a robe and turban.
And the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! Even the Lord, Who [now and habitually] chooses Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this [returned captive Joshua] a brand plucked out of the fire?Zechariah 3:2 (AMP)
Jesus rebuked satan when he accused Joshua, the high priest, for being unclean. This was a matter of Joshua’s heart, not an external matter.
The work of Christ on the Cross already silenced every voice of accusation by the enemy but our hearts often condemn us and remind us of our shortcomings.
Jesus is our defence. He has chosen to dwell within our hearts and He is willing to see the good work He begun in us to completion.
Jesus first asked for every filthy garment on Joshua to be removed so that he may be clothed with pure garments. Christ was referring to Joshua’s heart.
When we fall short of God’s standard, that is when we retreat into religion.
God begun dealing with Joshua’s heart, then his mind.
And I [Zechariah] said, Let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with [rich] garments. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.Zechariah 3:5 (AMP)
The process of God creating a clean heart in us is not immediate. He subjects us to process to expose the true states of our hearts, not to kill us but to heal us.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: 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.Zechariah 3:7 (AMP)
If we walk in God’s ways, He will trust us with access to His presence where we will not be condemned. He is ever near to us when we call.
God must first establish His throne in our hearts before He can establish His governance in our minds. When we fall short of this, He is gracious to realign our hearts back unto Himself.
God wants us to keep His charge. He wants us to hold fast to it. Then He will enable us to function and exercise our authority.
He will give us the strength to face the giants in our lives. He will give us an internal tranquility to pursue His heart and ways.
In the face of condemnation, we should stand and exalt God. We should find strength in Him because He will plead our case for us.
God desires for us to place all of our faith and trust in Him irrespective of everything that happens. He has already finished the work concerning our lives.
The heart of the matter is that God is at work within us. He wants to usher us into a new dimension of relating with Him knowing that He is at work within us.
I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;Psalm 138 (NKJV)
for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth. Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; you will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
May the words of Psalm 138 encourage you in the midst of your circumstance. He is ever near, ready and willing to be found. He will never forsake you.
Rest assured that His purpose for your life will be fulfilled by Him.
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