Friday, September 13, 2013

The Garden God

He has told you, O Man, what is good;
And what does the Lord REQUIRE of you
but to do justice, to LOVE KINDNESS,
And to WALK HUMBLY with your God? 
Micah 6:8

The bible has a funny way of taking us full circle. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and then.... created Adam and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:7). In this Garden, God walked with Adam, talked with Adam, taught Adam, and was pleased with His creation--His Friend.

He saw that Adam was lonely. How did God notice? Because God was so close to Adam that He KNEW his need. Adam was never documented saying anything about being lonely...but GOD saw it anyway. Adam was HUMBLY walking with God. He didn't have to beg for Him to fix His need. All He had to do was walk close to God. 

So God made Eve. (Genesis 2:18-19) Perfect in every way...just for Adam. However, Adam was not standing with God when Eve brought back the fruit. They were not right next to Him when they ate of it. Even though God was in the same area, they were not RIGHT next to Him... they did not even take a second to ASK him again if it was ok to eat the fruit. God gave them EVERYTHING they could ever want...and yet, their lack of going to Him before eating something He said no to, resulted in them being completely separated from Him. (Genesis 3)

Fast forward. We see that people now have to offer sacrifices to even get within a short distance from Him. That doesn't mean people are WALKING HAND in HAND with Him. It just gives them the ability, to hear Him... but even people can hear God from a distance. They can hear him drawing them close... they can hear him calling their name. Until they walk with God, they will fail. We see it time and time again through the bible. Continuous failings. A high priest had to go and intervene for the people, but the people could not have direct contact with the Lord. 

Then God, being His sovereign and merciful self, sends a Savior. A Savior that will GLORIFY His name. I believe that God misses His people. He wanted to walk with us, just as much as we long to walk with Him. So in Steps Jesus (Luke 2). He is born of a virgin and enters into our world... He brings hope to a people and everyone gathers to see him. He teaches. He instructs. He directs. Up until that day on the cross... and I can only imagine the hopelessness everyone began to feel again as their SAVIOR hung above them... dying.  I am sure they felt just as torn as Adam and Eve did the day that their Father said they must leave. 

This is the really great part though. Instead of being separated. Everything was undone. The curtain was TORN in TWO when JESUS rose from the GRAVE. & then this is where we come full circle. Jesus APPEARS to Mary in the GARDEN. Yes, the GARDEN. I believe this was for a specific reason to show that we again have entered the GARDEN because of His saving grace and resurrection. 

Yes, good news to everyone. Jesus was risen...and He lives. He lives with us... His Holy Spirit is inside of us. Which means, we WALK with God in this GARDEN of life. He is as close to us as ever before. He is no longer at a distance, but right up close...whispering in our ear... talking to us...teaching us... directing our paths... 

This is the God I know. This is the Jesus I know. The one that walks so closely to me that I can hear his voice saying "Take a Step. Walk this way. Enter this land. Read with me. Dine with me. Dance with Me." Yes,  this is the Jesus we should all know. He is our Garden God. He is closer to us than we even know. We no longer will give into Sin when tempted because God will be right by our side saying "don't eat that." He may have already told us that it's wrong...but until we walk with Him hand in hand we will give into Temptation, just like Adam did. 

For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments.... In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:13-22

This is the God we can count on. This is the God we can rely on. He is talking with us right now. He is sitting right beside us. We are one, reconciled with him because of Jesus. Let our eyes of faith see that He is present and WALK with Him Daily so that we may stand strong when the storms of life try to tear us down. 

I am praying that everyone finds this place... this Garden where we can walk hand in hand with our Lord and fall more in love with Him Daily... 

If we live by the Spirit let us also WALK by the SPIRIT. Galatians 5:25