When God created the world, He spoke the Word “Let there be …” into existence and saw that it was GOOD!
When God created man, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was VERY GOOD.” (Genesis 1:31)
“The Eternal God planted a garden in the east in Eden—a place of utter delight—and placed the man whom He had sculpted there. In this garden, He made the ground pregnant with life—bursting forth with nourishing food and luxuriant beauty. He created trees, and in the center of this garden of delights stood the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9 The Voice)
“The Eternal God placed the newly made man in the garden of Eden in order to work the ground and care for it. He made certain demands of the man regarding life in the garden.” (Genesis 2:15-16 The Voice)
Adam and Eve had the best of all the best of life in the garden. They were in the presence of God clothed with His glory. They confidently talked and walked with Him in the cool of the day. It is a glorious picture of HEAVEN ON EARTH where every inch of that place is filled with the beauty of God’s presence.
But when the time of the fall came, when they disobeyed God’s directive not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “suddenly their eyes were opened to a reality previously unknown. For the first time, they sensed their vulnerability and rushed to hide their naked bodies, stitching fig leaves into crude loincloths.” (Genesis 3:7 The Voice)
This was when Adam and Eve first FEARED and were AFRAID of God. They hid because they saw themselves naked before their very eyes. This was the beginning of man being spiritually dead and separated from God. This was when man started to operate and exist in his own humanity and self-consciously. They began to live by “human” nature which was totally contrary to how God originally created man to be, and that is according to His image and likeness. Man entered into a state of alienation and separation from the presence of God.
In an instant, he tried to take control of the situation by hiding and sewing for themselves fig leaves to cover their own nakedness. Self effort entered as a result of FEAR which is the outcome of spiritual death. Mind you, Adam knew NO FEAR before the fall. He knew no hiding nor nakedness. He knew no self-sufficiency. He knew no guilt nor condemnation. He had the divine nature of God full of glory.
Because everything reproduces after its own kind and that includes man, therefore Adam reproduced his own kind, the fallen people, the FEARFUL people. We are the people born into this world with Adam’s sin attached to every living soul, yet with a dead spirit. We need not eat the fruit from the same tree, but because we came from the Adamic ancestry, we became sinful creatures. “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many.” (Romans 5:17a NLT)
“BUT EVEN GREATER IS GOD’S WONDERFUL GRACE AND HIS GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, FOR ALL WHO RECEIVE IT WILL LIVE IN TRIUMPH OVER SIN AND DEATH THROUGH THIS ONE MAN, JESUS CHRIST.” (Romans 5:17b NLT)
When Jesus came, He undid what Adam did! Whosoever receives Him, receives the life of God. Whoever receives the life of God has the potential of being full of all the characteristics of His divine nature, just as how God originally created us to be. Jesus breathed into us the breath of life that redeemed and revived us back into being living spirits that has a soul and lives in a body. The restoration of us being triune beings, created according to God’s image and likeness was re-established.
God soooo loved the world that He never intended His beloved creation to stay detached from Him, thus, His redemptive solution of total restoration and reconciliation was thought of and was set in motion even before the foundation of the world.
“For this is how much God loved the world—He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life.” (John 3:16 TPT)
When we come to experientially know how much God loves us and that He sent His beloved Son, Jesus, to pay for our sin that separated us from Him at the fall of mankind at in the garden of Eden, hope and faith in His presence once again was awakened within us. Moreover, when we understand what it means to be forgiven and justified by the finished work of Jesus Christ, God remembering our sins NO MORE because we have been washed by the blood of the Lamb of God, we become partakers of His divine resurrected nature, no longer bound and found possessing the Adamic fallen nature.
“There is NO FEAR IN LOVE; but PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:18-19)
The antidote to FEAR which Adam brought us into is the LOVE of God powerfully demonstrated by Jesus Christ at the cross that delivered us from it. Because of LOVE, we can now boldly come before the throne of grace anytime, anywhere FEARLESS. The garden of His presence is once again accessible. Walking, talking, communing and fellowshiping with God in the presence of the Holy Spirit is once again made possible, attainable and liveable.
Yet His love does not stop with us. His Word says, “If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12) He fills us with His supernatural life and love to overflow to others. He graces us to be diffusers of the knowledge of Who He is, empowers us to be carriers of His goodness and anointed us to be His hands to touch, His feet to go to where and to whom He desires to bless and His mouthpieces to speak life and awaken those who need it.
The CROSS as the symbol of His LOVE isn’t complete with our intimate restored relationship with God in Christ through the Holy Spirit alone(vertical part). It is only perfected with our arms outstretched to love others (horizontal part), just as what Jesus did. And as He is, so are we in this world.
Now we are seeing that the garden of God’s presence is indwelling within us, and because God originally BLESSED us and told us to be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it, we are to enlarge and expand our territories by making known to those who are within our reach what has been done at the cross that brought us back into the glorious atmosphere of His presence. We do not stop until the whole earth is filled with His glory as the waters cover the sea. This is the vision for our mission.
Two eloquent men called me up, ten minutes apart, telling me that my credit cards need updating for a possible increase of credit limit. Surprisingly, they knew my name, confirmed my card number and have asked for the expiration date. They explained the process so well that one can really be easily hooked and deceived. But when they asked for the three-digit number at the back of my card, I simply refused. They continued to explain again and again and when they became very insistent, I was alarmed and unmoved. I found it remarkably unusual for them to ask for it. Because they were frustratedly unsuccessful, they opted to tell me that they will then send me an email instead and without a graceful notice, hung up the phone.
I had their mobile numbers registered on my phone and thought of sending them a message, but what kind of text would it be? I paused and inquired of the Lord how to deal with them that will posture my heart to release grace and forgiveness to both of them.
Firstly, I thanked the Lord for rebuking the devourer for my sake, for it is He Who put the hedge of protection around me. Secondly, He made me see that those two men are still victims of the fallen nature that caused them to function with limitations. They operate in FEAR of lack or having nothing. If they are in need of provision, apart from God’s intervention, what they see is what they get and all they have, and if they want more, the enemy out there is like a roaring lion looking out for people whom he may devour and his ways are to STEAL, kill and destroy.
As eyes of my heart began to see the compassion of the Lord’s heart for them, all by His grace and mercy, I decreed words of life and blessing over them. I texted them both with a message of hope. Surely, left on my own ability, I may have declared otherwise, but when our hearts become the garden of His presence, what comes out from it is the fruit of the tree of life, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, namely: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
I may not know the extent of how I responded but all I know is that I enlarged and extended the garden of His presence from within me reaching out to them, not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God. I believe that my declaration of His Word over them that are spirit and life will not come back to Him void, but it shall accomplish what He desires and fulfill the purpose for which it has been sent forth. I have spoken in faith, calling forth the things which are not as though they are, for the just shall live by faith.
We are called to be sowers of God’s incorruptible seeds, His word that we speak and declare over everyone whom He calls us to bless. Our part is to sow and it is God’s part to grow.
“And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming! Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith!” (Galatians 6:9-10 TPT)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for never leaving us nor forsaking us. Thank You for Your great love that pursued us until we come to the knowledge of the TRUTH that You indeed SAVED us from an independent, self-focused, fearful and limited life. Thank You, Jesus, for withholding nothing from us, for being obedient even to the point of death that we may HAVE and ENJOY life just as You have made ready for us. For the JOY that was set before You, having in mind our total restoration and reconciliation with our Heavenly Father, You did it because of Your love for us. Come Lord Jesus and make Your home in our hearts. Be our Lord and Savior. Let Your Holy Spirit breathed in us continually, revealing to us MORE of how high, how deep, how wide and how long Your love is that is beyond comprehension. Only in Your love we are graced to love others with the kind of love that You gave us. It is not by might nor by power, but by Your Spirit will all these things be made possible. Amen!
The story of humanity’s sin begins with a tree and ends on a tree: first, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and finally, the cross on which Jesus dies. The first tree offers fruit that leads to death, but the second offers a death that leads to eternal life. ( from The Passion Translation)