God Chose a Garden

In the beginning, God chose a Garden. He chose a Garden to be His meeting place with mankind. It was a place of the most extraordinary intimacy between them. It was where humanity was naked, wholly vulnerable to God, and without self-focus. They were unashamed in this state because they were without sin. 

Then, the Fall Genesis 3:7-24

   Sin’s immediate effect was to open their eyes and turn them from other’s focus to self-focus and the realization of their state of nakedness. Their shame response led to self-reliance, or “works.” They made fig-leaf costumes to cover themselves and then hid from God.

But God, Genesis 3:9 – 13, 21

   Some day I will write a book called “… but, God.” Maybe someone has already done it, but I think there is room for the “but Gods’” of life to fill several volumes.

   Back in the Garden, the man and woman are covered and hidden. Their sin caused them to want to hide from God, but He came and sought them out in His infinite wisdom and mercy. He did not leave them hiding. He had the remedy, and because of His compassion, He drew them out to help them receive.

   He also drew the confession of their sins from them. He covered each with a skin tunic, establishing the blood sacrifice requirement for sin. Then He expelled them from the Garden. He did not drive them out, but not in a rage of punishment. Instead, His heart was to protect humanity from living in its fallen state for eternity.

   From that point forward, humanity’s history has had its purpose in restoring humanity to the intimacy of the Garden with God—where we can be completely vulnerable and unashamed before Him once again. Of course, He accomplished this through Jesus’ blood shed on the Cross for us.

The Way is Made

   We are covered by the blood of the Lamb. There is a lamb’s progression of covering throughout history; covering also began in the Garden. In the Garden, it was one lamb per person. At Passover, it became one lamb per family, and then the Day of Atonement introduced one Lamb for a nation. Finally, it became One Lamb for whosoever at the Cross of Christ. The blood of Jesus restores us to the Garden. No need to hide from God. No need to cover ourselves. We are covered by the blood of Jesus.

The Invitation is Sent

   When Jesus died, the veil of the Holy of Holies tore in two from top to bottom (Matthew 26:51). It was as if God the Father reached down from heaven and, with His own hands, tore the veil in two restoring access to mercy and access to intimacy with Him. Hebrews 10:19-20 says, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.” Ephesians 3:11-12, “According to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” Finally, Ephesians 2:18, “for through Him we . . . have access by one Spirit to the Father.”

   God’s deepest desire is an intimate relationship with us, and He gave His own Son to restore us to it and restore us to Him. He still wants to meet with you – and me – in the Garden.

The Garden of God Then and Now, Genesis 2:8-9, 15-25.

   If Jesus’ blood restored to the Garden of intimacy with God, what should that look like? What can we expect to experience there? We need to look at the original Garden and ask two questions. What was humanity’s experience like in the Garden before the Fall? How does it relate and compare to the now Garden? To answer these questions, we must look again at Genesis Chapter Two. I am using the New King James Version of the Bible. All verses are from e-sword software.

Genesis 2:9a

“And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”

   The Garden is a place visually pleasing and physically satisfying. God ordained the Garden to be a sight to behold, beautiful. It s a place where eyes are open to see the beauty around them, to find joy, and to visualize God’s awe. It is also a place of sustenance, where one who feasts on God’s provision will be ever-satisfied and find contentment.

Genesis 2:10

“Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four river heads.”

   The river is a source of life and refreshing. In our now Garden with God, He is our source and refreshing. Yet the river which flows out of the Garden becomes four river heads. I would suggest all things flow from this Garden of God.

Genesis 2:15

“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”

   The Garden is a place of purpose. It is where we find direction for our lives for the long run – our life’s work as well as direction for our immediate future.

Genesis 2:16, 17

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”

   The Garden is a place where God expressed His will/expectation. It is a place where we can know the mind of Christ. It is where we can understand His directives for our lives and weigh the cost of our choices – before we make them.

Genesis 2:18-20

“And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”  Out of the ground, the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam, there was not found a helper comparable to him.’”

   The Garden is a place where creativity is birthed, and our need is exposed. God reveals our lack to prepare us. He shows us where we are lacking so we will not miss divine fulfillment. 

Genesis 2:21

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.”

   The Garden is a place of deep rest where miracles and divine surgeries occur, where God removes items or pieces of our lives we no longer need to make way for the new.

Genesis 2:22

“Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”

   The Garden is a place where our needs get met, even betrothals. It is where God reveals the desires of our hearts to us and where He confirms and fulfills them.

Genesis 2:25

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

   The Garden is where we can be completely vulnerable with childlike confidence. It is where we can unashamedly run to Him, our good Papa. It is our most safe place.

In The Garden with God

   In the original Garden, Adam and Eve had to wait for God to come to them. We can access Him any time we want because He is always with us through Holy Spirit! He is simply waiting for us to meet Him there – in the Garden.

   I don’t know what your Garden looks like. Your Garden does not have to look like my Garden. Its only requirement is that it produces a consistent and ever-deepening intimacy with Him. We call it daily devotions. I deeply sense God wants to remind us of the importance of consistency of setting time aside to walk in the Garden with Him. He wants to remind us of the profound importance of guarding our Garden time with Him.

   If our goal is to be Spirit-empowered Christ followers, overcomers, and world-changers, if we want to walk in the fullness of all He has promised to us, we must understand that everything flows from the Garden of our intimacy with Him. I feel His urgency in the message of strengthening and guarding our devotional times is due to our need. I feel He is preparing us for the season ahead by reminding us to pursue intimacy with Him above all else. This is what will see us through every high and every low.

   If you do not have time set aside daily for God right now, will you begin to ask Him what that might look like for you and how to accomplish that? Your daily walk does not need to look like anyone else’s, but you want it to bring you to a more profound experience with Him.

   As you walk with God in the Garden today, invite Him to speak whatever He desires to Your heart. Trust that vulnerability with Him is your safest place. I give you permission to laugh, dance, cry, ugly cry, sing, to be still – or a little of everything. I give you permission to meet Him where you are at.

   I invite you to be metaphorically “naked” (vulnerable) and unashamed (childlike faith) before your Father as you meet with and walk with Him in the Garden today. I invite you to let Him satisfy your soul.

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