In The Garden
In The Garden
It all began in a Garden.
God created his first children, Adam and Eve, in His spiritual likeness and gave them life with His own breath. They were fully grown but they were still children, joyous, humble and innocent. He gave them a beautiful garden containing everything they would ever need. All day long they enjoyed the flowers, played with the animals and drank from refreshing streams. In the cool of the evening they roamed the forests and hills of Eden with their Creator, They happily learned from Him and obeyed his words– then It was the gift that changed everything.
Now, God gave his children the gift of free will. He didn’t want little robots obeying Him because of who He was. He wanted His creation to love Him as He loved them. Freely—with pure joy and gratitude for everything He had given them.
But Lucifer the Serpent saw this gift as a way to thwart the perfect plan the Lord intended for his kids. He swaggered into the garden one day, all dazzling light and devious lies, (He wasn’t slithering then– not yet).
“What a beautiful gift”, he smirked. “Can I have a look?”
The innocents handed it over, fascinated by their radiant visitor.
Quickly the Serpent popped it open, yanked out Obedience and dropped in Pride and Envy. After he handed it back, all tainted and ruined, Adam and Eve were easily persuaded that God was selfish for withholding from them the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Then came the blame game. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Serpent. Innocence and joy disappeared and in its place came shame and sorrow. Since that time, mankind has been trying to recapture the Kingdom of Heaven, but pride always gets in the way. The selfish, “what’s in it for me “perspective takes over. Humans want to create the Kingdom of Mankind and steal the glory that belongs to God. (After all, the Deceiver told them they could be like God and they fell for it.)
Omnipotent God couldn’t just dismiss what had happened in the garden. There were laws after all. Adam and Eve needed to learn that sin is wrong and actions have consequences. So, they were expelled from Eden and God’s curse, put old Lucifer on his belly in the dust.
But it ended in another Garden:
Our omniscient God, knowing, that Mankind would fail, had a Plan B.
In the garden of Gethsemane, His plan for our atonement came to fruition when the Lord Jesus bowed his head and cried out, “not my will but Thine be done”!
He allowed Himself to be crucified to pay our debt. Then, the wonder of it all! He came back to life as our risen Savior!
In each of us is that space where God wants to dwell, but we have to open the door. So why don’t we? We sort of like the dazzle that Lucifer left behind when he handed back the gift of free will. We think Obedience might not be fun or satisfying. And we want to do it our way.
But, Jesus said, “… unless you are converted and become as little children (that’s humble and trusting) you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 18:4
Humility and Pride cannot live side by side. Our free will needs repairing which can only happen when we bow our hearts to God and declare as our Savior did, “not my will but Thine be done”! Then we can recapture that child inside us, which longs to be joyous and obedient again.