Enjoy your work. Stop your toil.

 Creation and the Garden

forbidden-fruitIn the book of Genesis we read that God made us in His likeness and in His Spirit.[1]  He formed a body for us from the dust of the earth[2] and then put us in the beautiful Garden of Eden that He made, just for us.[3]  Our job there, He told us, was to tend, guard and keep the Garden, [4] and to be fruitful, multiply it and fill the earth and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man].[5] God provided us with every resource we needed and every pleasure conceived.[6]  Our job was to take care of it. The Book of Genesis tells us repeatedly that God was very pleased with us, with His creation and with this arrangement. [7] To complete the perfection of His masterpiece God also gave us freedom and He put our freedom in the form of a tree called The Knowledge of Good and Evil.  This tree He put beside another tree of life, and they both grew in the middle of the paradise of Eden.[8] Adam and Eve had full access to the Tree of Life as long as they did not eat of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Then the serpent appeared.

What went wrong?

To move mankind out of peace, out of the Spirit of God, and out of a place of complete suitableness and pleasantness, Satan had to lie and man had to choose to believe his lie over the promises and Truth of God.  When Adam and Eve listened to Satan instead of God, when they believed the lies of the Enemy instead of the Truth of God, their spirit popped out of God’s Spirit.  Today, those two spirits, the Divine and the flesh still exist and they are nothing alike; in fact they are diametrically opposed.

When Adam and Eve consciously chose what they wanted for themselves more than what God wanted for them they were choosing to go their own way instead of God’s way.  This decision moved them, not only out of the Spirit of God but out of His protection, promotion and provision, leaving them to take care of these things themselves. To this day, if we want what the world, or the flesh promises us more than what God wants to give us when He wants to give it to us, then we will toil in sorrow all of our lives. Our efforts will bring thorns and thistles to us and only through the sweat of our brow will we eat the fruit of our labor until we and our labors are dead.[9]

Leaving the Garden           

            After the curse God sent Adam to till or tend to the ground outside of the Garden of Eden, which is where Adam chose to be.  East of the Garden God put a cherubim and a flaming sword to keep and guard the way to the tree of life. [10]

It is the way to the tree of life that God is protecting, and it is the tree of life that, to this day continues to stand at the center of the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life and the Garden of Eden exist today and we may enter the Garden and eat from the Tree of Life now; they are only a choice away.

Even though we popped out of God’s Spirit and in doing so created our own spirit, we can move back into God’s Spirit through a conscious acceptance of Jesus Christ.  Through our salvation in Christ we are made the righteousness of God.[11] That means that because of Christ’s work on the cross, God sees the repentant Christian the same way He sees Jesus Christ! Through Christ we are able to move into God’s Spirit and back into the Garden of Eden.  Because of Christ and within the Spirit of God, through our freedom we choose to put the will, mind and emotion of God before our own.

Meanwhile God’s will and promises for us have never changed.  He has a good purpose and a plan for our lives.[12]  We were made to work in our Garden of Eden and to be fruitful in the service of God and man.  In our little corner of the world ̶ our paradise ─ our Eden ─ we are to tend, guard and keep it.  All of this purpose and plan made by God suits us because it is the way He made us; and it is pleasant and fulfilling.  But, we cannot have it or enter into it unless we put God first, and we can’t do that unless we trust Him.

Maybe we are in sin because we want now what God wants to give us later.  Perhaps we toil because we want to control our life instead of trust God with it.  Possibly we are in sin because we are trying to prove instead of trying to serve.  Maybe we are struggling, toiling and laboring because we are serving ourselves instead of our God.

There may be lots of reasons why our life is a struggle and our days a blur, but God did not intend or create it to be this way.

In the sin of toil we do not trust God and because we do not trust God we are struggling to provide for ourselves or to protect or to promote ourselves, all of which we were never created to do; these works are reserved for God and He is happy to do them for us.  And, while God does His job we are supposed to be doing ours, which is to be fruitful, to serve God and our fellow man, and to tend, guard and keep our little corner of the world.

[1] Gen. 1:27; John 4:24 NIV

[2] Gen. 2:7

[3] Gen. 2:8

[4] Gen. 2:15

[5] Gen. 1:28

[6] Gen. 2:9

[7] Gen. 1:31

[8] Gen. 2:9

[9] Gen. 3:17; 3:18

[10] Gen. 3:24

[11] II Corinthians 5:21 AMP

[12] Jeremiah 29:11

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