“A wrought-iron bench entwined with morning glories.. a rose-covered trellis… Whatever your garden is, or wherever it grows, it is yours. It is your place of solitude… It is your place of prayer and reflection…it is your place to share your time and yourself with no one but the Lord.”
When I think of why Jesus came I not only get the Gospel account brought to memory but the imagery of him being the Way (encompassing his nature as the “truth and life”) back to an intimate relationship with God our Creator and loving Father according to John 14:6.
Just imagine without the birth of Jesus Christ we would have absolutely no access to Father!
Jesus is the gate or Way that is narrow and unattractive, (Matthew 7:13-14) but when chosen leads to abundant and eternal life because it results in the reconciliation of mankind’s relationship with Father which was lost generationally due to Adam and Eve’s disobedience (Genesis 2-3)
I get the image of this process of being in Christ, walking with him The Way” daily as being back to that place of intimacy with Abba Father, I call the “Garden”. Eden was the garden in which God put Adam and Eve, He created in His image (Genesis 2).
Eden was originally a Garden where God intended to fellowship or tabernacle with His creation, Adam and Eve and their offspring. It was therefore meant to be a place where His creation had all they needed and a place of abundance and joy as they lived in obedience to God.
The purpose for this Garden was replicated as the purpose for the tent of meeting God instructed the Israelites to build according to his specifications and the temple Solomon employed gifted craftsmen and builders to build for the Lord during his reign. Temples, Synagogues and churches thereafter have been build for this fundamental purpose.
As I contemplate the abounding mercy of God which compelled Him to send Jesus as a baby born to Mary & Joseph into the World, I am reminded of the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36) where Jesus prayed awaiting his captors who took him to be judged, humiliated and crucified. This Garden was where we get the affirmation that Jesus Christ as the Son of Man, the last Adam was completely committed to his purpose as a life-giving spirit (1 Corinth. 15:45NIV) through his death burial and resurrection. When Jesus said “…not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42 KJV), we can also read into this that He was saying “indeed I am the seed of the woman (Mary) who will crush the head of the serpent (Satan) once and for all to redeem mankind from sin and reconcile them back to God.” This was the promise of God to Adam (Genesis 3:15) following their sin and God’s pronunciation of their suffering as a consequence of disobedience.
It is clear that God had and still has the last word in the life of mankind for while Satan thought that he had caused mankind to reject God as LORD and so master over their lives forever, God had planned even before the foundations of the earth His plan of redemption through the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), with which the angel Michael and heavenly hosts overcame Lucifer and his hordes during the warfare in heaven (Rev. 12).
Those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, sent to the world “when the time had fully come” (Gal 4:4) receive the new birth. Their earthly bloodline connection to the first Adam which is death inducing (because the “thief” Satan is master) has been exchanged for the spiritual bloodline to Jesus Christ which is life-giving (John 10:10). They are heirs with Christ for the promises of God.
There are many scriptures that remind us of our intimacy with God, abiding or tabernacling with him through the “Way”, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These scriptures give us a picture of us being in a Garden. At times the earth is made to appear as one big garden with budding seeds. Our righteousness, God’s doctrine, other godly ways and even God and Christ are likened to nature in some way.
In the Garden of fellowship with Abba Father,
-as in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus told his disciples not to sleep but to watch and pray with him, so too we will be his prayerful watch men, alert when the enemy comes, but because of our consistent prayer life, we are able to surrender to the will of God sacrificially as Jesus Christ did; dying with him daily we also resurrect with him in newness for the purposes of God to be fulfilled in our lives.
-We are as the branches on the true vine (Jesus) who are pruned by the “gardener” (John 15:1 NIV) so that we would bear more fruit.
This is how fruitful or productive we are said by God to be
“The godly shall flourish like palm trees and shall grow tall as the cedars of Lebanon.For they are transplanted into the Lord’s own garden and are under his personal care.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit and be vital and green” (Ps.92:12-14 TLB)
Why? He is our shelter or rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him (Ps.92:15 KJV)
-God promises that “as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden cause the things that are down in it to spring forth; so the Lord will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations”
We who are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus are the fruitful ones who will “Spring forth before all the nations” to the glory of God.
In the Garden,
-the LORD is faithful to perform His Word:
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.” (Is.55:10-11 KJV)
-“…When we obey Him [His Word] every path He guides us on is fragrant with His loving-Kindness and His truth” (Ps. 25:10 TLB)
While we stay in that place of intimacy, abiding with Father through Christ, our hearts are to Him as a garden a place where He tabernacles.
At times, we may feel malnourished or dry, but as there are seasons of life and a time for everything (Ecc.3:1-2) so too in our lives there is the same. “He has made everything beautiful in its time… ” (Ecc.3:11 NIV) to manifest in His appointed.
People are God’s vessels to nurture us in our Christian faith. They plant and water the Word of God in our hearts “the Garden” through discipleship, however as the Apostle Paul said on this subject to the Corinthian believers “…it was God, not we [himself & fellow minister] who made the garden grow in your hearts” (1 Corinth.3:6 TLB).
Indeed this is God’s promise to us
“The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things…and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring” (Is. 58:11 TLB).
Dear Father, I love you, I appreciate you, I rever you! You are all I have and all I desire.
Father, thank you for setting me apart unto holiness and purity.
I am your holy habitation, or should I say I have become so, as you the Potter re-made me, the clay when I was born again so that I changed masters.
Exodus 25:8 “Let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them”.
Father as you dwelt in the sanctuary of old, so I daily offer my spirit, soul and body as your tabernacle, your sanctuary so that you may dwell in me LORD.
As you showed Moses the design of the Tabernacle while he was with you for 40 days on Mount Sinai (Ex.24:18) and you repetitively told Israel to build it to your specification (Ex. 39:42), so too I offer up my spiritual ears and eyes to you that I may daily hear your instructions and see the “designs” concerning my life so that I will live my life according to your precise specifications. In this way I will remain a mature and resourceful instrument of righteousness or be “like a well watered Garden, like an ever flowing spring” (Is. 58:11) for your use.
Thank you Father for instructing me to separate from all uncleanliness (deception) by your leading (Is.52:10-12). Help me to live in obedience as it is my desire to abide in your presence. I also acknowledge that I can only depend on you in the power of the Holy Spirit to sustain me in the Garden of intimacy as I journey through life.
I pray in the mighty name of Jesus who made this journey possible Amen.
Click for the Poem “The Return” about our return to a Life with God through Christ.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 22/12/2015