April 2018

Life in the Garden of Eden was unspoiled. I would venture to guess that it was easier there. Adam and Eve walked with God hand-in-hand. They daily saw the One in whom they believed. The garden was theirs to manage. Their innocence was openly rewarded and their faith was simple. Their spirit, soul, and body prospered completely. When sin entered the world, things changed. Adam and Eve were made to leave the pristine paradise they called home. Death and decay became reality. Their bodies felt the sting of this. Their souls knew grief, confusion, and disappointment for the first time. Their spirits were also affected by their fall. Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV) tells us, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” For the first time, Adam and Eve knew darkness.

In this fallen world, we are all born into darkness (Ephesians 6:12). We first know spiritual light when we meet Jesus. Our eternal address changes when we become believers. We are adopted as children of God. We inherit eternal life in His kingdom. We are redeemed from the curse of sin. God’s kingdom is not one of darkness. His is one of light. Jesus says, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46). The landscape of this earthly empire is far different from God’s kingdom. Things of earth are dim. Lines are blurred. Truth is muddied. In God’s kingdom, all things shine.

When we respond to God’s invitation to follow Him, it’s like putting on night vision goggles. We see more clearly. We understand more fully and we begin to feel the strong, inviting pull of truth. “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled” (1Thessalonians 5:5-6). Choosing God over the world is a wake-up call for our spirit. It awakens our inner person. It connects us to the kingdom of God. It gives us clear vision to see what once was veiled.

The ruler of this fallen world struggles to keep us in the darkness; to keep us asleep. He plots and he plans. He coerces and he deceives. It is vitally that we awake to truth; that we awake to our destiny. This world thinks in arrival. It considers only ways to get. It convinces us to think of ourselves. It throws at us everything that is contrary to God’s kingdom and offers false hope and empty promises to entice us. The landscape of God’s kingdom is not marked by castles or pots of gold, but by a life that the apostle Paul called an act of worship (Romans 12). To enter, we must wake up.

Taken from The Happiest Place on Earth as it is in Heaven, chapter 5.

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