First the Kingdom 2, The Original Blessing
The Bible is an epic story of love, tragedy, drama, virtue, passion and purpose in the context of world-changing events. The central character is God and the central theme is His relationship with humanity. The foundation to this relationship is laid out in the opening chapters of Genesis.
When human beings are first mentioned they are depicted as the pinnacle of God’s creativity. Up until that time everything He created was seen by God as “good.” After He created mankind, He observed that His work was “very good.”
Then God said,”Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them,”Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God’s plan for us was that we would be reflections of His character and even His authority. Our existence was not to be one of frustration and futility, sorrow and powerlessness. We were placed over the earth He created and were to glorify Him in everything we do! This was God’s good and perfect plan for all of us! At this present point in time it is difficult to comprehend how wonderful life on this planet could actually be. But we must be patient. He is in the process of revealing this very truth unto us!
From chapter 3 and onward it looks like God’s plan was disrupted by a snake in the garden and the man and woman who followed the snakes plan. In reality the rest of the Bible is actually the story of how God would restore humanity and yet fullfill His original plan, His purpose of the ages! (Ephesians 3:19).
While Adam and Eve were made in God’s image and called His children (Luke 3:38), they were not satisfied. The tempatation was to be independently wise apart from God. This independence was their downfall. They lost the ability to rule the earth in righteousness, peace and love. Paradise was lost. Instead they would experience failure, defeat and death. War would soon appear on the earth in the conflict beteen their two sons Cain and Abel. Following the murder of Abel things began to go slowly downhill.
If we did not take into account the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of people down through the ages, we would agree with the many prophets of doom today. They predict that a final holocost is all that awaits us. Thankfully, we do have the record of God’s working in His people and can understand His original plan has never been lost or forsaken! Oh how thankful I am for the Bible, God’s Word to encourage my heart in these days! At times my gratitude brings me to tears to think that He would even share His secrets with someone like me!
The Holy Spirit began to teach people like Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David and the prophets, about His higher destiny for their lives and for all of us! Finally, when the time was right, He sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for the long awaited Messiah, who would lead us back to our original state of holiness and freedom under God.
Sin, in the Bible is more than individual actions. It is to fall short of the glory of God as He planned for us in the beginning. The only way back is through the flaming sword at the gate, the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12) By the Holy Spirit, the Word of God convicts our hearts and renews our minds to understand our need to return to that original trust and dependence upon God. We are helpless without Him, but by faith IN HIM, all things are possible unto us! (Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23, Mark 10:27).
When Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” He proved His claim with demonstrations of power. His was the authority of one in union with the Heavenly Father, over all the power of the enemy. This authority He also shared in a measure with those who trusted in Him! (Luke 10:17-19) I am convinced that He wants to share that authority even today, with humble, submissive believers who truly love Him!
Selfish pride was found in the serpent, as well as in Adam and Eve. Pride and arrogance will always interfere with the grace that God is offering us all. Those who look only for the minimum requirements for securing their place in heaven are in danger of missing not only that, but also the wonder and beauty of an intimate relationship with God in Christ now. They might never hear the higher call of Kingdom Life, one that rises above sin and failure, and that leads others to victory in Christ!
Heavenly Father, Open our hearts and our eyes to see the grand breadth of your divine purpose for the ages. Give us a new birth, one that enables us to see the glory of Your Kingdom unfolding in our personal lives, and in your wonderful creation. By your grace we surrender our plans and desires to your greater purpose, to glorify you and to enjoy You forevermore!
In Jesus Name,