And God placed man upon the earth He had created, and gave him dominion over it, and said be fruitful and multiply, and God walked with man in the cool of the day.
And, as planned, man would go on to fall to the deception of the evil one, bringing all of mankind and creation into corruption.
[sound of record scratches here]
Wait! It started out so good! Why did you have to go and ruin it?!!
Its the "as planned" part that is worth writing about. It seems to be seldom mentioned, but it's important in understanding God's redemption plan. The bigger redemptive plan is not only about saving man, but about fixing heaven. Oh yeah. Heaven's broken right now! And God is not about to let that stand.
(I realize this may be a new idea to some, so feel free to chew on it for a while, but Satan rebelled and took a third of heaven with him. That's not fixed yet!)
Isn't the fall of man always described as the big mistake Adam and Eve made? And how God's original plan was for the earth to be a wonderful place full of abundance and fellowship with God?
I could not disagree more. The earth was not made to be a wonderful place for man to enjoy daily walks with God. If you're going for that, you will fail in your search.
But, you will say, the bible clearly describes how Adam walked with God in the cool of the day. God gave him interesting and stimulating things to do like naming all the animals, and studying the world, and discovering all the secrets God built into it. That sounds like a wonderful place of discovery and fellowship with God. And so it was.
And, as planned, man would go on to fall to the deception of the evil one.
Did Adam blow it?
So man never stood a chance? He was pre-destined to sin? No. That is too small a question. What man is going through every day in his struggle with his own flesh, with the sin and sickness in the world around him, and in his own fight with satan (if you think of it in that way), are part of something bigger than you or me or even this world.
Would you agree that God was not just happily passing the days with Adam and Eve when all of a sudden they did the one thing they must not do and ruined everything? I mean did Adam just ruin everything? No, he did not!
But wasn't man made for God to enjoy, and for man to know God and enjoy Him forever? Yes, but not yet. Remember the serpent in the garden? What was a rebellious, lying, hater of God doing on this perfect earth? This was no perfect world. There was an enemy afoot. And dealing with his evil and rebelliousness was the first order of business for this brave new world. The first order.
There would be plenty of time (at the end of time) for man to enjoy God forever. Time for rest and walks with God in the cool of the day. But it would not be before man played a key role in the reconciliation of the conflict in heaven. It would not be until heaven was fixed.
For now, beloved by God, fearfully and wonderfully made, man would suffer under the lies of the evil one. And creation itself would suffer decay under his evil corruption, thus setting in motion the events that would reconcile the great conflict of eternity. ...as planned...
Earth the battleground
What I'm saying is that this world is not our home. Was never meant to be. The purpose of this world is that it's a battleground. That's what it was from the beginning. God made the heaven's and the earth to answer Satan's rebellion. Its where God would display the truth of His love, His dominion, His power.
Earth is where God would display His love and send His Son to lay down His life on behalf of those He would take back from Satan. In the end, those redeemed by God will add their painful testimonies to the final judgement of Satan and his angels. But in the meantime, God would give them Eternal Life- not a length of days, not heaven when they die, but a different kind of life to live out on the earth as well as into eterrnity, a life with a different quality than the life darkened by sin.
John 17:3 '...and this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.'
1 John 5:11,12 '...God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.'
Those who know Him would know His will and ask things in His name, and recieve the things they ask for (I John 5:14,15). They would take back ground stolen by Satan. And they would display the love of the Father to men.
And in Satan's own kitchen, they would display- right in front of him- the power of the kingdom of God over the works of Satan, and the dominion of Christ over the things of this world that had fallen under his deception, and they would compel men to be reconciled to God by a love that is not afraid.
This world was not made to be a wonderful place of rest for man to enjoy daily walks with God in the cool of the day. We are not getting back to the garden. We are spending the remaining days of this age expressing the authority of God over every work of Satan, and displaying the truth about every aspect of His nature, and fearlessly bringing the kingdom of God's marvelous light into every dark place. We're taking over in Jesus Name.
Beloved by God
Its not that the big picture is what's "really" going on, and our lives are less significant. Your pain is felt by God. That IS the battleground. That IS the injustice. The one who looks to God in faith, He will run to meet you and wipe away your tears. God loves you. Jesus walked the earth with dominion over all the things sin had broken- He healed the sick, and spoke peace to storms. Not only that but He walked right into hell and took back those who Satan thought he held captive. This is the Lord. He is in the world today and is near to you if you draw near to Him. He will heal your sick body, your sick soul, give you a new heart.
God had high thoughts when he created man. Never before had He created such a being. Made in His own Image, He put His own Spirit into man. He made man with the plan that he will one day share in the reign of His kingdom. More than any other being he had made before... He created man with vision and purpose and more of Himself, with more intentions to share more of what He had made, or WOULD make... making him an heir to the biggest inheritance ever imagined. Man is amazingly the recipient of the greatest love that will ever be shown!
*1 Cor 13:12 'Now we see as through a glass dimly, but then, face to face.'