In the beginning God created a beautiful perfect world where He dwelt with the man and woman that he had made to live with Him there for some period of time. Everything the man and woman needed was provided, or they could cultivate it in perfect soil in a perfect environment. The man and woman recognized for a period of time all the aspects of their relationship with God:
- He had created them.
- He desired fellowship with them.
- There was a framework within which their relationship existed – cultivate the earth, fill the earth, don’t eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- God knew things they didn’t know.
- God was beauty, love, care, joy.
There came a day when God’s enemy, Satan, came into that perfect world and offered to the man and woman the same kind of knowledge that God had, available to them when they did the one thing that God told them not to do. They listened and obeyed him.
The world and its framework was changed in that moment. The floodgates of everything not like God entered the world at that moment.
- There was blame.
- There was shame.
- There was not-love.
- There was not-relationship.
- There was not-life.
Except that God, did not change. He was still beauty, love, care, joy. He must have been deeply saddened and grieved that the man and woman He had created could no longer be in relationship to Him because they now lived with a soul very different from His – a dark, twisted, soul like the character of God’s enemy. But God, though not allowing them to live with Him in that perfect garden any longer, still clothed them with the skin of an animal. He set into motion the most miraculous, unimaginable event that could ever happen.
He called a man to Himself. Out of that man He called a people to Himself. Out of that people He called a world to Himself. He was repeatedly grieved as His invitations were rejected … until His own Son came to perfectly and obediently experience death on the cross for the man and the woman and the people and the world and all of their dark and twisted souls and the behaviors that grew out of them. Jesus came to die and to come back to life to go live with His Father in Heaven. He opened the door with the invitation to come to Him and allow Him to recreate in us the soul of God as the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. He does this when we recognized who Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit are – remember the framework within which the man and woman lived in the garden.
When we accept God’s framework and our relationship in it, through the impossible exchange Jesus made on the cross, we are transformed in such a way that we are on our way, through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to begin to have the soul God gave us, like His Own, and begin to value what He values, and love what He loves. One day we will live with Him again and forever.
Until that day God has a job for us to do. There is a world of people out there who still suffer with the dark, twisted soul of Satan. These are the people who live in our neighborhoods, who can potentially have their souls changed or may already have had their souls transformed. We must get to know them. We are one of them … there but for the Grace of God … go I.
Jesus did not come to judge us. He came to make us His own. And then He sent us into the world, to be His light, to pray, love, forgive, care so that others can come to know Him, and to be His as well.
Next week I’ll be talking specifically about ways that we can do that.