Friday, February 6, 2009

Walking in the Garden With God

Last week, I did a post about a book I'm reading, "The Power of Praying Through the Bible" by Stormie Omartian. I decided to do a post every Friday sharing what I'm learning through this book, chapter by chapter.

If you didn't get a chance to read last week's p
ost, check it out here.

This week the verses to read and consider are Genesis 3:1-9. The main verse that is concentrated on is:

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?'".......Genesis 3:8-9


I have been in places that I imagine may be like that first garden....places full of the sounds of nature, overflowing with plants and trees that I have never seen before, even the timing seems just perfect!! And all of these combined bring on an intense longing to to have what Adam and Eve had--a nice, peaceful walk with God, a time to talk and listen to Him.

There are still places like this, but our world is changing--changing on a daily basis. Everything changed a long time ago when the very first two people created by God gave up the pleasure of having a close, intimate relationship with God to pursue their own interests.

What happened after they ate that fruit? They heard God walking in the garden. He was looking for them to enjoy their usual time together. But they were ashamed to see God, ridden with an overwhelming guilt, so they hid from Him.

Adam and Eve lost their very close, intense relationship with God on that day, and we're struggling to regain that closeness ever since.

God didn't hide from them. He was looking for them. They are the ones that hid from God in their shame, guilt and fear.

God knew exactly where they were, but He wanted them to know that He wanted to continue in this relationship He had established with them. He knew of their sin, but He came to keep His walk with them regardless of this.

We could easily place the blame on Adam and Eve for our own lack of a close relationship with God. We could say to ourselves, "But, look!! Adam and Eve ruined our chances for this a long time ago!"

But, here I have to stop and think before I criticize them unfairly. How many times have I repeated their exact same mistake by making choices that draw me away from God's presence?

Yes, I have experienced that intense fellowship with God, and I wish I could hold on to these moments and keep them with me--always having this feeling in my life. And then just hours later--what happens? I make a choice that draws me away from God, to turn my back on Him. In doing this, I'm really sabotaging my relationship with God.

Instead of waiting patiently for His soft whisper, I make a choice that goes completely against God's will for me.

Most of the time, I have to admit, this occurs when I insist upon keeping to my own schedule for my life instead of trading this in for God's agenda for my life. And then my relationship with Him seems distant rather than close.

I want to keep these close moments in my life--having them with me always. Prayer is our way of communicating with God. The power in our prayer life flows out of God, not out of me.

This is His power, not mine. I won't experience God's power in my life if I'm being insistent upon my own agenda and my own schedule. I need to trade in my dreams for my life for God's dreams for my life--His plans and purposes for me, not mine.

If I fill my life with my commitments, instead of God's commitments, I'll miss out on those special times with God when He is holding me close and filling me with His presence.

The world we now live in will relentlessly fill us with other "things we have to do", if we don't plan and hold sacred our time with God, intentionally building our lives around our times to walk and spend time with God.

It's important to remember, that just as He did with Adam and Eve, God will come looking for us, calling to us: "Where are you?"

And, I'm thinking how this would make God smile if I were waiting expectantly for His visit, eager for Him to take a walk with me--instead of Him having to come search for me and calling out:

"WHERE ARE YOU?"

My Father,

I am longing to always have a close relationship with You. Help me to not be drawn by the distractions of this world so that You have to come searching for me. Let me instead be waiting expectantly for You to come to me, as I know You will. Help me to experience Your love and power in every moment of my day.

Enable me to hear Your voice through all the clamor around me, calling to me,"Walk this way, my child. Come walk and talk with me". And let me answer to You instantly, without a moment's hesitation. Give me the strength and courage to always say "yes" to You, my Lord.

God, I know I am a sinner. Help me to seek You and not hide from You. You already know all about me and still You love me. Help me to come to You quickly with my shortcomings, my failures, my sins--seeking Your forgiveness through Your Son, Jesus.

Help me to keep my walk with You close and constant, always seeking You for every decision and making Your choice and not my own.

In Jesus' most precious and Holy Name I pray,

Amen

If you have read this today and been touched in any way, I urge you to visit us at "The Lighthouse of Prayer" so that we can pray with you. I'm heading off to there now to offer my prayer for an area in my life in which I'm not 100% leaning on God.

Beth

4 comments:

Marsha said...

My mind kept hearing the song, "In the Garden" as I was reading your post.

I don't want to be out of fellowship with Him so He would have to ask, "Where are you?" My desire is to be walking close to Him. Sadly, because of my sinful nature, I can not do it along. But I can keep short accounts and get right back in their walking next to Him in the garden.

Thanks for this post, Beth.

Have a blessed weekend.

HisFireFly said...

Oh my, once again our Lord's timing is amazing to me!

I just finished posting a song the Lord gave to me a number of years ago that I call "In The Garden" and then come here to find your post about walking in the garden with Him!

Come read my post at http://hisfirefly.blogspot.com/2009/02/in-garden.html

HisFireFly said...

Oh my, once again our Lord's timing is amazing to me!

I just finished posting a song the Lord gave to me a number of years ago that I call "In The Garden" and then come here to find your post about walking in the garden with Him!

Come read my post at http://hisfirefly.blogspot.com/2009/02/in-garden.html

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet blessing of a post my friend, love you.