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Genesis 2:15, “Then the lord God took the man and put him in the garden.” Genesis 2:16, “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, “of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die” (NKJ). Before God took Adam and put him in the garden, God had shown Himself to be who He was: good, loving, all powerful and always had Adam’s best interests in His heart. Then when we read Genesis 2:15 and 2:16, and it’s as if God said to Adam “before today, I have pampered you and kept you on the bottle. I have revealed to you everything that I am and everything that I mean to be to you and for you. Now, go out into the world and grow up as My child into My man.” Before placing Adam in the midst of the garden, God shielded him from any evil or temptation. It seems God treats us no different.
When we are first saved, even though each individual is different, for the most part, God seems to do the same with us as He did with Adam- He seems to shield us away from temptation. He knows what we can and cannot handle. At this time of God’s shielding, we may or may not comprehend the full meaning of the cross, redemption etc., but we sure do know one thing; life for us is no longer as it was before, and God is really, really good.
In this time God brings forth Godly friendships, brand new thoughts, feelings, desires and we are happiest people on the face of the earth it seems. We are newborn people and we know it. We can’t get enough of the Bible, can’t get enough of church, can’t get enough of our new God-given friendships, acquaintances, and more than anything, we can’t get enough of God. Life is never so sweet and everything has become brand new to us (okay, at least this was my experience anyway). After all, was it not Jesus Himself who declared “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:6, NKJ). The child of God who is going through this most wonderful of God-given experiences is a walking example of 2 Corinthians 5: 17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (NKJ).” We seem to think that this way of life will never end. We are on the mountain top so-to-speak.
But as Jesus was up on the mountaintop during His transfiguration (see Matthew 17:2), He eventually came back down into enemy territory to live, and so must we. It was not solely Adam who God dealt with in this way, but His own Son. After His baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus was driven up by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where Satan was waiting for Him. No one is “greater than his master” (John 13:16, NKJ) and thus we should never think that God will treat us any differently than He did His own Son. As a matter of fact, it is to be looked upon by us as an honor that God treats us as He did His own Son… because it means He knows us. This is why we as sons and daughters of God must give Him the time and opportunity to teach us how He treated and dealt with those who came before us. If we come to learn these valuable lessons from God through His word, then when we are going through the battles in the wildernesses of our lives, it will bring us much comfort. God was consistently reminding the Israelite's to bring to their remembrance what He had done for them previously and so must we, because we will need to at times.
Also, it is not as if God does not warn us that this is coming up ahead. God warned Adam, He explained to the Apostle Paul of the many things he must suffer, and of course Jesus Himself knew what would be before Him after His triumphant Baptism. Again, this is why it becomes so key for the newborn in Christ to completely immerse themselves in the teachings and ways God deals with His children and this is learned and taught to us by God in His word (the Bible). More important than this though, is to immerse ourselves in the knowledge of who God means to be to us and what He means to do for us: that He is all good, all our strength, always faithful and our great Protector, even when it seems He is not. If we do not “grow up in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), then when temptations and crisis’s hit us, and believe me they will, we will wilt under the pressure.
This is a high calling we are called to. From God’s viewpoint, this is a privilege and honor He bestows on us. So how do we look at this as an honor and privilege? By when we are first saved, we have to come to understand the mind and heart of God, come into agreement with His mind and heart, and then submit ourselves to God for Him to carry out what is in His mind and heart through our very lives, day-in and day-out. Where once we were the darkness within the darkness, God now enables us to become the light within the darkness and we are to go and work this out in the very day-to-day realities of our lives “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,” Ephesians 5:8, NKH).
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