In order to embrace the joy, peace and fulfillment we all long for we need to understand some basic things. A lack of understanding can cause us to focus on the wrong things. Things that take us away from our goal rather than toward it. We must first realize that God created us to reflect His presence and goodness by giving us entré to kingdom living. What is kingdom living? Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy ghost. This is a place of surrender where we cease from striving against God’s instructions and revel in His provision of every good and perfect gift. The word “Eden” means “pleasure.” It’s true that God longs for us to live lives filled with pleasure! He wishes for us to be successful and be in good health even as our souls prosper in Him. He’s given us all things. But in the midst of this abundance, He withholds what He knows will destroy us. But He’s given us the ability and freedom to choose. So if we press past Him because we’re urged on by suspicions that He is a cosmic killjoy or is holding something good back, we set ourselves up for painful regrets that have lasting effects on ourselves and countless others we touch.
As in the case of Eve. the damage of sin is never to just one person. Others are affected because we’re bound together as a body under the headship of our God. And He is a loving God who longs for us to stop liv- ing lives of disarray and return to His perfect order and plan.
The garden of living in God’s will is a beautiful place of favor and provision, a place without striving where we are free to dwell as long as we surrender to Him. It’s a place where fruit abounds and is available, not by our physical might or our mental power, but by God’s Holy Spirit. When we yield to His instructions, we get to partake of that delicious fruit. When we resist His leading, we forfeit the pleasure of an
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼abundant harvest. We find ourselves striving to produce what we can in our own strength. But when we’re in sync with God and in His will, we produce more fruit without the stress.
The fruit of our hands and the relationships we’re in can grow bitter in the midst of our do-it-yourself works. We need to resist the temptation to drown out the voice of God with our own desires and demands. Guard against the spirit of entitlement that tries to make you discontent with God’s blessings. That spirit is the beginning of dangerous dis- tractions that can lead to choices that will destroy the joy and peace you seek.
Above all, be aware that God created a void inside of each one of us that only He can fill. The Beguiler would lead you to believe that if you could only have this or that your joy would be complete. This is a lie that will rob you of the very fulfillment you desire and alter your garden experience with God with every time.
God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” What a loaded question! In God’s presence you will always have exactly what you need. Nothing less…and so much more.
Whatever your regrets, know this: Not one of your experiences in life is wasted. God uses all your mistakes and failings to reveal a greater pic- ture of Himself and the redemption He so generously offers. Though he breaks you, He will also bind your wounds so you will become stronger than ever in Him. And yes, you will become even wiser. It is your Father in heaven’s good pleasure to give you His kingdom. He wants you to experience righteousness, peace, and joy through the Holy Ghost—all the things that are conducive to leading rich and fruitful lives filled with more than you can imagine. Is it possible for your dreams to come true right here on earth? Absolutely! But only as you learn to rejoice within the safe confines of the garden God provides.
Every temptation in life is not a personal attack, but it is a direct sabotage of your God-given destiny by the enemy of your soul. As you see the larger picture of God’s kingdom agenda being worked out in your life, you’ll make choices based on an agenda that reaches beyond your earthly perceptions to God’s heavenly vision. As His will becomes your mission statement, your decisions will be transformed to align with His heart. And that will take you to another level of living the life you hope for.
An excerpt from Michelle’s new release releasing Sept. 1st, Getting Smart About Life Love and Men.
A collection of letters sharing ancient wisdom for today. Order your copy of Getting Smart… on Amazon today! For more info log on to michellehammond.com