Getting Back Home (Lane)
Getting Back Home
by Lonnie Lane
Once upon a time, when all things were new and pristine, Adam lived in the garden God had “planted” him in with his best friend Eve. Daily God would come to him and together they’d walk and talk and God would teach Adam things about Himself, and also about himself, and about how to “cultivate the garden” and about the animals. And Adam could understand all God told him because He was in unity with God. When God had created Adam He breathed His Ruach (The same word in Hebrew means spirit and breath) into him and Adam became alive, not just to breathe on his own and be a living being – even the animals were that kind of alive – but Adam’s spirit was alive to God. Since God’s breath is His Spirit, when He breathed into Adam, Adam received the glory that is within God, so that Adam was Spirit-filled and glory- imbued. None of the animals, as wonderful as they were, was alive like this. Only Adam could be with God as His friend and understand all that God told him and share in God’s joy and knowing everything. And there was great peace in the garden and all was well.
When God had decided to create Adam, He said, “Let us make man (adam = person or species) in our image, in our likeness.” The Hebrew word for “likeness” has to do with shape and seems to be material in nature, while the word for “image” seems to have more to do with spirit as in illusion or phantom. So Adam was created somehow in the “shape” of God as well as created in the spiritual image of God. Though God is spirit, we do read about God’s hands, His feet, His head, His heart. Perhaps these are not metaphors but a spiritual reality. We also read about God’s feelings and emotions, His thoughts and plans and choices. We have these qualities because God has these and we are like Him.
As we look back on the story from here, waaaaaay outside the garden, squinting as we might to get a clearer picture, it is hard for us to imagine a human being of the same mirror image as God. Certainly Adam was not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient, but his intelligence was entirely in tact, whole, and far beyond what we can image a person to be endowed with. No doubt his entire brain was operative, not like us today who supposedly only use a portion of our brain capacity. When he walked with God and God taught him, he was able to comprehend and remember everything God told him. He could easily grasp the spiritual nature of things and see how they played out in the natural, knowing the spirit realm is the real, the primary, the true realm of which the physical was a manifestation in all its perfection.
Everything in every way reflected God’s character and nature. It was like being “home” in every way. All was safe, peaceful, satisfying, delightful, enJOYable, secure and fulfilling. In other words, it all reflected God’s complete goodness! But then, as we know, the tempter arrived on the scene and Eve became the first person to succumb to false advertising and she bought what he was selling. But it proved not to be what she thought she was getting and in fact she and her husband got stuck with having to pay for what she bought with all that was good, which threw them into spiritual bankruptcy. First they lost what they were clothed with so that in one instant their glory-covering disappeared, and with it so did the “knowing” of Spirit-revelation and now they were left with only their natural intelligence.
Additionally, they lost their security deposit as that security which God had deposited into their souls was gone and all they were left with was shame and guilt. Worst of all, they lost their home and were evicted from their perfect habitat. They were driven from their lovely neighborhood and therefore lost their jobs as gardeners where everything grew so beautifully and in abundance. Now they didn’t even have the food that was always available to them. Their relationship with each other was not what it had been since Adam blamed Eve and she blamed the snake. Even their friendship with the animals was now not what it had been. Gone also was the trust they didn’t even know was there until it left. And life became so hard and threatening and lonely now that they were no longer home.
Today we are very aware of nations and people hurting other nations and people – in order to gain what? Power? Land? Security? Or for religious reason so that everyone else might believe in their idea of God? I’d like to suggest that at the heart of every conflict and ambition, as the offspring (the “seed”) of Adam and Eve, we all long for what we were originally created for, where all was safe and all was provided for and we were friends with the Almighty, and with each other.
We all want loving and trust-worthy relationships, and a place to call our own where we are not threatened with harm or loss and where we feel safe. A good bit of our activity is about creating and maintaining a place that is pleasing to us and brings us security and rest. You could say it’s sort of our way of trying to recreate the original garden environment. We long to be “at home.”
While that does sound nice and homey, history is too often about nations conquering and being conquered, not only for the territory because we sense that land and security go together, but for power. Seeking that kind of power over others (not the God kind of power that brings blessings and miracles) is an attempt to control what or who might threaten, to overcome vulnerability. It’s also a quest for what is produced on that piece of real estate, whatever the yield of the land is, ever in search of the abundance that once was.
Securing our own boundaries (by doors, fences or walls) or securing our national borders (through barriers and/or military means) are individual and national concern. These concerns become more critical when we feel that our “home” is being threatened. In America we now have a whole government organization called “Home Land Security” (Could any other name prove my point more clearly?) which will hopefully protect us from invasion of any kind of enemy threats which might enter within our borders. We install “security systems” everywhere in our society. All so that we can be safe in our own homes, neighborhoods, schools, businesses, cities or nations. All because we all know intrinsically that we aren’t really home safe in any permanent way. Such is the way of the Fall from grace. The further society gets from trusting in our good and Almighty God who acts on behalf of those who look to Him, the more we seem to need to “secure” our lives on our own.
We seek to use our intelligence to learn and gain mastery of certain skills and information that we hope will see us through to security and fulfillment for ourselves and our children. And a large portion of our economic efforts has to do with providing our own food and needs. We are all aware, though we may not attribute it to being evicted from the garden, that we are working by the sweat of our brows; even if it’s over a computer keyboard, we’re still working hard.
Today we are acutely aware that religious beliefs of certain nations drives them to oppress other nations, and even their own people, in attempt to gain control of the world so that others will believe in the same idea of God they do. But God never exerts that kind of control or domination. He has created us in freedom, just as He Himself is free, or else Adam and Eve would not have been allowed to sin.
The issue in the Middle East today between Israel and her Arab neighbors is much ado about land. It is God who evidently has ordained that land as important. Indeed God’s promise to Abraham was largely about that piece of land that would be their very own, with Jerusalem the city of God to which Yeshua would come and to which He will return. Further more, as Abraham’s son, God designated a portion of land that would belong to Ishmael’s descendents, e.g., the Arab lands, as distinct from that which He promised to Isaac and Jacob. The fundamental battle today is a spiritual one: Who will control Jerusalem, Yahweh or Alah? These two are not one and the same. One God does not have two conflicting opinions. Spiritual issues are very much the essential motivating factor as to who owns that piece of land, and is in fact ultimately behind all that concerns us.
The motive behind religious pursuit, is that we humans want to get back to God and the security that is only found in Him. But we will not find eternal answers in earth-bound and soul-motivated religious practices, even if we are promised eternal rewards for doing them, be it total salvation or “virgins.” Only what is of the spirit can birth what is spiritual. To understand the God-ordained relationship between the spiritual and the physical as they are designed to be lived out in a cohesive life style, one only has to look at what God designed for Israel to live out with Him as defined in the Tenach (“Old Testament”), which is the foundation upon which the New Covenant stands. But to leave God out of our plans, desires, ambitions and accomplishments, is to miss what we were created for. Deep inside us there is an innate cry to connect with God, and to find the answers that only God can give us.
What false advertising of the devil are we each buying into? What are we believing in or desiring that falls far short of what God designed us for, and designed for us? What Adam lost was spiritual first – he lost his relationship with God through sin. When we search for “things” to fill up the gap apart from a relationship with God, we will always be striving without true fulfillment and we will be “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:7). Ultimately, know it or not, what we all want is what God originally created us to live in: “Righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). We are also created to be “at home” with God, to walk with Him and talk with Him and to hear His voice and learn from Him through revelation as He speaks to us.
How do we get there? Some of us already know. The most amazing thing took place. This God that Adam walked with in glory, emptied Himself of His own glory and became a mere man who experienced all that we do as humans, these things that are the stuff of the human experience since Adam left “home.” The only difference is that He did not succumb to temptation and sin. He was tempted as Adam was, and though He was also God, as a man, “He learned obedience (to God) from the things which He suffered” (Heb 5:8). In his greatest temptation, which took place also in a garden as Adam’s did, He chose to obey God even over His own self-preservation, His own safety, His own wish to avoid pain, anguish or humiliation and, worst of all, even over what he dreaded most, separation from God.
I’m sorry if I’ve drawn a lot of pictures in dark and dreary colors. But here comes the bright light and the shining truth. Before Yeshua died, at His last Passover Seder, He prayed for His disciples and for you and me:
“I do not pray for these alone (Here’s where He’s talking about us), but for those also who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I in You; that they also may be one in US, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
(Now here comes the best part) “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:20-25 NKJV).
The glory that Adam lost has been restored to us who are in Yeshua through faith. He has restored us to God by redeeming us, by buying us back from sin and death. He paid the price we could never pay, to cancel the hold the devil had over humankind through our original parents buying into the false advertising of the devil. Maybe we don’t see the glory that’s upon us, but if He said He gave it to us, then He did. The angels can probably see it on us even if we can’t. As we still live in a Fallen world, there is much of what has been bought back for us that we are not yet fully aware of, but it’s ratified by God Himself and signed in Yeshua’s blood. We’re free from the curse that was put upon us. The blessings and the freedom of God are ours once again. “We have peace with God through faith” (Rom 5:1). That means, we believe in God’s goodness toward us and we trust Him entirely, and we now know that He is the source of all that we need or long for.
Now when we make choices to attain material things, or to learn a particular skill, our motives can be pure in our desire to do with our lives what God puts in our hearts because we know that He knows best what is good…. As I’m writing this, I’m not able to convey adequately what I want to say because the understanding I have in my heart is beyond ability to express. I wish I could type in tongues and you could get the interpretation.
We receive from God by faith. We can believe for what we know of God. But God is so far above and beyond what we know of Him! What if we took the limitations off of our expectations of Him to work in our lives? What if we opened our hearts to God for Him to do all that is in His mind and heart on our behalf instead of praying for what what’s in our minds and hearts? …I think I just have to pray. Will you pray this for yourself with me?
“Lord, You are so wonderful. I trust You with all that I am and all that You will cause me to become. Lord, do unto Me and all my friends reading this according to Who You are, and according to all You have in Your heart to do in and through Your people. I no longer want to live within the confines of what I think I’m capable of, or even of what I think You’re capable of doing in my life – because You are so much bigger then I can imagine. Lord, I want you to do in each of our lives exceedingly abundantly beyond all we can presently think of or ask You for. I believe, based on Your word, that you have restored Your glory to us so that we are able to hear Your voice, to walk with You in sweet communion and friendship. Lord, I’m asking and therefore expecting that You will teach us to walk more closely with You and to learn from You. Then help us each to fulfill all that You ask of us, knowing we will do it together.
I open my heart to all You want to give me, Lord. Forgive me for limiting Your goodness to me by my unbelief. I thank you that you and I are “one,” that the separation between us is no more. I have been united with You and I am Yours and You are mine. I’m so grateful, Lord.
I also thank you that our intelligence is now consistent with Your glory. I thank you for words of knowledge, for wisdom, for revelation and understanding that is far beyond what our natural minds could comprehend. Keep us, Lord, from being deceived and misled by any false advertising and lies of the enemy and let us always be discerning of the difference between truth and error. I thank you for making us in this day a prophetic people who will bring about as we obey You, the greatest manifestation of Your kingdom the world has yet to see, in preparation for Yeshua’s return.
And Lord, I thank you that you are making Your people one, that all the walls that were erected by people for the wrong reasons would be non-existent among Your people. I thank You that Your word is true and will fully come to pass and that no distinctions will hinder the unity in Your people. Show us, Lord, any place where wrong motives have been at work in our hearts or lives that we may repent and be cleansed by the ever atoning blood of Yeshua. I commit any problems or unresolved issues in my life to You for Your creative solutions, for You are my Creator-God.
I give you great praise, Lord, for what You have done in restoring Your people, and I can only say thank you for all that You have given to me and to my friends already and what is yet in store for each of us, both in this life and forever. I pray for myself and all those praying this prayer with me that Your highest will would be done in each of our lives and that our lives would be lived unto Your glory. May Your will be done in each of us and on the earth, that Your name will be praised. B’shem Yeshua (In Yeshua’s Name), Amen and Amen.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.