DEVOTIONAL PAGE - "Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).

October 1, 2018

 

The Eden Life

 My Dear Friend,

     "Eden," ah, the name calls! It quietly woos and summons us to remember our beginning. That beginning was with God, in His will, In His presence, in His loving favor. Then man sinned.

     And ever since God has worked steadily and sacrificially to have us back where we belong, in the Eden life. He opened the way for this through His Son's viciously beaten, broken, bloody body and the unfathomable horror of His separation from the Father.

     He has always been calling us back to Eden. Through the centuries and Scriptures, Old and New, He has used every kind of alluring, enticing language to draw seekers of the Eden life.

     He has modeled the Eden walk before our eyes in the lives of His intimate ones. Abraham, Moses, Daniel, David, Paul, John, and other friends of God embodied the Eden life in this alienated world. It was a life of deep fellowship with God, sustained by God's grace and their discipline and a deep trust in His merciful love, sovereignty, and purpose. It still is.

     Psalm 36 paints a vivid, captivating picture of Eden living. "To thee men come for shelter in the shadow of thy wings; they have their fill of choice food in thy house, the stream of thy delights to drink; for life's own fountain is within thy presence, and in thy smile we have the light of life" (vv. 7-9, Moffatt).

     Eden life begins when one fully trusts Christ for salvation, thereafter sheltering under the "wings" of His sovereign, protective covering. There is "choice food" aplenty there, natural and spiritual, as one draws near Him daily, living in His spiritual "house," or presence. We eat our fill of nourishing insights from the bread and meat of His Word as well as provisions for our bodies. Ah, but there's infinitely more.

     "Life's own fountain" - the proverbial fountain of youth - is there in His Presence. We drink in endless, revitalizing refreshment from His Spirit as we pray, praise and worship Him, and read devotionally at His feet. Even when we quietly offer thanks, the fountain rushes up and overflows (John 4:13-14).

     The "stream" of natural and spiritual "delights" it creates flows steadily as we stay in touch with the Source. Daily delightful answers to prayer, intimate disclosures of God's nearness and guidance, fellowship with other Edenic Christians, and the mercies of forgiveness flow our way without ceasing. In the Hebrew, this "river of your pleasures" (KJV) is a play on the word for "Eden" (RSB, note). Thus, this river is linked to our origins in Eden.

     Best of all, however, is the light of God's "smile," or beaming favor. It shined on Adam originally in Eden and shines on us as we live the Eden life. There is no joy on earth to equal the sense of God's favor, that He is pleased with us. This light of His favor energizes, spurs, inspires, transforms - and we live life in this lower world on a higher level.

     It is a pure, clean life; a sustained uplifting life; a life that, like a potent river, flows farther and stronger daily; a life that cannot be damned up except by sin. No enemy, tribulation, or persecution however fierce or relentless can spoil or halt it.

     Numerous Bible passages resound this call to Eden with its "life's own fountain" and "stream of thy delights." Psalm 16:11 allures: "In thy presence is the fullness of joy." Psalm 46:10 points to "a river, the streams whereof shall make glad" the city and people of God. Ezekiel 47:1-12 describes this river of the Spirit (or Presence, or life, or revival) and the amazing life, increasing depth (power), and rich and regular fruit it creates.

     And finally John, an Eden man who listened to Jesus' heartbeat there for three years, gave us the greatest prophecy: the redeemed will at last reoccupy Eden (Revelation 21-22).

     Meanwhile you and I may live this Eden life now, every day, in this evil world, in these confusing times, if we cultivate the secret place of sustained, intimate fellowship with Christ (John 15:1-8). He was in the first Eden. He will be in the last. He awaits us now in the present, spiritual Eden.

     If you have never turned from sin to the Savior, come now to Eden and trust, live, and revel under the shadow of His mighty wings.

     If you are already living the Eden life, continue, and He will "continue" His "loving-kindness" there (v. 10) so you may be a greater blessing to others. Until, for the redeemed, this world ends, once again, in Eden.

Continuing,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645