Have you ever sat back one day and asked yourself the question, 'what is the Christianity all about'. That's quite an existential question I know but I have no mind to get into psychology.
What I actually mean by this is to get you to ask the question what is the Lord actually doing when he made His declaration of Genesis 3:15 or the understanding of the coming Kingdom, the restoration of creation, even what we are being saved from. Has there become a disconnect between your religious experience and what the bible says the Lord is doing.
For many the nature of their relationship with the Lord is one based around doing and receiving. One of two different ideas. Either the idea that if we don't attain to levels we will be punished or that the Lord will pay out big time if we do stuff for Him. A survey of the history contained in the Old Testament and even in the prophets testifies to an Israel which often had the Lord in one or the other of these camps. Equally Church history, even very recent history, shows many also have seen the Lord as either heavy handed policeman or a type of Santa Claus
I know as a father that the times I feel my children see me only as an ATM or taxi are heartbreaking. Equally the times I feel my children are helping out or doing their chores only because they fear my retribution are equally as upsetting. I know I don't want to be seen as a monster nor as a sap by my kids. So what do I want them to see me as? Well I obviously want to both provide for them and know the importance of teaching them to be decent hardworking human beings but I also want to have a communicative relationship where love is transmitted without requirement but because we all want to do it.
I know when I was a child that I didn't really understand what my parents were doing with the boring subjects of bills, jobs and making meals. Christmas and birthdays were their days to shine and woah to them if they did not. Now as an adult the boring bits were where they shone and I am able to write this blog because they did.
Now if those two things are true for me as an earthly Father I wonder if they are for our heavenly Father. Well we go back to asking the question what is the Lord up too? He has been very clear in His word. Look at Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
In this statement the rest of the bible is contained. It is the bones to which the rest of scripture sits around. It is the Lord's big plan. Firstly the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent. The serpent being the devil who tempted and tricked with lies and half truths. To which the woman's seed will bruise via a head shot which is a fatal one. therefore it means that the Lord's plan is to remove satan as an influence therefore devil's days are numbered. This will be done by the seed of the woman. Seed always meaning a descendant but biologically does not come from women, it comes from men. Therefore the reference is a clear one to a very specific descendant, one whom would not have seed from a man, but would be of a virgin birth. Of course anyone whose been to a nativity play knows that means Jesus. Therefore the Lord makes it clear right at the fall of man He is going to clear up the situation, none of us can do it. The devil will have a swipe at Jesus, bruise His heel, alluding to the cross, but the death blow will be the Lord's.
Now that's great and all but Jesus has already been to the cross. Jesus already cried out 'it is finished'. So what is the Lord doing now? why has it been 2000 years and still going?
The answer is found in the starting bit that is so often missed. The Lord will put enmity between you and the woman. Not between you and the seed of the woman but between the woman and the devil. Again we have an image to understand here. In the bible we the church are referred to as a woman, as a bride actually, as Christ's bride. Hence why we focus on relationship because the marriage relationship is one of intimacy and intensity one where two people share something they do not with others. So the Lord declared at the beginning of the fall of man that His plan was not just to destroy the devil but to also make it so their is enmity between him and the church. What is enmity I hear you ask. Well it means hatred or to cause us to despise.
Now that doesn't sound very Christian but lets be clear that's not hate people or any particular group or religion. It is to hate the devil, a spiritual being who as our first parents showed us can have influence over us when we listen to his words. Yet so many of us do listen to those temptations or put downs and we also partake of that fruit which would seperate us from the Lord. In our words so many of us having accepted Christ as our Lord and saviour, with the words it is finished over the sin in our lives and the death that surrounded us still chose the sin over the Father.
The devil is such a good sales man though isn't he. We see this with our first Parents, Adam and Eve. They were in their innocence, clothed in the Lord's righteousness so they did not know their nakedness only the protection of the Father. Genesis tells us they walked with God. A pure relationship was possible, they could discuss constantly the mind of the creator. Yet even though that was all that they had and they had the temptations of the devil were more. You see it isn't sin that needs to be eradicated it is our desire to chose the devil over the Lord that needs to be. Otherwise a new heavens and earth will only end up like the old one. Of course we need to be clear here, when we chose the devil over the Lord, we aren't actually choosing the devil, were choosing ourselves. The devil didn't offer nice tasting fruit he offered the chance to become as God. He was offering what all sin is, what seems forbidden the door you cant go through, more than your circumstances or lot.
Yet thats what the problem is because we humans are an ambitious people. Will there ever be a time we are prepared to just accept our lot? The impression we might have is that the only way the new heavens and earth might work is if our mind's are somehow suppressed and free will would be taken away. of course that's why the devil is a cunning salesman like the ones who sell ice to eskimo's. For the word teaches us what he offered to Adam and Eve, that they may be filled with the knowledge of God, with His glory, well the Lord is going to give that to us. Revelation 21:9-11 the bride, described as the city, but she is filled with the Glory of God. That is the same Glory that Moses couldn't even see or he would have died.
The Lord isn't wanting to suppress free will. Free will is not the seat of sin. It is realising that Jesus is not the provider of all we need but that a relationship with the Lord is all we need. In that thought process we don't suppress ambition we look to Christ as the actual author of our personal ambition. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us this, Ephesians 2:10 tells us we were designed for works before time even began (ie before man even fell, God planned for a fallen world)
So we can see the Lord is still working He is still completing His plan so that there will come a day where we are in a room full of all the things which are of that old serpent and unlike when we gave in they will be hateful to us. Instead of choosing the devil we will chose the Father and it will be based on the restored relationship. A relationship which isn't defined by us not doing sin so we aren't beaten or worshipping God so He gives us stuff it is a relationship where we chose Him, we chose to walk in the cool of the day with Him, hand in hand, conversing as Adam did. From such a relationship we will devour of the tree of life. For in such a relationship the long vast nature of eternity will make sense. An eternity delving into the mind of our Father in heaven, the vast mind of creation, knowing we chose Him, we were not compelled but through love we chose a relationship with Christ over all else.
These blog's are my expression and teaching to impress upon you the religion relationship of either fear based action or reward based action are just plain wrong. What Adam and Eve gave up was the relationship with the Lord, one which would have given them the very desire to be filled with God's glory. Don't let the old salesman sell you what your Father in heaven wants to give you, don't seek your own happiness aside from Christ seek it in Him, the only place you will truly find it.
God's restoration plan is for His children to want a relationship with Him, not because they have to, but because they want to