Sometimes in our Christian sojourn, can we (God’s children) really be far away from the very One we owe our physical and spiritual lives to? Even though we may be mistakenly thinking we are close to him? Are there Biblical examples of some souls who were “so close, yet so far from Him”? Yes. In this series of 3 parts I would like to train the spotlight on some of them, while gleaning lessons which are very much applicable to God’s people of the 21st century…
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'” (Gen 3:8-10)
After the tragic fall, were the very first children of God in the revealed Biblical history well within the ear-shot of hearing the words of their Father when He came to fellowship with them that calamitous day? Yes. But were Adam and Eve as emotionally and spiritually close to Him as before? No. Until that sad, sad day they had felt spiritually “secure” in His presence whenever the Lord came into that “Little Paradise” (Eden Garden) to fellowship with them. Oh yes, so much so they may have actually come running to Him in the manner a loved child comes running into the presence of a doting dad who has just returned after a long international tour!
So what really happened? What did they “lose” in order to feel so spiritually “distant” and thereby “insecure” in the very presence of their Eternal benefactor?
To understand this subject more clearly, we need to understand how the Final Adam (the Son of God like Adam — See 1 Cor 15:45/Luke 3:38) began His Earthly Ministry. No other issue was more close to His heart than this…let the Scripture take over at this stage…
“Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. ‘The time promised by God has come at last!’ he announced. ‘The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!'” (Mark 1:14-15)
What is that Kingdom of God, Jesus is referring to here? By any chance was this a reference to Heaven or Millennial Kingdom? No, not at all, for contextually they were not “near” to His audience at that point of time in terms of time or space. Let Scripture (to be more precise Romans 14:17 ESV) explain…The Kingdom of God is: “…righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17 ESV)
Look at the amazing sequencing of words in the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture. It is said in Scripture, “B” never comes before “A” or “C” before “B”. It is righteousness first, followed by peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, and not the other way around. And what exactly is righteousness, if it is not right relationship or standing with God!
Oh yes, Dear Friends…when Adam and Eve lost their right relationship with God, they subsequently lost out on peace and joy of the Holy Spirit as well, which they presumably possessed. The “Kingdom of God” Jesus is refereeing to in His maiden sermon, as it were, is that precious right relationship with God (from which would stem peace and joy of the Holy Spirit) that the final Adam came to restore between the Creator and the fallen descendents of Adamic race who from birth inherit that same sin-marred nature.
And how is that relationship restored? There is no other way other than by repentance (Acts 2:38).
So readers…are we amongst that lot who are from birth regular Church goers…regular participants in Church activities…yet far from the Head of the Church (who is Christ, See Col 1:18) because we have never entered into a right relationship with Him by way of genuine repentance? Time for introspection…
Prayer: Father, by your grace and mercy enable me to have sincere reality check as to my spiritual health, every day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire “So Near, Yet so Far” mini-series, please click here.)