The Garden Identity
The LORD God planted a garden eastward
in Eden, and there He put the man who
He had formed ...The Prophet Moses
Sometimes it's hard to understand how God
is love when everything around us is in
such confusion. We tend to blame God, not
realizing His complete nature is love. He
is the author of every good and perfect
gift. In the beginning, the Lord God Almighty
created the heavens and the earth as a paradise.
His love filled the world as the Spirit
of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Can you imagine living in a world where
divine love reigned supreme without any
separation between heaven and earth?
In order to understand our identity, we
must first understand creation. "By
faith we understand that the worlds were
framed by the word of God [love], so that
the things which are seen were not made
of things which are visible" (Hebrews
11:3). We were created by an invisible God,
so His love could become visible to all
mankind. Love is the power and motivation
behind all that God does. It is faith in
the knowledge of God's love that gives a
secure and healthy identity to the entire
It is God's love that produces life. In
six days, His love created light and darkness,
the sky, sea, dry land and plants. He created
the sun, moon, stars, birds, fish, animals
and human beings by His spoken word. He
saw every thing He [love] had made as very
good. "...God blessed the seventh day
and declared it holy, because it was the
day when he rested from his work of creation"
(Genesis 2:3 NLT). The creative power of
divine love rested after bringing forth
perfect soundness to all that was made.
The seventh day is one of resting in God's
love, holiness and blessings. It is the
day God dwells with His creation in peace
THE IMAGE OF GOD
"So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him; male
and female He created them" (Genesis
1:27). His purpose was to bring forth His
love into the world through a relationship
and fellowship with mankind. His divine
flow of love brought forth life and health
to His creation. "In Him [love] was
life, and the life was the light of men"
Man was created in the image of love on
the sixth day. As human beings, we were
fashioned in the likeness of God able to
love. In other words, we were patterned
to resemble and reflect God's majesty on
earth; His love, life, light and character.
"...just as He chose us in Him before
the foundation of the world, that we should
be holy and without blame before Him in
love" (Ephesians 1:4). Adam perfectly
reflected the glory of God upon his face,
displaying God's likeness and righteousness.
Our identity is distinguished from the
rest of God's creatures, who were created
on the fourth and fifth day of creation.
Our pets sometimes show more affection than
some humans, but they do not resemble God's
character. Unlike the animal kingdom, we
have moral, ethical and intellectual reasoning,
free will and personality. God infused man
with His breath of life, creating a human
spirit in relationship with Him. Hence,
He gave us authority to rule as regents
of the entire earth. "Then God blessed
them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful
and multiply; fill the earth and subdue
it; have dominion over the fish of the sea,
over the birds of the air, and over every
living thing that moves on the earth"'
God created man with a wonderful future
of great dignity and worth. God saw His
plan and purpose for us from beginning to
end. He made it possible for us to succeed
no matter what comes our way. The psalmist
David answered two very important questions
when it comes to our identity: "What
is man that You are mindful of him, and
the son of man that You visit him? For You
have made him a little lower than the angels
[God], and You have crowned him with glory
and honor. You have made him to have dominion
over the works of Your hands; You have put
all things under his feet" (Psalm 8:4-6).
The Hebrew word, which is translated as
"angel" in these verses, is "Eloheem".
This word is plural, but is used in a singular
manner and usually translated in Scripture
as "God". God created us to have
dominion over the earth. We were created
a little lower than God, as His children,
in order to rule, reign and subdue all things
under our feet, including the power of sin
and all the powers of Satan. There was no
bondage of sin in the Garden of Eden until
the inhabitants were tempted with a sense
of lack. All things were in bondage to Adam,
as freedom reigned, and he subdued all things.
Adam was created to be king of God's world.
The kingdom of God, where God's love reigns,
had come to earth manifesting righteousness,
peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Adam was
given the responsibility to care for the
earth. He knew he could trust in the hand
of his loving Creator to flow forth life.
As human beings, God gave us the responsibility
to reign as masters on the earth in righteousness.
This responsibility can only be carried
out because of our heritage, that we are
created in the image of God's love. His
love never fails to be effective. We're
not to doubt the sufficiency of His love
for us to be successful in life. The Lord
comforted Jeremiah's doubting heart, saying,
"I knew you before I formed you in
your mother's womb. Before you were born
I set you apart and appointed you as my
spokesman to the world" (Jeremiah 1:5
NLT). Shouldn't we trust God's love for
In today's world, sin, unbelief and fear
has weakened our ability to walk effectively
in love. We make excuses to justify irresponsibility.
We live without acknowledging God's grace
and our God given authority to subdue the
earth. "For since the creation of the
world His invisible attributes are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that
are made, even His eternal power and Godhead,
so that they are without excuse" (Romans
Still, in order to satisfy our sense of
lack, we turn to the lust of the eye, the
lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
We hide in our fornication, adultery and
idolatry -- the desire for material things.
Death rules a large part of our society.
We have failed to subdue every temptation,
even though the power of God's love is at
our disposal. We have failed to remain connected
to His life giving flow. Do you desire to
return and walk in the the image of God's
creative love and plan for you?
THE GARDEN OF GOD
The garden of God [love] was His sanctuary
[holy place] on earth. "For He looked
down from the height of His sanctuary; from
heaven the LORD viewed the earth" (Psalm
102:19). He desired a personal relationship
with His creation. "The LORD God planted
a garden... there he put man ... and out
of the ground the LORD God made every tree
grow that is pleasant to the sight and good
for food. The tree of life was also in the
midst of the garden, and the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis
2:8,9). The first law being to not eat of
the tree of knowledge of good and evil (verse
17). He gave man the ability to choose,
knowing, serving and loving Him, fulfilling
his spiritual potential in every way. The
land was filled with opportunities directed
by the hand of Almighty God.
Let us join in David's love song, worshipping,
"For You formed my inward parts; You
covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise
You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made. Marvelous are your works. And that
my soul knows very well" (Psalm 139:13,14).
The prophet Isaiah compared the comfort
of Zion to the Garden of Eden, saying, "...Joy
and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving
and the voice of melody" (Isaiah 51:3c).
Just as the love of God produced life in
the garden, the joy of the Lord was their
strength. Their hearts were in harmony with
the heart of God.
Before the foundation of the world, God
desired to bring His life from heaven to
earth. He desired to tabernacle or dwell
in peace with mankind. Throughout history,
He set up His dwelling place not only in
the garden, but in the wilderness tabernacle.
He became flesh and dwelt in His Son, Jesus
Christ. Now, He dwells in Christians as
new creations. On the day of the Lord, the
believers will all go to dwell with Him
forever (See Diagram
Adam's job was to tend and keep the garden.
He was to care for God's creation. His diet
was vegetarian. The Lord said, "See,
I have given you every herb that yields
seed which is on the face of the earth,
and every tree whose fruit yields seed;
to you it shall be for food" (Genesis
1:29). The life was in the seed, which germinated
for food and more seed. As far as he knew,
he would live forever, because there was
no sickness or death, only life. Adam named
each one of the animals, as lord over that
kingdom. His names of them accurately described
every animal. God felt it was not good for
man to be alone, so He gave Adam a helpmate
to partner with him not only in cultivating
the vegetation, but to help tend and care
for the animals in green meadows. The garden
overflowed with peaceful streams of waters,
whose waters did not fail. It was a glorious
The garden was a place where God was the
center of all life, caring and loving His
creation. In the garden, it was all about
love. The light of the world shined upon
Adam and Eve. They walked in the light as
He was in the light having fellowship with
one another. They walked in agreement with
God, and what they spoke came to pass. There
was no spiritual darkness at all. They were
totally dependent upon God's spiritual light
for knowledge, wisdom and righteousness.
They were one mind with God and the light
of God was upon their faces. All of their
needs were provided from heaven. They chose
to serve God with a passion and without
fear. They worshiped God in Spirit and truth.
They listened to His voice and obeyed His
will. They were complete, having everything
that pertained to life and godliness. Therefore,
there were no arguments or confusion in
their relationship. The lion was laying
down with the lamb as peace and righteousness
reigned throughout all creation.
Adam and Eve lived the abundant life. The
atmosphere was filled with joy and gladness.
God's word reigned supreme as truth and
prosperity prevailed. The air was filled
with the expression of God's love and life.
Later, the prophet Isaiah had a glimpse
of the abundant life for his people, saying,
"For you shall go out with joy, And
be led out with peace; The mountains and
the hills shall break forth into singing
before you, and all the trees of the field
shall clap their hands" (Isaiah 55:12).
THE POWER OF GOD
At times, in the book of Psalms, it seems
that David had a glimpse of walking in the
garden with God, overcoming all obstacles
by His power and grace. Listen carefully
to the words of the 23rd Psalm, "The
Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I
need. He lets me rest in green pastures;
He leads me beside peaceful streams. He
renews my strength. He guides me along right
paths, bringing honor to His name. Even
when I walk through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid, for you are close
beside me. Your rod and staff protect and
comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in
the presence of my enemies. You welcome
me as a guest, anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings. Surely
your goodness and unfailing love will pursue
me all the days of my life, and I will live
in the house of the LORD forever" (NLT).
God's goodness and unfailing love pursued
Adam and Eve all the days of their lives.
They walked and talked with God in partnership.
They were connected to the throne room of
heaven, living in His awesome presence.
There was no distance between them and God.
The power of God [love] kept Adam and Eve
from the valley of death as He prepared
a feast in the present of their enemies.
We are told that Satan walked in the midst
of the garden: "You were in Eden, the
garden of God, every precious stone was
your covering" (Ezekiel 28:13a). He
was present to steal, kill and destroy,
but Adam and Eve were anointed by God, overflowing
with His blessings.
It was the purpose of Satan to stop God's
creative power of love, life and light.
His purpose was to bring spiritual darkness
into the world through the law [principle]
of sin and death. His chief weapon was His
pride, driving mankind into rebellion against
their Creator. God said to him, "How
you are fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son
of the morning! How you are cut down to
the ground, You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart: I will
ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne
above the stars of God... I will be like
the Most High" (Isaiah 14:12,13a,14b).
Pride was ever present to Adam and Eve,
but they chose to humble themselves to God's
greater purpose, continually before the
presence of God. Humility caused a loving
relationship to divinely flow between God
and each other. "Therefore submit to
God. Resist the devil and he will flee from
you. Draw near to God and He will draw near
to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners;
and purify your hearts, you double minded"
(James 4:7,8). As long as they stayed in
the presence of God, the devil could not
All of the sudden, we discover there are
two voices in the garden, just like in our
lives today. We choose to walk in humility
before Almighty God, or listen to a demonic
worldly voice. We are tempted to listen
to the voice of lack and deception instead
of the voice of God's supply of love and
life, becoming double minded. We are to
choose daily to let God be the influence
of our life, as His children, doing God's
We are given the power of God's love and
grace to overcome every temptation of the
devil. "No temptation has overtaken
you except such as is common to man; but
God is faithful who will not allow you to
be tempted beyond what you are able, but
with the temptation will also make the way
to escape, that you may be able to bear
it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). The power
of love brings forth the life of God, so
that we do not trust in our sufficiency,
but put on the armor of light, which comes
through God's grace.
WHO WERE WE?
We would have all been children of God
through the genealogy of Adam and Eve. God
created us in a state of innocence in His
image, before the fall. He intended for
us to have a loving relationship with Him.
As children of God, we are to be dependent
upon our Abba, Father (Romans 8:15). "Abba"
is an informal Hebrew word for Father, similar
In our previous state of sinless perfection,
we could glorify God perfectly, reflecting
His righteousness on earth. Since there
was no sin, we had perfect fellowship and
communion with our Father. His word was
law, and our trust was solely in His voice.
We were willing to live "... by every
word that proceeds from the mouth of the
LORD" (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).
The calling of God was upon our life to
exercise dominion. We were meant to be in
control of God's creation with Him. We were
laborers working hard with our hands to
provide for our spouse. As a man, we were
to cleave to our wife and be faithful to
take care of our offspring. As a woman,
she was to help her husband in every way
to carry out his calling.
As faithful children, our response was
to depend upon God in every way. We were
obedient children, whose moral knowledge
only came from our Father. We were not to
make decisions independent of Him, by trusting
in our own knowledge of good and evil obtained
from eating the forbidden fruit.
It is time for us to determine who we really
are. If we are not presently connected to
God, we have lost that loving feeling. But,
we are more than just an emotional being,
doing what feels good. We are spiritual
beings, having the breath of God in us.
We have dreams and visions of how to be
useful in the kingdom of God. "For
it is the God who commanded light to shine
out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ"
(2 Corinthians 4:6).
We are either connected to God spiritually
by the Holy Spirit or not. Are you experiencing
His righteousness, peace and joy in your
heart? Do you talk to Him daily, hearing
His voice? Are you experiencing His love
for you and longing for Him? If you are
not, my prayer is that you will evaluate
your walk with God as you meditate on what