Path or formula
I’ve been thinking about how the Lord planted a garden and then put man in it, and only gave him 1 rule. One. Uno. Un. Eins. Live in the garden, eat of any of hundreds or thousands of trees and bushes and plants, just not that one.
The Lord did NOT create a bunch of formulas by which Adam might walk with the Lord in the garden. Nope. Just walk and talk with me as you go through life and that other tree won’t be an issue.
Galatians 5:16 is remarkably consistent with the Lord’s approach to temptation in the Garden: “If you walk in the Spirit you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”
Paul’s answer was not to build a giant spiritual scaffold of formulas erected around a person to hide the construction project of the soul concealed behind, never letting the Lord or anyone else in to just “be”, to know and be known.
His counsel was simply “Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”
Fast forward to our time
But let’s put Adam and Paul’s original readers in front of today’s Christian TV or a ministry web site or in a typical pew and see how they might be advised to overcome temptation to eat of that other tree or sin.
Would they be advised to walk in the Spirit or apply formulas to their faith?
You there in the congregation this morning, if you want a breakthrough with God just raise your hand and pray after me and Satan’s attack will be broken by your boldness, for the righteous will be bold as a lion, so raise your hand and say NO to Satan and make sure to come back at 6pm for our special speaker…
Adam – if you will send at least $25 for this anointed prayer cloth that I have personally prayed over right on this TV set, and put it under your pillow for 7 days, then on the 8th morning, remember 8 is the number of new beginnings, you pray this prayer 7 times, the number of completion, and the devil’s attack against you will be broken and you won’t be tempted to eat of that other tree or sin….
Adam – if you will speak this positive confession of faith over your life every morning, and put on the armor of God, (act out putting on Roman armor for best results), you know angels are activated by speaking God’s Word, so you are setting up a spiritual barrier keeping the devil out…
Adam – it’s the curse of the generations that’s opened the door, bringing up that temptation over and over again. Wait, you’re the first man, so that won’t work, it hasn’t even been settled if you have a belly button… )
When I go back to Genesis 2, I see the Lord walking informally with man in a garden He made, quite happy and content to give them the whole earth, enjoying each other’s company.
Yet today many disciples of the Lord don’t realize they are clothed in robes of righteousness, covered in glory, having been given the Holy Spirit Himself to dwell within. As a result they fall prey to the ignorant and deceitful ministers who help them sew together formulas and doctrines contrary to the ways of the Lord, by which to cover what they’ve been told is their nakedness, never realizing the Lord has clothed them with Himself in glory.
Mentally agreeing with “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” but inwardly believing they are weak and powerless, they grope for man-made formulas as a means to receive answered prayers. Instead of investing their life getting to know Him, they spend their life knowing formulas.
Many have substituted emotion for anointing, experiencing a presentation of worship instead of worshipping in spirit and truth, and an endless stream of new revelations instead of walking out the revelation they received back in 1983, so much so that it’s foreign to them to walk and talk through life with the Father and the Lord as our Redeemer Friend.
We stumble over the simplicity of it all, so much so, people can hardly believe it is “OK” to meet in their home with other believers to seek God and BE the church to their friends and neighbors. They are so used to going to church they’ve lost sight of how to BE the church.
Ways or acts?
My favorite verse is Psalm 103:7: “He made known His ways unto Moses; His acts to the children of Israel.”
The Hebrew word for “ways”, means “a road, a path”. “Made known” means revelation that comes as two walk together along a path – the Lord is walking His path WITH us making his path known as we walk.
I don’t want the ‘acts’ like Israel – such thirst that only water from a rock can keep me from collapsing, so hungry that only manna on the ground keeps me from starving. They went from miracle to lack, provision to despair and back again on a roller coaster spiritual ride over 40 years.
When you walk with Him in His ways you step from miracle to miracle so that ‘miracle’ becomes a way of life, a divine flow. If you know Him and His paths, the ’acts’ will be there with your next step.
I’ve found that most miracles in my life have flowed from my intimacy with Him, so why chase a ‘thing’ when I can know Him.
All over the world people are hungry to know God, to know His ways, thus they are backing away from formula and performance based faith to seek the Lord in homes, within Godly relationships, walking through life together with the Lord and others. They are discovering they not only have permission to do this, it was the original intent.
They have torn down the scaffolding of rules and regulations around their lives to walk with the Lord as Adam once did, what the Lord originally intended, and what the first church walked in: “For the kingdom of God is not in (fleshly food and drink); but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he that in these things serves Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved of men.” (Rom 14:17-18)
The old hymn “In the Garden” was right on the mark:
1. I come to the garden alone
while the dew is still on the roses,
and the voice I hear falling on my ear,
the Son of God discloses.
And he walks with me, and he talks with me,
and he tells me I am his own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there,
none other has ever known.
(words/music by Austin Miles, 1913)
Please send all personal emails or questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org