Dear friends, I believe this is the last post in this series about God’s preparation. We started with part one, about Trials and Challenges, moved to part two, Time + Honor = Fruit, and then last week delved into Recognizing God’s Preparation. Thank you for being so willing to share your hearts and stories. They (and you!) are amazing!
I think this last part is the toughest to write as there is so much swirling in my mind, more in the sense of a mental picture of this whole process and how God works, that to put it into words is very challenging. I think I could write an entire book about how God works in everything and how it all interconnects.
Thus why I love this Scripture so much:
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. — Colossians 1:16-17
The scope of this is massive if we sit down and apply it to everything we see, think, and feel. To our trials and challenges. Even to our pre-believers. This applies across the board to the seen and the unseen—the physical in all that we are and see and the spiritual in all that we don’t see but believe, hope and find our being.
My question for you today is, what side of the cross are you living on? In the series I wrote about transforming our minds I talked about sinner vs. new creation. On the back side of the cross, we are sinners—living in our sinful state without Jesus. On the front side of the cross, we are new creations in Jesus who still sin at times. But we live in the full inheritance of Christ as co-heirs. We have the Holy Spirit living in us—our Great Friend and Counselor, who is part (if not all) of this spirit of power, love and a sound mind that we are given (2 Tim. 1:7).
Behind the cross we existed and survived within our own limited power. In front of the cross we are empowered and strengthened by the very Spirit of God.
Behind the cross we had to work to save ourselves. In front of the cross, we find our salvation in knowing, abiding (trusting) and resting in Jesus.
Behind the cross we could not be who Abba created us to be in His Son Jesus. In front of the cross, we find our true identities in His Son Jesus and are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. — Ephesians 1:3-8
This is powerful, heady stuff that I struggle to wrap my brain around. I want to live in front of the cross all the time, but my own doubts, insecurities and the enemy seem to drag me back behind this amazing “tree of life” at times.
And perhaps there is the most astounding connection that Adam and Eve’s Tree of Life would one day be the Cross of Christ, giving us everlasting life. And at the end of times we will once again see this tree of life bearing fruit and healing. And the living waters once again as Jesus spoke of so often as He walked the earth.
Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree (Hebrew “ets” also means gallows) that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. — Genesis 2:9-10
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. — Revelations 22:2
Behind the cross we see only what we are capable of on our own. In front we witness the God of possibilities, never limited and beyond our full comprehension. From the tree of life in Genesis to the Cross of Christ, Jesus, was, is, and always will be our destination, our truth, and our peace. The Cross of Jesus is our ultimate preparation to be God’s children.
Adam and Eve stood on the backside of the cross and we stand on the front. I want to live on the front side all the time, my friends. I’m sure you do too. And I believe, when we choose this place on a daily basis, intentionally and purposefully, we then see the very face of Jesus.