A Battleground, Not a Playground

When God created the heavens the earth, He meant it to be the perfect place for man to live. Global warming did not exist. There were no holes in the ozone, no earthquakes, no volcanoes, no hurricanes, no cyclones, no tornadoes, or tsunamis. There were no floods or droughts. There were no rogue waves and no sinkholes. There were no contagious diseases or biting insects. There was no hunger or thirst. There was no poverty or greed. Nothing was in danger of becoming extinct. In fact, death didn’t exist. War and homelessness weren’t even part of the vocabulary.

So what happened?

 

Man entered the picture. Man, a creature made in the image of his creator–just a little lower than the angels–, had the free will to live by the grace of God and the ability to worship Him with every part of his life. For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. (Isaiah 45:18). And with everything in its perfect place, man needed nothing more. But God gave one caution, The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Then the serpent, Satan, showed up and tricked Eve into eating the fruit. Adam soon followed. despite their perfect lives and location, they descended into sin. And God dealt with their sin. Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:16-19) And the God who walked with them in the garden, then sent them out of that garden paradise and barred them from ever coming back because of the sin that had separated them from Him.

If the story ended there, it would be the most depressing story ever told. It is, however, merely the prologue, or the back-story of the complete tale. The remainder of the story tells us how God made a way to bring us back into His presence. A price needed to be paid to free us from the deserved curse that God placed on man. Jesus was that payment. His death opened the way for man to be reconnected to God. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)

Because of sin, remaining in that direct contact with God is not easy. Faith in Jesus Christ “ain’t for sissies.” Jesus said, Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.(John 16:33) He didn’t say that you might have trials, or that if you aren’t a good person, trials will come your way. Jesus flatly stated that you will have trials. It is as certain as growing older.

But Jesus makes a wonderful promise in the second halt of John 16:33, but take courage; I have overcome the world. Because of Him, through Him and with Him, so can we. It doesn’t get any more perfect than that.

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