Today I am in Spain after an amazing time in England with Impact Community Church and their Arise Conference. I was blessed to be with my very good friend Andrew Shearman for the whole time and God was wonderful. John Marsden was also able to come and be with us on the Friday night. It was great to be with Pastor Elijah Boswell and his awesome church family. Time with my covenant brothers Andrew Shearman and John Marsden is always a premium! God is so good and His life is so rich and wonderful!
We were created to live in and from the presence of God in our lives. God is our Father and He gives us life, breath, and all things. Knowing Him is more important than knowing what to do in life, because a personal relationship with Him is life. When we know Him, we come alive and we give life to the world around us!
I have been describing the creation of the heavens and the earth from the perspective of God and from the perspective of man as God inspired Moses to write it. If you haven’t read my blogs from the past couple of weeks, I encourage you to read them to understand where I am coming from. God created man on the sixth day and then He rested. God’s view was a finished work, but from the perspective of man there was much to be done. Man’s first experience was something of dust and then an experience of God resting in and with him in life. It was from that reality that man found himself in a place of paradise. I believe that paradise is a place where nothing works without God. Thus, it is also a place where everything works because of God. God took the time to plant a place in the East that was a delightful place of relationship with God and man, man and God. I know these things to be true in principle, pattern, and value. I was once dust, but I experienced God resting in my life! It is from that place that I have grown in being able to give life to the world. I know what paradise is. It is being loved by God and being empowered by that love for life-giving transformations in all things.
Genesis 1:9 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.
The trees of the garden were pleasant to look at and they were good for food. The experience was to see life and experience life with God in an amazing way. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was also in the garden, but I will address that tree in a further blog.
There were four rivers in the garden and those rivers went from the garden, out to the world. I believe that everything in this garden is what Jesus was talking about when He cried out; Is anyone thirsty? Come to me and drink, and from inside of you will flow rivers of life-giving water! I know this to be true, not only in Scripture, but in the testimony of my own life.
When we live in a desirable place with God, the expressions of our lives become desirable to others. When we experience the life of God we become givers of the life of God to others. Like the four covenant rivers in the garden of Eden, the life that flows out from our lives causes our world to be changed. The covenant rivers in the garden were filled with the abundance of life for the purpose of reaching the field. The purpose of the rivers was to reach the place where trees needed to grow. The water of these rivers were destined to flow where herbs needed to grow. The field that Adam was formed from was dust and it was in need of trees and herbs. The earth needed life to become a place that can give life. The garden of Eden was not just a place of blessing, it was a place of purpose. When God rests in our lives it is not just for us to experience the life of God. It is so we can be those who give life to the world.
Genesis 2:10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
There was a river in the garden that produced four riverheads. Four is a number of covenant and it represents the ability to give life to the whole world. These rivers were the testimony of life for all that needs life in the earth. If we look at the names of these riverheads we find some great truth concerning the power of life. If you study the names of these four rivers you will find a description of the following testimony:
- A RIVER THAT BRINGS CHANGE FOR INCREASE – BELIEF (Pishon – persuasion – an extension of the mouth)
- A RIVER THAT BRINGS AWAKENING – ACTION (Gihon – breaking forth – valley of grace)
- A RIVER THAT BRINGS INCREASE AND MOMENTUM – IMAGINATION (Hiddekel –beyond what is – sharp voice, sound)
- A RIVER THAT BRINGS FRUITFULNESS – INFLUENCE (Euphrates – that makes fruitful)
Whatever be BELIEVE determines how we ACT. How we ACT determines what we can IMAGINE. What we can IMAGINE determines how we can INFLUENCE the world around us. The secret to these being life-filled realities for life-filled purposes in our lives is to live in and from the presence of God in all things. God is resting in our lives for the testimony of His glory in our world!
Ted J. Hanson
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