Taking Back the Garden of God
There is something within the spirit of man that rebels against oppression. There is a knowing, woven into the very fabric of our being, that we were not created to live in bondage to poverty and lack. We were not designed to submit to sickness and disease. We were not meant to be the slaves of any earthly person or any natural thing.
We were meant to be kings.
At times that consciousness may be all but crushed by the merciless blows of the devil. It may be numbed into deception by the false teachings of religion. But despite it all, there still burns within each one of us a longing to somehow escape the domination of natural circumstances and rise again to a place of dominion. We have the sense, etched indelibly in our spirit, that we were originally created to reign in a Garden of Eden…and nothing can quench our desire to live there again.
Why is that?
Because, from the beginning, that has been God’s will for mankind. He literally breathed that will into the entire race on the sixth day of Creation, the day when, as Genesis 1 says, “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 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’” (verses 27-28, New King James Version).
The New Living Translation puts it this way: “God blessed them and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.’”
Those were the first words God ever said to man. And with those words came the divine power to back them up—a power that was delivered to Adam through what the Bible calls The Blessing.
God Never Gave Up
At first glance, you might wonder why Adam even needed such a blessing. After all, he lived in the Garden of Eden—a perfect place where everything he could possibly need was already provided, a place pre-designed to reflect God’s best and highest will.
But, as wonderful as that Garden was, it did not encompass the entire earth. Its scope was limited. According to the boundaries given in the Bible, it occupied only a few hundred square miles in the vicinity of modern-day Iraq.
Adam’s assignment was to change that. His job was to finish what God had started by using his God-given authority and the power of The Blessing to multiply and expand the Garden of Eden until the whole earth was filled up with it. He was given the awesome responsibility and anointing to reproduce the conditions of Eden wherever he went.
That wasn’t just God’s plan for Adam. It was His plan for all mankind…and His plan has never changed.
Most believers today, however, don’t realize that. They assume that when Adam and Eve blew off The Blessing by joining themselves to Satan and turning it into a curse, God called the whole plan off. They think He canceled Adam’s original assignment and withdrew the power He’d given to fulfill it. They believe God gave up on the Garden of Eden after the Fall of Man, so they’ve given up on it too.
“Well, this old earth is cursed,” they say, “so I guess as long as I live on it, I’ll suffer the effects of that curse too.”
Years ago when I first got born again, I thought the same thing. As a result, everywhere I went the curse followed me. It kept me poor, sick and defeated in every area of life. I tried desperately to get away from it. I’d think, Maybe it will help if I move over here…. Maybe things will get better if I get a different job. But no matter where I went that cursed environment went with me.
Don’t misunderstand. I knew I was saved and that I was going to heaven when I died—and I was extremely grateful for that. I’d even received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, but my life did not bear the slightest resemblance to the Garden of Eden. Gloria and I were $24,000 in debt (that’s like $150,000 in debt these days). We had an old car that was an absolute embarrassment, and very little income. Since we were practically void of revelation, nothing we did succeeded.
Right in the middle of that, however, I went to Oral Roberts University and, because I worked for Brother Roberts, I was thrust into his tent meetings. There I witnessed astounding miracles. I watched in amazement as he used his faith again and again, like a mechanic uses a tool, to set people free from the oppression of sickness. I heard him preach “seed faith” and God is a good God.
About that same time, my mother introduced us to the teachings of Brother Kenneth Hagin and I found out I didn’t have to live under the curse anymore. I could live in the blessing of Abraham because, according to Galatians 3:13-14: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (New King James Version).
Honestly, back then I hardly knew what that meant. But I was smart enough to study the life of Abraham, and I found out he was an extremely successful man. God’s blessing followed him around much like the curse had followed me. Everything he did prospered!
I Didn’t Understand It—But It Worked!
Just that little bit of revelation revolutionized my whole perspective on life. I began to see Gloria and myself not as just poor folks trying to get by from one day to the next, but as extremely wealthy—spiritually, mentally, physically and financially.
Gloria and I (since we’d learned some things about how to operate by faith) even began to talk that way. When money ran short, instead of saying, “We can’t afford that…” we’d say, “We’re blessed, glory to God! The blessing of Abraham is ours through Jesus and all our needs are met according to His riches in glory.”
When we first began to say those things, our circumstances weren’t any different than they ever were. We still didn’t have any money. We were still loaded down with debt. But inside we saw ourselves differently, and before long the revelation we had on the inside began to change what was on the outside.
Eleven months later, we were totally out of debt…and we’ve never been in debt again. What’s more, God’s blessing began to expand in our lives and change the atmosphere around us. Life just kept getting better and better.
Even so, I didn’t fully understand what I’d tapped into for a long time. I knew “the blessing of Abraham” had come on me because of what Jesus did through His death and resurrection. But I didn’t totally realize what the blessing of Abraham was.
Some years ago, however, the revelation of it exploded within me and I’ve never been the same.
I was sitting on my back porch one night preparing to preach when it happened. I’d finished studying and I just began to worship and praise God, singing an old song I learned about 40 years ago that says, “Oh, the blessing of Abraham is mine. For sickness, I have health, for poverty wealth, and the blessing of Abraham is mine.”
Right in the middle of that, the word of the Lord came to me so powerfully it almost jerked me up off the chair. He said, I want My Garden back!
“Uh…what did You say?” I asked.
He said, I came to earth. I defeated Satan. I broke his power. That Garden belongs to Me again and I want it back! I want My property back!
That’s when it hit me: The blessing that was on Abraham to multiply, be blessed and be a blessing to all the families of the earth is the same blessing God originally gave Adam. God never gave up on His original plan. He just transferred it from Adam to Abraham, and then passed it on through Abraham to Jesus…and through Jesus to us. That blessing is nothing less than the divine empowerment to re-create the conditions of the Garden of Eden wherever we go!
Faith Is the Catalyst
As a whole, the Body of Christ hasn’t fully realized it yet, but the fact is, the moment we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He lifted us out of the curse. Even though outwardly we are still on this sin-scourged planet, inwardly we’ve been set right in the middle of the Garden of Eden. Spiritually we’ve been seated with Christ in heavenly places. Our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3) and we’ve been blessed “with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
That means if you’re born again, the Garden of Eden is inside you right now, and Jesus is saying to you much the same thing God said to Adam. He is saying, I bless you. Now take that blessing and release it by faith so it can manifest and re-create the conditions of the Garden of Eden in your life.
Read that last sentence again. Notice it doesn’t say The Blessing will operate automatically in your life just because you’re saved. The Blessing has never operated automatically. It must always be received and released by faith. Faith works like a catalyst to activate The Blessing and put its power to work in your life.
If you’ve ever worked with a chemically activated adhesive, you understand just how vital a catalyst can be. That kind of adhesive doesn’t work like glue. You can apply it in abundance but, by itself, it won’t stick to anything. You can put it between two pieces of wood, squeeze them together for a month, and they still won’t adhere to one another.
But when you add the catalyst, a chemical reaction takes place. The reaction will cause the adhesive to harden so completely that you’d demolish the wood before you could get the two pieces apart.
The Blessing is much like that adhesive. It has in itself all the divine power and know-how, all the supernatural properties, to enable God’s people to multiply, be fruitful and have dominion over the earth. It carries all the anointings necessary to make us masters over every devilish thing that would try to enslave us. It carries with it all the ability we need to begin transforming our households into a veritable Garden of Eden.
But it won’t start to work until we mix it with faith.
Faith has always been the catalyst for The Blessing. That was true in the life of Abraham. It was true in the life of Jesus. And it is true for us. Romans 4 leaves no question about that. It says: “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed…” (verses 13, 16).
In other words, God in His mercy said to mankind, I know you messed up. I know Adam blew it and lost The Blessing, but I want you to have it anyway. It’s My will. So if you’ll just believe what I say, I’ll bring it to pass in your life. I don’t care what the devil says about it. You can have it by grace through faith and not by works.
Abraham was the first person to take God up on that offer. That’s why the Bible calls him the father of faith. When God promised to give him The Blessing that was originally on Adam, Abraham totally believed it and acted on it by faith. That’s the reason it operated in his life, changing circumstances, changing people, changing the countryside, making him rich and taking care of him wherever he went.
Abraham believed in The Blessing so completely that when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, he was willing to do it because he fully expected The Blessing of God to raise Isaac from the dead.
Thousands of years later, Jesus did essentially the same thing. Operating as the “Seed” of Abraham and the heir of his blessing, Jesus walked in that blessing by faith, and exercised dominion in the earth like Adam was originally commissioned to do. Jesus, the One the Bible calls the last Adam, expanded the reach of the perfect will of God as it was first demonstrated in the Garden of Eden by conquering sickness, poverty and demonic oppression. Then He went to the cross, accepted the sin of all mankind into Himself, died and went to hell to pay the penalty for it—all the while believing The Blessing of God would raise Him up again.
Now it’s our turn. Because we’re in Christ, The Blessing belongs to us as surely as it does to Jesus. In fact, we’re responsible for it because we are His Body in the earth.
There is coming a day when Jesus will return and reign for a thousand years and bring this planet, in its entirety, back under The Blessing of God. What a time that will be! The Millennial Reign of The Blessing. We all look forward to that. But until that time, you and I, as believers have the awesome privilege and responsibility of manifesting that blessing in our own lives and households. We have the opportunity of taking it to others by telling them the good news and demonstrating the power of The Blessing for all to see.
I can still hear the voice of the Lord in my spirit, ringing loud and clear, I want My Garden back! It’s time we, His people, His Body in the earth answer His call. The Blessing is ours. Let’s believe it, confess it and release the power of it. Let’s rise up by faith in the Name of Jesus and take back the Garden of God.