What is the most breathtaking sight you’ve ever seen?
Maybe you love the mountains-how they reach into the clouds and tower of beautiful river valleys below. Maybe you’re a beach-you can’t resist a colorful sunset over a peaceful sea. Perhaps you’re captivated by the mystery of life seeing a newborn baby gaze into its mother’s and father’s eyes for the first time. Whatever your favorite scenes are, you know how beauty can overwhelm you. You know what it’s like to see something amazingly beautiful and let your heart be captured by it. Whatever the picture for you, there is love behind it. Creation is a reflection of God’s glory and an expression of His love. Eden was the canvas of God’s love, and God did more than paint beautiful scenes there.
This is where He could reproduce the kind of relationship that characterized the heavenly family, where sons and daughters could live out their calling as images of His nature. He created human beings to look like Him, to live like Him, and to love like Him. In this landscape of love, the relationships of the first family were meant to reflect divine values, their work was meant to further Papa God’s purposes, and their hearts were meant to align with each other’s hearts. We know this is not how it turned out.
If we were able to peek into Heaven before time, I think we would see one particular created being who didn’t “get” what love was all about. He did not love himself the way the Father loved him. He broke the covenant and violated the family culture. He went his own way. Everything that is broken came from a created being who lost sight of perfect love-who did not know how to be loved, and therefore did not know how to love, and therefore left the warmth of the Father’s living room and tried to build his own kingdom.
Everything wrong in this world happened because someone opted out of love. And then he tricked the first human beings into opting out of love too. This is where rebellion entered into creation. So, in light of all this, who are you? What was your original design? The real you, the original you, was in the heart of Papa God before time. He already had a plan for forgiveness, redeeming, and restoring every one of His people. Amazingly, none of our sins, mistakes, flaws, failures, offenses, fears, and insecurities-no other sources of guilt and shame, no matter how long they have weighed on you-define your story. From God’s perspective, they are intrusions on your journey. In God’s mind, His idea of who you are fit within His idea of the perfect environment of the garden and everything else He created in love.
This is why we need restoration. We need to be restored back into the image God envisioned for us before time began. This means that not only does our journey begin in the heart of the Father before the foundation of the world, but it also ends there too. From start to finish, the love of God sees who we are and is constantly leading us into our true selves. His love is always there, never changing, never wavering, measureless and timeless, always sustaining, always pursuing.
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