Posts Tagged ‘God Knowing Us’

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the presence [face] of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” [Gen3:8 AMP]

What Does God Sound Like?

I often wonder what would it sound like to hear God walking in the garden…would there be a mighty roar of wind?…would there be a gentle rustling of leaves?…would there be the sound of God’s footsteps?…or perhaps ‘the sound of the Lord’ relates to a sixth sense, a ‘spirit to Spirit’ sense that Adam and Eve were aware that the Lord was in the garden. Indeed, God did create them in His image [Gen 1:26-27] – which would include a spirit, as well as the soul and body.

God Confronts Adam and Eve

And the mystery of God’s presence being in the garden (more than in any other place) really points to God having a form which, for me, points to Jesus. So my long bow with this verse is that from time to time, or probably daily (knowing the love and character of God), Jesus would walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening (as He also did with His disciples when He was here on earth). You know, I believe sometimes we can get caught up in the harshness of the Old Testament and we can really miss this altogether – How great is the Father’s love is for His creation and how He longs and loves to fellowship with it (and how disappointed He must have been that Adam and Eve were attempting to hide from Him).

In any case (even if you do not agree with the above), Adam and Eve were familiar with the ‘sound of Lord’ and they knew He was in the garden and yet they did not go to Him as I suspect they usually would have, because of their sin. Fellowship and relationship with God was broken that day and instead of perhaps running to Him they hid from His face. This was a very sad day for humanity and for God!

But here is the Good News :-)…

Jesus came to restore everything that was lost through Adam at ‘the fall’!

(‘the fall’ = the fall of humanity through the sin of Adam and Eve)

To understand what has been restored through Jesus let us have a look at what has been lost through Adam.

Through Adam relationship and intimacy with our Heavenly Father have been lost. Our inherited sinful nature rebels against God and His Word. The penalty for our sin and rebellion is death and Hell. We are lost, we are condemned, we are without hope, we are without a purpose, we are without a future, and we are completely powerless and helpless to do anything about where we are heading. There is no way of escape and, because of God’s perfect judgement, nor do we deserve a way of escape.

Now putting the bad news aside here is the Good News :-)…

Jesus came to restore everything that was lost!

Through Jesus and His death and resurrection, our judgement and condemnation has been fully paid for through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We are no longer lost but we are saved by God. We are no longer hopeless but now have great hope in our Saviour and we live in the purposes and calling of our Heavenly Father which He has planned for us before the beginning of time. We are no longer powerless and helpless against the schemes of the enemy but we have given given authority in the name of Jesus through his great victory over the devil at the cross. The authority that had been forfeited by Adam has been restored by Christ. The devil doesn’t even have the keys to His own jails anymore. He is rendered powerless! All he has is lies and tricks. All authority has been given to Christ and to all who are in Christ, Jesus has given His authority. So if we don’t fall into a rebellious life or we are not tricked by the devil schemes we are truly free, free indeed [John 8:36] by the finished work of Jesus on the cross!

Additional reading here Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-49

A Life of Abundance!

Even further, as if this was not enough, Jesus came to give us far more than we could ever hope for or imagine[Eph 3:20]! Jesus calls us not to a life of mediocrity but a life of abundance!

In John 10:10 Jesus says “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”

When I mention abundant life I am not overlooking troubles that can come our way from time to time that can place great demands on our faith and our character. In John 16:33 Jesus was aware of these and said there will be “tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]  and He said this so that in Him “we may have [perfect]peace.”

This abundant life that Jesus speaks of in John 10:10 is created by the Author and Creator of life himself. The One who gave us life is the One who can give us our best life. God knows all about us and He has made each one of us a perfect and abundant life plan for our lives – imagine a life to the max – a life overflowing in abundance! A life of perfect peace! How can this be possible?

Getting Back to the Garden

What was life like in the Garden of Eden before the Fall and how do we get back there?

Here are a few observations about the Garden of Eden before the fall. The Garden was:

  • a place created by God for Adam and Eve to live and enjoy.
  • a place where God could enjoy and commune with His creation.
  • a place for Adam and Eve to fellowship with one another and to fellowship and commune with God.
  • a place for Adam and Eve to rule and to have dominion over all of creation.
  • a place that displayed the magnificence, creativity and glory of God.

I’ve had a revelation (which I don’t mind if you accept or reject) the Garden of Eden is no longer a physical place but a Spiritual place.

If the Garden of Eden is no longer a physical place but a Spiritual place how do we get back there?

Just before Jesus ascended He said to His disciples “don’t leave Jerusalem until you are baptized, empowered and united with the Holy Spirit” [Acts 1:4-5].

The key here is a life empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit comforts us, gives us peace, teaches us, counsels us, encourages us, exhorts us, gives us wisdom, gives us Spiritual gifts to help others, helps us to worship God, convicts us of sin, gives us strength, shows us the truth, guides us, helps us to pray, produces fruit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, and is always with us everywhere we go.

The Garden of Eden or Utopia or Shangri-La or Paradise or any other place of contentment or peace or rest are not found in a physical place but found in a place in our heart where Jesus comes to live with us by His Spirit.

Jesus says:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” [Matt 11:28-30]

True contentment or true peace or true rest for our souls is found in Christ alone. This is not a physical place (like the Garden of Eden) but it is a Spiritual place. It is a position or posture of our heart to receive the Good News about Christ, and to receive the infilling of His Holy Spirit. Then, as God’s Word says, “our new, real life is hidden with Christ in God” [Col 3:2-3] – the safest, most peaceful, most restful and most contented place we can find!

This life is available to everyone but not everyone finds this life:

See why in Matthew 13:1-23.

Chapter 1: Life in the Garden or Getting Back to the Garden
Communication and fellowship as it should be – life in the garden.

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He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to
walk humbly with your God.
( Micah 6:8 )


The scriptures say that Noah ‘walked with God‘ (Gen 6:9).

What does it mean that Noah ‘walked with God’?


Let’s look at a few excerpts of some verses in Genesis chapters 6, 7 and 8.

6v13a God said to Noah… – 6v22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him. NIV
7v1a The LORD then said to Noah… – 7v5 Noah did all that the LORD commanded him. NIV
8v15a Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out… – 8v18a So Noah came outNIV

Are you getting my point? That is…

So walking with God is…



Genesis 3:8 says about Adam and Eve
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. NIV

I believe Adam and Eve would have probably caught up with God as He walked in the garden (if they hadn’t eaten the fruit). So what had happened with their walk with the Lord? Sin and disobedience against God and His Word came into their lives. This brought with it guilt and shame and Adam and Eve hid from God (their friend). Their relationship and walk with God was broken. This is a very sad and tragic moment, Adam and Eve no longer wanted to walk with God (walking as a friend would do) in the garden.

Exodus 33:12b-14 says about Mose’ relationship with God
12b You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. NIV

So walking with God is…




Exodus 33:11a says about Mose’
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.

Genesis 17:1b God says to Abraham
I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. NIV

James 2:23b says about Abraham
He was called God’s friend. NIV

In Job 1:8 the Lord boasts about Job
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” NIV

So walking with God…



Acts 13:22b says about David
‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart ; he will do everything I want him to do. NIV

Ezekiel 36:26 says concerning our hearts and spirits
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. NIV

Walking with God is…



Heavenly Father, my deepest desire is to walk with you. I am so sorry that I haven’t been pursuing you with all of my heart. More than anything else in this world I want to know you, I want to know your ways and I want to know your heart. Please help me to not just be a hearer of your Word (and deceive myself about my relationship with you) but a doer of your Word. Lord give me a new heart and put your Spirit within me. Help me to love and minister to others out of the overflow of your extravagant love and presence in my life. Teach me your ways Lord so that YOU MAY KNOW ME and I may be called ‘friend of God’. I pray that you will boast to your angels about me, In Jesus Name, Amen

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This is a follow on from the “Does God Really Know Us?” series of blogs…

Well, there are a lot of things going through my soul and spirit after a week of the Hillsong Conference. In a way, Hillsong Conference was excellent and, as I have said, there are a lot of things that have gone into my and soul and spirit and in another way there is a small distraction as I have taken many notes and it will take time to ruminate all of this input. You know ruminate?… Like the cows do…chew, swallow it, bring it back up again, chew, chew, swallow it etc, etc 🙂

I have been thinking about the following verses for months…ruminating…

OK, we know ‘faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ‘(see Romans 10:17) and we know that ‘faith without deeds is useless and dead‘(see James 2:20-26). We also know ‘we are saved by grace and not by works‘(Ephesians 2:8-10).

My First point: Merely hearing the ‘Word of Christ’ is not true faith!

Looking at Romans 10:17… ‘faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ‘, do we actually have faith when we hear the Word of the Lord in the true sense of what faith is or is this verse merely suggesting the vehicle in which faith comes? Let me explain a bit better, so we hear the Word of Christ do we have faith at that point? No we don’t! The best it could be called would be incomplete faith or unactioned faith or dormant faith or not-really faith 🙂 . Let’s cut over to James 2:20-24

20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. NIV

My Second Point: ‘Actioned Faith’ brings God’s Friendship

I guess it’s like this, do we see the faith that we have in the Lord as a noun or a verb, faith as a ‘descriptive word’ or a ‘doing word’. I remember at the Hillsong Conference (Yes! It’s all coming back) Robert Ferguson spoke about ‘Bridging the Gap’ between who we are and who we are meant to be in Christ. He reminded us that the early Christians were called believers not Christians. ‘Christian’ came later (still in Acts though) to describe a group of people, that is, it was a ‘descriptive word’, a noun or a label. ‘Believer’, in contrast, is a ‘doing word’, an active word, a verb. Are we a believer and do we have an active faith in our Lord Jesus Christ or do we just sit under a ‘Christian label’, a ‘ticket to Heaven’ type of ‘dormant faith’. Well, if Hebrews 11:6 is true ‘without faith it is impossible to please God” (context – active and believing faith) were does that leave us?

Blessings Steve

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Unbelief has been glanced past a number of times in my blogs. I thought it might be good (for me) to explore unbelief a little more. That is, not actually participate in it 🙂 but consider how undermining and even how wicked (yes wicked) it is to the Lord and why. This is a ‘biggy’. That is, unbelief has the potential to kill our relationship with God. Why? Because it is the opposite of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God [Hebrews 11:6]. If we not exercising our faith in God unbelief creeps in. A few unanswered prayers, a few difficult times, a few grumbles of our heart and all of a sudden our faith has gone out the window.

I am starting at Hebrews 3:7-19 from the Amplified Bible (my comments are in red)
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice,

[Faith starts (or comes) by hearing the Word (or the voice) of God – Romans 10:17. So, conversely, unbelief comes when we fail to live by (or reject) the Word (or the voice) of God]

8 Do not harden your hearts, as [happened] in the rebellion [of Israel] and their provocation and [ embitterment [of Me] in the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tried [My patience]
and tested [My forbearance] and found I stood their test, and they saw My works for forty years.
10 And so I was provoked (displeased and sorely grieved) with that generation, and said, They always err
and are led astray in their hearts, and they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.

[Unbelief is a heart problem. A hardened heart is a heart that continually and deliberately rejects the Word (or the voice) or God. The heart moves from faith to unbelief and this grieves God. I really, really love the end of verse 10. That is, ‘they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.’ This fits in with what I have been saying about ‘God knowing us’. That is, walking in His ways (like Noah). And ‘more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.’ I love this language! I mean, trying out the ways of God and becoming more intimate with them! Yes! Yes! that’s what it’s all about! Not passively sitting in unbelief]

11 Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, They shall not enter into My rest.

[The consequence of unbelief: not entering God’s rest. A place of sanctuary, protection, love, peace and joy. A land of milk and honey]

12 [Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you A WICKED, UNBELIEVING HEART [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.

[An unbelieving heart is a wicked heart as it opposes faith and trust in God. In Revelation 21:8 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving , the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” NIV The unbelieving will be placed with the murders and the sexually immoral and those that practice the occult. etc, etc Wow! That’s pretty sobering!]

13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].

[Ah! Unbelief and a hardened heart are sin and rebellion against God. It is a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Him! It’s treating the promises of God and the Word of God with contempt!]

14 For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.

[Have we lost our ‘first newborn confidence’ and ‘original assured expectation’? Has unbelief crept in somehow? At some point, did we diverge from complete faith and trust in God? Remember your original faith and repent of your unbelief]

15 Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them].

[Again, here is the Word of God, what is our response to it?]

16 For who were they who heard and yet were rebellious and provoked [Him]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?
17 And with whom was He irritated
and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert?
18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?
19 So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to
and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].

[Well that is all quite self explanatory]

Here is the Opposite

Romans 4:18-25
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness — for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. NIV

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief !”

Mark 9:24 NIV


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This follows on from ‘Does God Really Know Us?’…

I hadn’t planned my morning very well yesterday morning and I had missed breakfast. At around 10am I was feeling quite hungry. I knew my wife had packed me some fruit so I was looking forward to a nice, juicy apple or something. I reached into my lunch box to pick out an apple and… “Oh no! the apple is rotten!” Well, it wasn’t completely rotten. I was able to salvage quite a few bites out of it but I was really looking forward to a nice, juicy, ripe apple.

I remembered about Jesus, when He was hungry, and He walked over to a fig tree to grab some fruit…

Matthew 21:18-19
18 Early in the morning, as he (ie: Jesus) was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. NIV

In Luke Jesus tells a parable about a fig tree…

Luke 13:6-9
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree , planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'”

Are you seeing where this is heading?  In the physical, how disappointing it is when you are hungry and there is no fruit (or in my case, rotten fruit).  OK, now in a Spiritual sense, how sad it is for God to see His children bearing NO FRUIT or BAD FRUIT!

Consider the grace of God that He would allow us to do the very things that grieve His heart all because He wants us to enjoy the freedom of a free will.  He allows us to break His heart!

What comes to mind is the heart of God just before the flood (in Noah’s day). I think the following verses capture the grieving heart of God when our lives are centred on ourselves and there is no good fruit and lots of bad fruit coming from our lives.

Genesis 6:5-8
5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth — men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air — for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. NIV

And, finally, back at Matthew 7… (ie: if you have been following my blog)

Matthew 7:17-20
17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. NIV

When our hearts fall into line with God’s heart we will bear much good fruit and will be well on the journey of becoming good friends with God!

Father, by your Spirit, make your home within us that we can truly be your children of light and bear much good fruit to glorify you.  Help us to take our eyes off ourselves and onto you, our creator and Heavenly Father and King, in Jesus Name, Amen!

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“21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord , Lord , did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ NIV

Matthew 7:21-23

The more I think and pray about Matthew 7:21-23 the more I am convinced that this is THE BIG QUESTION. Ie:


So what am I trying to say? Well, really, it’s not what I am trying to say, it’s what the scriptures and Jesus are saying. The scripture says there will be MANY who will come before Jesus at the end of their lives and they will think they know Jesus but Jesus will say to them I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ They think they know Jesus but Jesus doesn’t know them.

As another way to explain this, I am sure you have some close friends and then there are other people that you may know about. Now your friends are the people that you enjoy to be around. They think a little like you and act a little like you. You have things in common that bind you together. It’s the same here in these scriptures! We know Jesus knows all about everyone but He has those who are His close friends. Not because He ‘plays favourites’ but because they share the same heart. They do His will because they have His heart and they are His close friends. Let’s look through the scriptures at some close friends of God.


Exodus 33:11a & 17
11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face,

as a man speaks with his friend

17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and

I know you by name


James 2:23
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called

God’s friend.


Genesis 6:9
9 This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he

walked with God


Acts 13:22
After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse

a man after my own heart

he will do everything I want him to do.‘ NIV


In John 10:27Jesus says:My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.’ NIV

In John 15:14 Jesus says: ‘You are my friends if you do what I command.’ NIV

If God really doesn’t KNOW US ‘as His friend’ or ‘by name’ or by ‘walking with Him’ or by ‘following Him’ or by ‘having God’s heart’ we might be self deluded about our relationship will Him and may be in grave and eternal danger.

Father, teach me, transform me, help me to completely die to myself and to completely live for you so that you may truly know me as one of your friends, in Jesus Name, Amen

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