I have found myself thinking about the garden of Eden as of late. It seems the closer I draw to Jesus, the more I desire to not only walk with Him in the garden, but I desire to be His garden. I am reminded of Song of Solomon 4:12, "A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a fountain sealed." King Solomon compared his bride to a garden, full of choicest fruits and spices. There have been times in my relationship with the Lord that I have inexplicably smelled the scent of flowers as I have worshiped. It is in those moments where the fragrance of Christ is emitted, and the garden gives way within the temple of the Holy Spirit. You and I were made for deep intimacy with Christ.
Some theologians believe that the garden of Eden was the first sacred sanctuary. From its eastern orientation and the presence of cherubim to the call on Adam to "work it and guard it" just as the Levites were instructed regarding the temple, there are several parallels. God abided with Adam and Eve in the garden. It was a place of divine fellowship and holiness. It was known as the garden of God (Ezek. 28:13). It was the first place where He tabernacled with man. This was a garden within a temple, and this is what we are as the bride of Christ.
What Began in a Garden
Intimacy began in a garden, and it will end in a garden. The garden of Eden is restored in Revelation 22. Too many times, when we read about the garden in Genesis, all we see is the fall. We miss the intimacy and the sacredness of that relationship with God intended from the very beginning. We overlook the intimate act of breathing into someone's nostrils and infusing life. We forget the presence of unbroken fellowship between Adam and Eve and God. We faithfully remember the serpent, and in doing, so we embrace the fallen garden in our lives by taking on impurity and unrighteousness.
There is a deep call to intimacy going forth over God's people. He desires us to recognize that we carry His very name, Yahweh, as we inhale and exhale. He wants to walk with us in the cool of the day as He abides in us and with us. When we have true intimacy with Him, the question, "Where are you?" does not resound. That question was once directed toward identity and not location. When we know Him, our identity is certain.
Our true identity rests in this garden sanctuary. This is what God is after in His people, a cohabitation of holy intimacy. I believe that before we can understand what it means to be holy and consecrated, we must have intimacy with Christ. It is unbroken fellowship where we spend time in His presence, listening to His voice, knowing His ways and having His Word written upon our hearts.
You Were Made for More
This type of intimacy is what separates the religious from the refined. Holy intimacy will have you acquainted with His ways rather than His deeds. There are those who will settle knowing about Him from a safe distance while wafting the scent from another's price paid to know Him. The problem, however, is safety in distance leaves one lacking in His fragrance and naïve in thinking it is enough. It seems paradoxical; we are His garden, but the fragrance is dependent upon His presence in our lives. We are His temple, but the temple is only sanctified and holy when the Holy Spirit abides. I am convinced that we have no idea what it truly means to be holy. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. We cannot be holy without Him, and we cannot release the fragrance of Jesus without Him. An imitation may fool some, but it does not fool God.
I strongly believe that God is calling His people closer than ever in intimate relationship with Him. He is desiring to release His fragrant glory in astronomical proportions out of seemingly earthen vessels, vessels housing a botanical of pure love and a temple of untainted devotion. He is pruning and pulling weeds out of those who will yield to His process. This level of intimacy with Jesus is not reserved for the titled and the ordained. But it is for those who will choose the better portion, no matter the cost. This next great move of God will involve many working components; miracles, signs and wonders are integral to His fragrance, but so is the call to holy intimacy. It is a call to not only experience His presence but to emanate His very nature in all we say and do.
I encourage you to desire this level of intimacy and fellowship with the Lord. You are a garden within a temple. Jesus wants to release His fragrance from your life so that others may know Him and catch the scent, even over their walls of bondage and captivity. Refuse to allow serpents or foxes into His garden. Let those around you see what a real temple of the Holy Spirit looks like and sounds like, and let them know that they are standing on the edge of His garden.
Dawn Hill is a Christ-follower and a freelance writer. She writes a blog called "Lovesick Scribe."
This article originally appeared at lovesickscribe.com.
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