One word: paradise.
Blue skies stretch across a vast horizon. The soothing sounds and colors of a landscape come alive along paths of trees bearing fresh fruit for the picking. The scenery is a tropical postcard—gentle river streams babble along with waterfalls that outline a garden of extraordinary design and resource.
Everything needed for happiness is present. Here is a paradise of abundance. Here, there’s no want. There’s no hunger, thirst, or need of a doctor. There’s no white collar or blue collar, first class or coach, millionaire or minimum wage. No sorrow, worry, or problems.
It’s a place of good and right and truth. It’s where you don’t live, nor do I. We don’t live in the Garden of Eden.
You and I live in a place of disease, struggles, and mistakes. We live in a land of inconsideration, crime, and loss. We’re surrounded by tragedies, unspeakable acts, and fears. We dwell among those who seek to define winners by possessions, status, and bank balances. We’re exposed to the greedy, the unkind, the bias.
This is a place of bad and wrong and lies. This is our place—our world—the outcome of Adam and Eve’s choice. Good and bad, right and wrong, truth and lies are roommates at war here. This is where you and I live. This is our reality.
Adam and Eve had it all—no wishful thinking, no bills, no body aches, no wants, no worries.
They possessed a park-like mansion and owned a river that divided into four more rivers (two are still identified today in Iraq each over 600 miles long where Eden existed). They had land bigger than the size of Texas. They were given forests, beaches, oasis, mountains, prairies, and golf course landscaping. They had security for themselves and inheritance for their children to come.
Still, there was one tiny, very small part of the whole earth they did not have—a tree. Just one tree. The Lord asked Adam and Eve, who stood as the sole receivers of the Earth, to recognize one, just one, itsy bitsy tiny request. You are free to eat from any tree, but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Assurance of life to them, immortal life, was theirs if they would honour this one request asked of God.
It required a decision.
They had the freedom to choose whether to focus on their paradise or to focus on the one forbidden tree.
At first, Adam and Eve must have passed the forbidden tree many times without a thought. After some time, perhaps they would look at the one tree as they walked to the river to swim. They didn’t talk to each other about the forbidden tree, but they each knew it was permanently off limits or as God told them, the consequence would be they will surely die.
One day Eve walked up to the tree, stopped and stared at it—focusing on the one thing she and Adam didn’t possess.
She dismissed the truth, denied the existence of repercussions, and justified listening to the words of a snake over the Word of God.
The rest is history.
Many people choose to focus on what they lack, what’s unfair, what they should have, and they are soon blinded from the blessings already bestowed upon them.
Like Adam and Eve, the given abundance is lost in the more they seek to have. These individuals focus on the one tree—the one thing they don’t have, don’t possess, don’t experience, or don’t feel.
What they do have is taken for granted. We can’t appreciate what we take for granted.
When a problem gangs up on us, all the struggling aspects of living seem to take the stage and the positive advantages of our lives—the blessings—seem to be missing from the role of credits.
Enter the nature of God—abundance.
Look around you. There isn’t just one leaf, one river, one snowflake, one flower, one feeling. There isn’t just a single dollar, a single gemstone, or a single piece of gold. These things are in abundance!
Jesus said that He came to give life—not just ordinary existence, but life in fullness, abundance and prosperity.
The choice of what to believe and what to focus on requires your decision—the same decision required of Adam and Eve—are you going to focus on what you don’t have or are you going to focus on a life of gratitude for what you do possess?
Are you going to believe what God says or are you going to doubt God exists?
On one side is God with goodness, eternal life, and “plenty” of all that is necessary for life and on the other side is the enemy of your soul who comes to rob you of God’s blessings, to oppress your mind with lies, and destroy an attitude of gratitude.
You choose every day what you’re going to believe and who you’re going to believe.
Choose wisely, my friend.
Think about it.
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