Looking back over years of experience, the most challenging seasons in my life have been ones that I would label as the “in-between” times. It’s often related to pressing circumstances where I feel like I’m just getting by and wondering when the abundance will arrive. Or I may be reaching for that next life goal to be fulfilled and the wait seems unbearable. Maintaining an accurate life perspective in these times is critical. Most dangerous, is when lies begin to masquerade as truth – when your perception is deception.
What we deeply perceive is what we tend to deeply believe. Your perception is your reality. Here is where the enemy of our souls works hard to form “false plumb-lines” , tempting us to evaluate our lives on false pretense. A favorite one that he uses, is to convince us that God is withholding something from our lives, or, that our own poor performance has relegated us to a lesser category in God’s eyes.
The angel Lucifer lost his place in heaven due to being offended in this regard. Yes, it’s a mystery, because there was no one to tempt him, and yet he fell victim to feeling that God was withholding something. Lucifer wanted to be like God and was discontent with his favored angel status. Perhaps he caught wind of the glorious plans of the Godhead, to create humankind in their image and entrust them with the ruler-ship of earth. He took his offense, contrived it into an attractive bait, and used it to deceive our first parents.
The Garden of Eden was an assault against “living in restraint.” Boundaries are for our good. Life in its fullest, is life lived within God’s parameters. There was one tree they were forbidden to partake of, but were not living deprived by any means. The lie was that as good as life is, you have not been favored with all that’s available. It was the first display of shame in the human race: Who I am is not enough. In addition, it was the beginning of an infection in the human race, which we fight to this day. That is, my life in God’s garden, the garden of my soul, is not sufficient to sustain me. I need something more, even if it means going outside of God’s prescribed realm.
One of the most sobering backdrops to our story line, is found in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter Six. On a very cursory level, I want to liken it to the events in Eden. The Christian experience is one of being enlightened, having “tasted”, perceived the flavor of, the supernatural goodness of God. Heb. 6:4-5 Adam and Eve had the cleanest interaction with God that any human being has ever had. There was no sin nature, an immaculate history in God, no past “baggage”, and a palate that undoubtedly enjoyed fellowship with the Godhead at the deepest level. As inconceivable as a believer today forsaking Christ, Adam and Eve were drawn away to the glitter of a false promise, having already experienced the fullness of truth. Their choices, inaugurated the massive “in-between” time period, of waiting for the promise of restoration.
The Second Man
God never disappoints. He brought forth a “second Man.” 1 Cor. 15:47 He is the “last Adam” who miraculously lives within us as “a life giving spirit.” 1 Cor. 15:45 Yet, the full completion is still in the future. “Once we carried the likeness of the man of dust, but now let us carry the likeness of the Man of heaven.” 1 Cor. 15:49 (TPT) It’s a work in progress, and while I appreciate the progress made, there are times when the next step is a challenge. One of our greatest examples to emulate, is Abraham. Heb. 6:15 But more importantly, and the anchor of our hope, is the One who has gone on ahead, while also spiritually residing inside of us. Heb. 6:19-20
Land of Promise
“By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.” Heb. 11:9-10 (MSG) I choose to make my home in the land of promises. I choose to see the “in-between” times as a development of my inward character and a preparation to step into new realities. Will there be a “push-back” on this heart resolve? Absolutely. Without giving him too much credit, the enemy streamlined a deceptive plan that infiltrated a sinless world, a perfect garden, with no influence from a surrounding cast of other weak and broken human beings. Meanwhile, here we are, in hostile territory, in a much more complicated world.
The most intense “in-between” season may have been experienced by Christ, the God-man. Living in the restraint of a human frame, while connected in unbroken union with the Father above, He patiently moved on a heavenly timetable, to complete His mission. Anchors normally keep a vessel in one place; they are heavy, and immovable. In God’s kingdom, the anchor leads us forward, from within the veil of the heavenly sanctuary. Our faithful high priest, praying over our destinies, takes the sting out of the “in-between.”
Photo by Elena Zieg on Unsplash