Click here to view the ARROW DIAGRAM again
Group or individual
Activity: Looking at the Arrow Diagram again, which area of the diagram
is this section referring to ? Why ? What would happen if the garden (sphere
of ministry) was outside the big arrow ?
Why is the use of an ANT very relevant here ? (Look at the Ant Scripture). Think about/discuss the characteristics of an ant that make it so apt in describing God's specific calling on each Christian as see in Genesis 2 (again look at Genesis 2:15-18).
Think about/discuss how the GARDEN OF EDEN may represent each Christian's SPECIFIC calling from God (the vehicle from which each of us may accomplish His Eagle-Like Vision). List out lessons learnt.
(2) Called Back To The Garden.
God calls us back to His garden of delights - it's the King's Garden. It's His purpose for our life.
In Chapter one of Genesis we see God give a general overview of His purpose for Adam which is relevant to all of us today. We all need this WORLD-VISION as Christians.
In Chapter two of Genesis we see God giving Adam a specific calling as his part in accomplishing the overall vision. A specific job to do. This shows us a pattern that is relevant to us today...
(a) God PLANTED the garden. ( Genesis 2:8 )
God initiated Adam's vocation by PLANTING the garden SPECIFICALLY for him and even PUT Adam there. It's all of God!
We all have a 'sphere of calling' a 'garden' the Lord had created for us to walk in ( Ephesians 2:10). We must not presume what His ministry is for us but get to the place where we let Him put us in the place He's planted for us. This is what we will learn how to do in the next lesson.
This vocation must be used specifically to further God's missionary plan for the world, to see worshipping communities in every tongue, tribe and nation. It may not be that you are called to live cross-culturally, but it does mean that what you do for a living must further God's missions mandate somehow.
For some it will be the traditional missionary calling, for others it may be to use their business to bless missions work in some form. The list of possibilities is endless and God is highly creative in calling His Sons into endless varieties of vocations to complete His vision of seeing people from every people group worshipping before His throne!
(b) Adam had a SPECIFIC task ( Genesis 2:15-18)
Adam was to tend (cultivate) and keep (watch over) his sphere of calling. We are to tend the garden (ministry) God gives us and watch over it so no enemy creeps in.
According to the GARDEN / VINEYARD that God put us in we will each have specific things to do unique to our gifting and calling.
Later, as you discover the gifting God has equipped you with, you will see a pattern emerging that will reveal the nature of God's job for you. For example, if the apostolic gifting is very prominent then you will specifically be called to be involved in a Church Planting capacity in unreached areas. If you have a strong gift of administration you may well be involved in some form of missions support and organisation. Your spiritual gifts are the TOOLS to help you tend the garden God has placed you in. The nature of the tools will determine the nature of the job and vice verca.
(c) Adam had a SPECIFIC word from God.
He was not to eat of one tree. God gives us His 'logos' (general Word of God) but also 'Rhema' (specific, quickened word of God to us for our ministry- as used in Romans 10:17 - see this quote). Breaking this word means expulsion from the ministry.
There will be foundational revelation words that God gives us. We must seek the Lord as to what they mean practically and determine to allign our lives with His revelation, otherwise we will forfeit our inheritance in the nations.
(d) There was ONE Tree Of Life.
The Tree Of Life was God's perfect will, but he was free to eat of any other tree except the forbidden one(See Genesis 2:9 and Genesis 2:16). This speaks of God's Good and Acceptable will (See Romans 12:2).
We should seek His perfect will - the Tree Of Life(look at this link and consider the spiritual applications). All other threes, except the forbidden one, are good and acceptable and the Lord will favour us as we partake of them, but the sweetest of all is the Tree Of Life (His wisdom).
We must ask for God's wisdom to constantly partake of the Tree of Life (that pathway that is God's best for us and the most pleasurable and satisfying).
(e) God provided a HELPER for Adam.( Genesis 2:15-18)
God is for team-work. He doesn't want us to go it alone in our calling but will provide co-labourers be it a wife or ministry partner/s.
Notice again that it is all of God. Adam tried to find a helper from among the animals, but all this seeking in his own ability was to no avail. Eventually it was God who brought his helper to him! We must pray for those we are to co-labour with and learn to see those who God is bringing to us.
Again, these teams must align all they do in the light of God's mission - to fill the earth with people bearing His image. Constant guard must be made against Satan tempting one partner to fall into the temptation that can be summarized as the spirit of Babel, to eat of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, to seek for personal power and recognition at the expense of doing God's will.
(f) Adam named things and had DOMINION over them.
Within our particular 'sphere of calling' we are to have authority and 'name' things, exercising our God-given dominion.
You will find that in other areas you will not have the same level of authority or sense of dominion -if you are moving outside of God's call then you will not experience this anointing of authority and victory.
God's specific call on your life is actually your apprenticeship, your training for ruling and reigning with Him in the Millenium.
(g) The Garden had BOUNDARIES.
We are not to stray outside of our ministry boundaries and step on others toes! (Paul knew this concept in Romans 15:20).
Boundaries are there for a reason. Just as vineyards needed a hedge around them to protect the vines from wild animals and disease (see Isaiah 5:2) so we need to move within a hedge of protection.
We must know what God has called us to, but equally what He has NOT called us to (that which is not in the boundaries of His calling to us). If we move outside our boundaries, not only will we step on other's toes but we will lose focus and not be as effective as God has made us to be.
Group or Individual Activity: Discuss in more detail each area.
Think about /discuss how you personally measure up to these 7 areas.
Click here for a proposed Group Excercise.
Now you have finished this section go back and re-cap and then continue...
·God's General and Specific Will.