picnic basket, lunch, white blanket, pillows

The Not-So-Secret Garden

I love visuals that help me understand concepts, especially spiritual ones. Even if it’s not a perfect illustration, it helps me start to grasp deeper things. Today in church, an image came to mind to help me understand how I can access the blessings and favor of God. The image was of a garden with lush fruit trees, surrounded by a transparent wall and a large gate. A garden available to everyone, but only accessible through the gate. It was a not-so-secret garden.

This garden has every spiritual blessing available to us. It holds all the promises and gifts of the Father.

Even better, it’s free. There is a door, and no one is excluded from going through the door.

But few actually enter into the garden and of those who enter, not everyone takes the blessings found inside.

God’s blessing are free and easy, but there are a few things we need to do to gather the blessings and favor of God.
  • The garden contains all the blessings, promises, and favor of God. Every good thing He is – all given to us.
  • The wall is the holiness of the Father that protects the inheritance and treasuries of His Kingdom.
  • Obedience is the name of the door/gate.
  • The key to unlock the Gate of Obedience is Love.
  • Belief is the action needed to collect the blessings and favor found in abundance.

Here’s what I saw:

Many Christians (and certainly non-Christians) do not know the garden exists. Some hear about it but think it’s only for later, for heaven. When they see another Christian enjoy the bounty of the garden, they either assume it’s worldly (ungodly) blessings or they are jealous, wondering why they do not also have such favor in their life.

These folks try really hard to earn the right to have those blessings, but what they can’t see, is there’s a garden of God’s abundance available to them.

The next group of people see the garden and gather around its walls, but do not enter.

The Word draws them to the location of the garden and they admire the beauty as they linger near its walls and gates. Instead of going to the gate, they either pick at the low-hanging fruit extending beyond the garden walls or gather blessings that have fallen to the ground. They are satisfied with the meager gatherings of favor they come across, which is more than those who don’t know the garden exists or think it’s not for them yet.

I saw that those who stay outside the walls think their life is good enough with the overflow and have no desire to actually enter the garden because they have to go through the gate of Obedience to access the Abundance.

A large group of people stand outside these walls and pray for the day they can enter into the garden. They possess the belief that all these blessings and promises are for them, and they are right, but they desire to find another gate other than the Gate of Obedience.

Instead, they wait in hopes that the Gardener may throw a few morsels of healing or provision over the walls.

The lovely gate of Obedience is transparent, just like the walls. All can see into the garden. You’ll find the majority of the people standing at the Gate of Obedience trying harder and harder to earn the right to have access to the garden of favor and blessings. These people can not understand why others freely enter and exit the garden through the gate.

In order to pass through the gate of Obedience, the individual must possess the Love key.

Not the world’s version of love, but a love only unlocked by a pure heart that comes as a result of abiding in Jesus. It’s the heart that possesses our motives. Those who try to enter the garden through the gate of Obedience without the key of pure Love will find the gate will not open for them. Even if they think they have the Love key, the door of Obedience only recognizes a Love key fashioned out of the vine of Jesus.

Even still is another group of people who fully don’t receive all the bounty of the not-so-secret garden of God’s Exceeding Abundance.

These sweet souls freely enter through the Gate of Obedience with the key of pure Love but once they enter, they can’t imagine how all that is in the garden is available for them to take freely.

They gather blessings and healings that are easily accessible at their feet. They fear going deeper into the garden, taking the higher-up fruit, the more glorious flowers and gifts found in the garden. They struggle to believe it belongs to them.

Unbelief keeps them from reaching up and grabbing the fruit, or climbing the tree to find the sweetest, more abundant limbs.

The smallest group of people were those who eagerly entered the garden, knowing full well the abundance waiting for them. Their delight was in Jesus and out of that flowed the pure Love that automatically opens the door of Obedience. They’ve learned there is no effort or works they can do to earn any of the favor and blessings found in the garden. Their belief that everything in the garden belongs to them, that gathering more than enough is nearly effortless.

It’s their love, obedience, and believing that brings the most glory to the Father! And the Father smiles at the enjoyment His blessings bring to His children. But our love, obedience, & believing don’t QUALIFY us for the inheritance and abundant blessings – it put us in the POSITION & MINDSET to receive it.

If you believe the Word of God, the Word of God will work for you.

Pastor Lawson Perdue

As I pondered this image, I could see myself in the various situations. I know that I used to be the one that didn’t believe the garden of blessings was available to me on the earth. Then I found the garden and was content to gather the low-hanging fruit falling from the trees.

I used to be jealous of the people I saw basking in the garden and gathering an abundance of favor, provision, and healing. I thought I deserved it as much as they did. (I didn’t understand that I couldn’t deserve blessings, healing, and favor any more than I deserve salvation.)

Frustration overtook me many times as I banged on the door of Obedience, declaring I had worked hard to obey all the commandments of my Lord so I certainly had the right to enter.

Finally, Jesus showed me that there needed to be a slight realignment in my perspective. That my obedience wasn’t grounded in love for Him, but was motivated out of wrong thinking that somehow I could earn His favor.

As I changed my perspective I found the key of pure Love and was able to walk through the door to the not-so-secret garden of Abundantly, Exceedingly.

Now, I’m working on growing my belief that what Jesus did for me gave me access to all that is His. It’s mine. Now. Here, on earth as it is in heaven. And that it brings glory to the Father when I partake of His abundant blessings!

Here are some scriptures to meditate on:
John 15 - 17
Ps. 115: 11-16
Ps 67:5-7
Prov. 8:17-21
Ps. 5:12
Eph. 1-3

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