Genesis 1:1 | Beginning with Purpose

begining

The start of something is beautiful and there are usually only a few that are involved or even notice. Birth of a child. Start of a business. A new relationship. So it was at the beginning of physical reality. God acted bringing forth everything.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 ESV

He created planets, space, time, life, laws of nature, wisdom, and anything else that is ordered and true. Our very existence points back to God. We cannot understate his influence on every moment of our lives. So why did he create? Why begin something so vast that did not previously exist?

I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9-10

What is this creative all-powerful God’s purpose? Paul writes that God’s purpose is to “lavish” upon peoples his plan to bring all of creation into unity. He created all things not to watch disinterestedly. Many people think that the creator is passive and that we are free of any interference from Him. A passive creator is not possible. Some view him as weak and powerless to control the creation once it was unleashed. A creator big enough to create the reality we live in is big enough to control what is going on. God knew exactly what he was doing at the beginning and has demonstrated the truth that “I will accomplish all my purpose”. That purpose is revealed in Christ.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV

The beginning was beautiful and demonstrated the majesty and holiness of God. What follows from Genesis 1:1 is the purpose of God to draw people to him that want to love him and that want to fellowship with him. There is more to the event in Genesis 1:1 that is revealed after the arrival of Jesus. That backstory is the amazing knowledge that Jesus was created first before the beginning. God’s purpose was evident before the beginning even started.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3 ESV

Not only was Jesus the word and the active agent through which God spoke creating everything. Jesus is the image of God the first born of everything we see today.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:15-16 ESV

The beginning was created through Christ and for Christ. Jesus lived and walked this earth and he left a record of his purpose that we can read and study today. Dear reader today is the moment of mercy and grace that you might connect with his purpose. From before the beginning. Before God created you, he planned a moment and provided a way of reconciliation. This is the purpose and Jesus is his plan to accomplish that purpose.

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, John 1:12 ESV

Genesis 6 | Can Satan Thwart God’s Plans?

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God knows everything. There is nothing new for Him to learn. That idea is not really comprehensible for me because I spend every day learning something new and the more I learn the more I realize how little I actually know. As Creator of everything God is complete and his plans are complete. Everything God plans will be accomplished. If God failed in His plans then he would not know everything and he would not be rightly called God. With that in mind we find in scripture Satan’s futile but devastating attempts to prevent the prophecy that God made against him at the beginning of Creation. God’s plans will not be undone by man or by angels.

The Lord God said to the serpent… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 ESV

The first devastating attempt to undo this prophetic curse came through the murder of Abel by Cain. Satan knows no bounds when it comes to his depravity and men are just as happy to join in. God however fixed the genetic linage of Eve by giving her a third son, Seth, whose name means “compensation”

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25 ESV

Shortly after that death and evil Satan once again attempts to compromise the offspring of Eve in order to prevent the prophetic curse against himself from coming true. And this time Satan is determined to corrupt all of mankind so that we would never be useful to God in any way.

2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. Genesis 6:2-4 ESV

These three verses contain some difficult to understand words that are not entirely clear about a world of antiquity that does not exist any longer. We can however understand that the result of these three verses leads to a catastrophic judgment from God against Satan, Man, and the Earth.

First among the difficulty is the words “sons of God” and the use of the word Nephilim or Giants. Who are these men as opposed to the “daughters of man” that they took as wives? If one does not believe in a spiritual world and wanted a wholly naturalistic explanation then the only recourse would be to create a dividing line between the descendants of Seth (the sons of God) and the descendants of Cain (the daughters of men) but this explanation does not account for the wickedness or the description of giants or Nephilim. Further the few times the description “sons of God” is used in the Hebrew Bible it is describing an angelic host of some kind. For example the phrase is used to describe the attendance of everyone before the throne of God when Satan seeks an audience in Job 1:6. The Bible tells us plainly throughout that there is a spiritual war and these verses intend to communicate that Satan used fallen angels in physical form or through demonic possession to seed his corruption into the population of men. This idea is further completed with verse 4 when the Nephilim or Giants are referenced. This word is not intended to mean the size of a people group (although they may very well have been large physically) but it translates more accurately as fallen giants of the sky. If one takes a contextual angelic translation of “sons of God” then the resulting word Nephilim only bolsters the view that these mighty Nephilim were fallen angels intermixing with men in these days of antiquity. Satan is attempting to corrupt the very genetics of mankind to prevent God’s promised one from coming to judge him. If these were simply men of different family lines intermarrying it would not be sufficient to describe the resulting wickedness as described in the second difficult passage.

Second is the pronouncement that the days of man shall be 120 years. This verse is sometimes misunderstood to mean that men would be limited to 120 for an age, but the words are really prophecy that God set a time table for when his patience would finally lead to judgment of the wickedness and evil intent of Satan. What Satan is trying to accomplish is to prevent his own judgment. 120 years is the countdown clock for when the judgment of the earth by water would be accomplished and God needed this judgment because of the evil that Satan and men together had done in rebellion against their Creator.

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 ESV

Mankind would deservedly take the bulk of the coming punishment but Satan was not off the hook. God also had plans to put an end to this evil that man also embraced.

6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day Jude 1:6 ESV

Jude the half-brother of Jesus lists angels and people of the past who are judged by Jesus. He tells us that the Angels who “left their proper dwelling” are put in chains until the final judgment. It could be inferred that the consequence of the “sons of God” who left their dwelling in the spiritual realm where restrained and prevented from doing so again in the future thus blocking Satan from attempting this type of attack again.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:11-13 ESV

Satan’s plan to corrupt the earth with his evil must be stopped and put to an end. This judgment on men who had filled the earth with violence is justified because of their lust for evil and necessary to remove what Satan introduced to the descendants of man. The promise God made to Satan that freedom from sin would come from Eve’s descendants would not be undone and God being in control and full of mercy gave everyone an opportunity to repent of their sin.

5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:5-6; 9-10 ESV

Satan is still at his plan to stop Jesus from destroying him. Know this he can’t stop what God has set in motion. Jesus is going to return for a final judgment and that day will come unknowingly just like it did to the wicked of antiquity. The question for you dear reader is where will you stand? In agreement or indifference with Satan or with the righteous called of Christ by whom men and women from all over the world may be saved. Peter tells us that God is patient toward us not wanting any to perish but that time of repentance that we have right now will not last forever. Will you repent today and fall into the grace and mercy of Jesus our savior? Tomorrow may be too late.

Genesis 5:1 | Our Family Tree

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Some people love genealogies and they will tell stories they have found about great great grand relatives that lived in a certain place or migrated from some other country. They tell stories about family that fought in wars or worked in some trade. Genesis chapter five is the patriarchal family tree from Adam, the first man, to Noah the most direct relative of everyone living today. This genealogy tells more stories than one might think at first glance and it also tells a major story that is relevant to everyone living today.

However before jumping into the big story of this genealogy we need to explore a few fun facts and details. The first thing to tackle and the thing that jumps out right away about this genealogy is the age of each person. Most of these men are stated to have lived into the 900 year range. It seems impossible that anyone could have lived that long and much effort has been spent by theologians and amateur detectives to determine what the ages really mean or what they actually were. The intent of the original author, likely Noah, of this chapter in Genesis is that these were the actual ages of these men and they should be taken as actual ages. Any attempt to adjust the ages to fit what is “normal” for people in this contemporary age will ultimately not be satisfying or accurate. I would encourage everyone to take the original author at his word that these were indeed how old they lived because the author was witness to the fact and the fact that this is what God wanted recorded.

This graphic tells some interesting stories about these pre flood patriarchs…

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These are the men and women who knew where the Garden of Eden was located (Genesis 3:24). These are men and women who could come before God and meet with Him for conversation in what might have been a uniquely direct way (Genesis 4:4 and 5:22). These are men and women who were almost perfect in every way able to live hundreds of years longer than we who continue on in this post flood fallen world. These men and women lived in a pre-flood world that looks very little like the world we see today.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. Genesis 7:11 ESV

The Genesis history tells us that when Noah was 600 years old the catastrophic judgment of the earth by water occurred. That information combined with the genealogy in chapter five tells us that from Adam’s creation to the year of the flood was 1,656 years. In the same year, and within months, of Methuselah’s death, who died in the year 1,656, the judgment of God by water was ushered into place. Methuselah’s name depending on the root translation could mean “When He Is Dead It Shall Be Sent”. This is too much of a coincidence to not be interesting and just as interesting is the idea that his father, Enoch, a known prophet may have had a hand in giving him this unusual name almost a thousand years before the judgment of the earth by water.

While all of those are interesting stories about our history the real story is about God’s promise to return, judge, and fix what man had broken. That story is told through Enoch who never died and left a legacy that reaches out to us even thousands of years after his time on earth. Enoch was still a young man by pre flood standards when he was abducted by God and Enoch had a reputation even before this shocking intervention by God.

First Enoch was known as a faithful man who spent time with God.

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:24 ESV

Second Enoch was known as a prophet speaking about repentance and judgment to those who chased after ungodly selfishness.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 1:14 ESV

Those who lived at that time would have heard Enoch’s words from God. They would have heard from Enoch that the “Lord” of all men would be coming with thousands of holy people. They would have known that the “ungodly” way they were living was not God’s plan. While Enoch and those who heard his message would not have had the revelation of Jesus they knew the prophesy given to Eve about her offspring (Genesis 3:15). The promise of eternal life and a presence with God after death had not been articulated, but they knew people could be taken away to be with God as evidenced by Enoch’s life. They knew that God’s anointed one would be coming and he would be bringing judgment with him. Even in the very beginning in the days of Adam God’s future plan for Jesus, salvation, and his return were already being shown to mankind. This genealogy like any family tree contains stories that are relevant to life today. The question is will you be standing today in this moment of grace waiting just like the patriarchs for Jesus and his return or will you be like all those that were destroyed in Noah’s day?

12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. 15 Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. Revelations 22:12-15 NLT

Genesis 3:17 | The Curse with a Promise

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Genesis chapter three is a pivotal entry into the history of creation. It is the event that changed the course of mankind and explains why the world is the way it is today. Without Genesis chapter three it would be impossible to understand the evil and hardships of this present world. What happened then that directly links to now is that the first man and woman living in a perfect habitat broke fellowship with their Creator. Two people without a care or want found the one thing that was off limits and started a rebellion that is still ongoing today.

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:2-5 ESV

Why is there evil in the world? Why is life hard? Why is there death? Why are so many relationships difficult or strained? Why is there war? Why would a loving God create such a world that we see today? The answers to these and many like them are found here in chapter three as the consequence of what happened on that day at the beginning of the created world.

As a result of what our grandparents Adam and Eve did on that fateful day God leveled out three curses one to each participant in this first transgression. I will cover the First curse to Satan and Third curse to Adam in this post and leave the second curse to Eve for another time. The Third curse that was leveled that day was on Adam and this curse impacts all of the created world.

17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19 ESV

In this curse there are three parts that impact humankind in general and make up the order of the fallen world we live in. First is that Humans would live in pain and hard work all the days of our lives. The ground will not give to us without work and perseverance. Even then what we work for will be fraught with thorns and disease. Imagine the created world that God had looked at in the beginning and saw as good has now become a source of pain and toil for all that live in it.

20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. Ecclesiastes 2:20 ESV

Second Humankind will face death itself. We once were created to live forever with God in the perfect world, but now it is a guarantee that we will return to the dust from where we came. I can’t imagine the weight of such a concept on Adam since before this moment death would have only been an abstract idea and not a reality in the perfect world that God had created.

For the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23a ESV

Third this curse impacts more than just Adam and Eve it impacts all of creation including the universe itself. The weight of sin and rebellion to the Creator is so serious and is so destructive that the entire universe has fallen. A sun that was created to live forever will one day fail. We see evidence of the failure when looking out into the universe and see stars that have exploded causing destruction in all directions. A current fear of mankind is that one day an asteroid could crash into this planet ending all life. What had once been created for perfection and eternity is now temporary.

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Romans 8:20-22 ESV

However devastating this curse was to Adam and to everyone reading this post the First curse God made was to Satan and in this curse we find the present hope we have Christ.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 ESV

There are two curses in this section that we should take note of. First is the curse that all animals must endure along with everything else. Have you ever wondered why God made the mosquito? They are irritating and they carry disease. Why would God have looked at the mosquito and thought to himself this is good? The result here is that animals and insects are all under the curse. Whatever their original purpose they are now only twisted curse infused replicas of the original. Animals were not originally created to kill and hunt each other. There was no death before these curses.

The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,” says the Lord. Isaiah 65:25 ESV

Second and take note of this is the promise of God to undo the harm Satan intended. Through the offspring of Eve God will strike a crushing blow to Satan’s head and while the blow will be painful to the offspring of Eve it will not be fatal to this future person of promise.

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 ESV

This curse to Satan is a promise to us that God would restore what was broken. The curse that God laid out is actually a blessing because this present world must be destroyed in order to create a new heaven and new earth free from the broken relationship that was caused here in chapter three. Without the curse and the eventual destruction of what had once been perfect we would live on forever in pain and toil forever struggling without a relationship with our maker.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 ESV

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:23 ESV

We live in a brief moment of grace that God has provided in this cursed and dying world. Turn from your rebellion against God and seek salvation in the promised savior. Our hope and our future lies only in Christ and the restoration he provides from what happened to creation so many years ago.

Genesis 1:3 | Jesus Christ is the Light of Life

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Genesis is God the creator speaking into existence his will and his plans. He is unimaginably powerful. There is no human construct or thoughts that can contain His infinite scope. God speaks and there is light. Light not like the sun or light that is generated by normal means but simply light that is in place and makes up our reality. In Genesis 1 God creates this light separate from the light of the sun and he places it opposite of the darkness.  

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Genesis 1:3-5 ESV

The next time this kind of light is spoken of is when God displays his power to Pharaoh. 

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. Exodus 10:21-23 ESV

The darkness that stretched over Egypt was so dark they could not see one another for three days. It was a darkness so thick it could be felt. I am a bit uncomfortable in dark places and this for me conjures up being stuck in a cave underground or a submarine at the bottom of the ocean with the very real threat of losing light and not being able to move. My chest constricts just at the thought. I cannot imagine the depths of hopelessness the Egyptians experienced to lose the light of the world. How much more so to think it is possible to not be in a place where God’s light is not available to your soul. I imagine this is just the beginning of what Hell must be like.  

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Psalm 36:9 ESV

David writing a song to God tells us that life is found in God’s light and by His light we can see light. It is a redundancy in speech or a truth to grasp about God as experienced firsthand by the Egyptians? Life exists because of the light God spoke into the universe he created. The source and author of the light in Genesis is the source, sustainer, and salvation of any life we would expect to live on this earth. God speaking through Isaiah lays out his plans for the entire world of men and women. He will use the nation of Israel to be a light for all the nations.  

“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, Isaiah 42:6 ESV

How then will God use the Jews as a light for all the nations? God calls from them the savior Jesus and in him God fulfills that promise to be a light for all the nations.  

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

God creator of the world seeks to draw men and women to himself. Men and Women who will be his children and be given life in the light of God himself. There is a problem however and each of us must look into our heart and ask a very serious question. Do we want this light? Or do we prefer to continue in death of darkness? 

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 ESV

 

19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:19-21 ESV

Be exposed. Give up the death of the darkness and sin and selfishness that you live in today. Turn to Jesus who created you to begin with and find purpose, hope, and life in His light.

 

Genesis 5:24 | Enoch Abducted by God

Enoch

Genesis the first book of the Bible has a long list of the patriarchs of the pre flood world. In this list it casually passes over the seventh from Adam, Enoch, with a unique statement.

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:24 ESV

Enoch is unique here because Genesis lists the age when all the other patriarchs died, but Enoch was one day taken, gone, simply no longer around. This word here “took” is a common word that can mean to carry away or fetch and has a very personal meaning like we would say to be taken in marriage. It is interesting that such a simple statement about a profound event is found in God’s word?

Enoch “walked” with God. Now we do not know if this means he physically walked with God to travel or if he simply lived a life that traveled where God would have him go. What is interesting is that the Bible tells us that Noah also walked with God.

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9 ESV

God created us for relationship and He seeks out women and men who are willing to travel with him. God took note of Enoch in his generation and God saved humanity through Noah in Noah’s generation. In the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11 the Bible tells us more about Enoch.

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:5-6 ESV

Enoch walked with God trusting him and built a relationship that has no recorded deeds like Noah or worldly success like King Solomon. The Bible tells us that Enoch drew near to God and was rewarded with something only a few people in all of history have avoided, death. Enoch pleased God by walking with him. Paul tells the Ephesian Church that they walk in death following the “prince of the power of the air” namely Satan or they walk in the new life of the spirit provided by Jesus.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— Ephesians 2:1-5 ESV

Dear reader you too can walk with God, lover of your soul, provider of all your needs. He wants you to draw near to walk with him. Turn away from whatever direction you planned to go and travel with God. Put down the labor and toil of your ambitions to see what God’s ambition might be for you. Jesus has provided restoration making the relationship possible. Now is the time to take advantage of this gift.