Living In Paradise
Pastor Adam Mallett, Jr.
Adapted from sermon by
Pastor Gary DarDar, Jr.
I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to see a lot of our country, as well as a few other countries. Traveling is always fun and exciting for me! Our great God has created some very beautiful places for us to experience! Whenever I do travel, though, I am usually ready to come home by the time the trip is over. However long we may be gone, whenever it is time to come home, I am ready. I love home. Home is where I am comfortable. Home is where my friends and family are. Home is where my “usual” is! I am very much a homebody, preferring the confines of my “usual.” What makes home special, though, is the fact that “home” is determined by God. As a child of God, my home is the place that God has planted me. Where God wants me to be is where I am home! Pastor Gary said it best Sunday. The Garden of Eden wasn’t paradise because it was perfectly made. It was paradise because it was the place that God desired Adam to live and work and thrive!
There are many places that I have visited and loved, but there are only a few that I would consider paradise. However, God has shown me through this sermon, as well as others that I have heard lately, that the place God calls us to is truly our paradise. As we study this week, there are a few things I would like to highlight from Sunday’s sermon, with paradise in mind. Some of my readers will know a little about where I live. Its not the nicest neighborhood. Yet, it is where God has placed me for this season of my life. Therefore, it is my paradise. Who would have thought that I would move into that kind of neighborhood, and somehow end up with a neighbor who recognizes my busyness as a young bivocational pastor and goes out of his way to provide what we need. He helps me keep my yard up, he keeps an eye on my house when we are not home (which is most of the time), he warns me of suspicious people in the area that he has noticed, he hides my packages when they are dropped off by the mailman. God has placed us somewhere unexpected, and provided for us through that unexpected place in unexpected ways. I have learned that when we are where God wants us to be, and we are obedient to His will for us in that place and season, we can experience paradise!
When we look to the story of Creation, there is something very important to make note of. God placed Adam in the garden to work. Adam had a job to do! How can a place be paradise if you have to work the whole time? Firstly, God laid the groundwork for Adam! Sure, God put Adam to work, but how hard can it be to keep up what God has perfectly established? When Adam clocked in, everything was perfect! I’ve never clocked in and found everything to be perfect! I’ve had some great coworkers in my life and some not so great coworkers in my life. Even the best coworkers fail to leave everything perfect for whoever is clocking in after them! I think specifically of when I worked at the restaurant. If the previous cook or barista left a mess, an empty prep station, a dirty bar, or a dirty grill, my day was so much harder than it had to be! God doesn’t do that with us. When God calls us, everything is exactly as it should be! Adam clocked in to a perfectly maintained garden! All he had to do was enjoy the work of watering and keeping up all that God had given him!
God sends us out for the harvest. He sends us to a place that is in need of the work He has called us to do. This world isn’t perfect like Eden was, but it is perfectly prepared for what God has created us to do. Things might not look perfect to us, but they are exactly as God designed for this season of our lives. If God is calling you to something new, you can rest assured that it will be exactly as it needs to be for you to thrive and be blessed in the work He has called you to do! If you are in the same place that God called you to years ago, take a moment to reflect on all that you have done since God called you here. You will find that the groundwork had been taken care of for you. Whatever you are doing in life, it is important that you understand that you are not creating something new or establishing something by your own hand. You are joining with God, completing the work that He has already started! He is way ahead of you, making a way for your continued growth in Him!
All the work that we are called to do is very important. Sometimes, our work doesn’t seem all that important. I fix phones for a living. As much as I enjoy and appreciate technology, I don’t care all that much about fixing phones. At face value, this work is really not very important, in the grand scheme of things. Yet, even the most menial work has a great importance! Why did Adam need to take care of the perfect garden? Before sin, the environment must have been perfect, the soil must have been perfect, and everything probably took care of itself. Whats so important about tending to some plants? The work that Adam was doing, and the work that Adam is doing, serves to glorify God. Thats it! That is what makes our work important! Don’t get me wrong, God has given me this job so that I can provide for my family, give to the church, and other important things. But the highest priority and purpose is His glory! That is why we do the work that we do! And I believe that that is why God does the groundwork for us. He sets us up to be able to glorify Him appropriately! He deserves the glory, and He makes us able to accomplish the great work!
You and I could never create a real paradise. I’m not good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to create a perfect environment for myself or anyone else! But I long for a place of paradise! My God goes before me! My God makes a way! My God has won the victory for me, opened the doors, laid the groundwork, and set me up for success and peace! However, I must remember the purpose of all this. God’s greatest desire is for His glory. When we are obedient to join with Him in the work of the Kingdom of Heaven, we find ourselves in paradise. We find ourselves in the place that God designed perfectly for us. Where is your paradise? Are you in your place of paradise, but something seems lackluster? God has called us to work within our paradise. Idleness is never a part of God’s purpose for His people. Find paradise today in the work that God has called you to do, and be sure to acknowledge all that He has done and is continuing to do for you!