Matthew 15: 8-9 says, “These people draw close to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
What is Organic Anyways?
Organic Chemistry became a branch of modern science in the early 1800s. Organic Chemistry is the study of
the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and organic materials, i.e., matter in its various forms that contain carbon atoms. Basically, anything that has carbon atoms is considered organic. We now have the popularized term “organic food products”, which is supposed to mean that the food product is all natural without any chemical additives or treated with any pesticides. The connotation for this is that it will be more healthy for you, and more expensive too.
So if we look deeper into the definition, we find that physiologically speaking, organic can mean this: Denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole. From this word, Organic, you can derive ideas like harmonious, natural, pure, not forced, not manipulated, gradual, and evolving naturally. Therefore it’s only natural that the term organic is used nowadays to describe almost anything, from organic lifestyle to organic relationships.
God’s Plan in the Garden was Organic.
Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17, says, And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man who He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil…. And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.
Of course we know the rest of the story, how Adam and Eve fell… but it’s interesting to note that Genesis 3:8 says, and they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. So, although it’s not explicitly stated, it is implied that this was God’s normal thing – He walked and talked with Adam and Eve. He communed with them. That not only was the Garden organic in nature, but His relationship with his creation was organic. You see, God lives for relationship. Why did God create Eve for Adam? Because he saw that Adam was lonely, he needed someone by his side. Could it be that, since we were made in God’s image, after His likeness, that we also crave relationship? That we also have an innate desire to be in relationship with others, and not live life alone? Another thing to note is that the Garden was relatively rule free. No laws and commandments to speak of, except for one: You simply and straightforwardly cannot, must not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Other than that, it was just live life – eat and take care of the Garden, take care of each other – be free.
This was life indented… life organic… relationship organic. But that all fell apart, when Adam and Eve ate from
the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Humanity’s relationship with God was destroyed.
The Rebuilding of Relationship
But God in His ultimate wisdom had a plan to get back what the Devil had stolen. To restore an organic
relationship with His creation. But to see that plan, you must take a step back, as in looking at God’s grand narrative for a moment.
But before we do this, I would like to paint you a picture of a parent and a child:
When you are young, there are guardrails everywhere.
- A lot of places you can’t go, and a lot of things you can’t do.
- As you grow older, now you can cross the street without holding your parents’ hand.
- Now you can ride a bike and play with friends without your parents there.
- Before long, you can drive a car, then you can vote, then you move out on your own.
What I’ve described on a “micro-level” is the relationship between a parent and a child – how the younger and less developed you are, the more rules and interventions your parents have on your behalf. They are more controlling of your life. They need the make sure you understand there are consequences for your actions – good and bad. Punishment is a part of life as a child.
On a much more “macro-level”, this is how I see God with His children through History. To rebuild a mature,
organic relationship with His people, He had to treat us like children (in the Old Testament):
- He gave us a bunch of rules – think the 10 Commandments and all of the hundreds of other laws and rules.
- He tried to control our behavior.
- He corrected us and punished us when we misbehaved.
- He was strict, yet loving.
- He tried to protect us by being harsh and stern.
Throughout the Old Testament, God was basically re-building relationship with mankind so we could
eventually get back to Organic Relationship.
Jeremiah chapter 31:31-33, sheds some light on God’s intentions, Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. Also, Hebrews 10:15-17, give us further proof,..the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
His plan involved far more than behavior modification, but spirit and heart transformation. When you’re young, you need to be told what to do, given punishment to understand that there are consequences for bad behavior, but as you grow and mature, what motivates you to do what is “right” should come from within. God’s plan was to have true, organic relationship with us that was not based on commandments, rules, control, and punishment… No, God wanted to restore the relationship He had with us back in the Garden! He wanted a relationship that was based on love, trust, growth, communication, and grace! So what did He do?
- When the fullness of time came
- He came to the world as a baby.
- He lived with us.
- He healed the sick, raised the dead, held children in his arms, ate with sinners, cried with friends.
- He taught us eternal truths, cast out demons, rebuked religious hypocrites, and prayed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- He was scourged and whipped until blood flowed freely to the ground, He was betrayed by the people
He came to save, He carried a cross to Golgotha, and He gave His life for us.
Why, you ask? Relationship…
It was the plan since the beginning, as stated in Revelation chapter 13:8, And all that dwell upon the
earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation
of the world.
Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of time, has always loved us… and so desperately wants to have a
living, breathing, organic relationship with us.
How is Your Relationship with God?
So, my question for you today is this… Is your relationship with God organic? Because there are different types of Christians today:
- Rules Christian – it’s all about rules, standards and being perfect – it’s all about obedience and holiness – it’s all about behavior.
- Feelings Christian – it’s all about your feelings, and who you “think” God – “God knows my heart” – it’s all about them.
- Formal Christian – it’s all about formal prayer times, Bible reading times, always at Church on time – it’s about checking boxes.
- Cultural Christian – it’s all about the culture of being Christian – your family, spouse, friends are Christian – it’s a great life to live without regrets – it’s all about lifestyle.
And there may be times, when you and I have been one of those types of Christian…. Maybe we still are today,
but God wants more. He wants something deeper and organic. Don’t get me wrong, relationships can be
difficult, even our relationship with God. Relationships require: Commitment, discipline, growth, and yes,
It’s good to have prayer time, but can God speak to you anytime? Can you talk to God when it’s not your prayer time? Can He regularly, throughout the day, check in on you, see how you’re doing? Or is it only when you have prayer time?
It’s good to have Bible study time, but can God interrupt your day so you can dig into His word at a moment’s notice? Can you just start reading the Bible instead of having “you” time?
It’s good to go to Church to worship God, but can you start singing a worship song in your car and just break down and worship, crying as you drive? Can you just have a praise moment when you’re not at church?
It’s good to understand and obey the holiness standards of the church, but can Jesus give you a standard that no one else has? Can you live with that, even though no one else has that standard?
God is calling us to an organic relationship with Him… where it’s not about rules, feelings, formalities, and culture. It’s about Him. It’s about knowing Him, growing in Him. God give us a heart for You, Jesus!