What does God want for you?
Updated: May 13, 2018
In Genesis we see God's original vision for man. God created a special place on the earth which He called Eden. In Eden He placed "every tree that is pleasant to the site and good for food" Genesis 2:9. He gave Adam's days a purpose "to dress and keep the garden" Genesis 2:15. God noted that it is not "good for man to be alone" Genesis 2:18 and went about creating a helper designed specially to complement Adam's skills and abilities.
It was God's will that man live in harmony with his purpose, his mate, and his God. However, this harmony was predicated on the complete ignorance of "sin or evil". By eating of the fruit of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil", Adam's innocence was lost and shame was introduced into God's perfect creation. For this transgression, Eve was given specific hardships as was Adam.
Adam's curse was one of strife in his work. Work was meant as something that would have otherwise brought great joy and meaning to his existence. Now, instead of a direct relationship between effort and outcome (easily producing crops as seeds were planted), there would be scarcity, fear, and uncertainty.
God did not intend that we would live in this cursed state forever. God's intention is redemption through Jesus Christ's perfect sacrifice for our sins. Once a person accepts the sacrifice of Jesus, they are returned to a perfect sinless state. In this sinless state they are no longer cursed with (fear of) death and hardships. Any hardships from the point of redemption on, are not the will of God, but are the result of free-choice in a fallen world. With redemption, it is God's will that man return to harmony with his purpose, his mate, and his God.
Some would say, that they have been redeemed by Jesus and still have less than a harmonious life. This is not God's will. It is the result of entrenched habits and patterns of thought carried by one's self, their mate, or others. These habits are reinforced by a world who does not understand the power of God and his will for them. They are driven by a sense of shame (a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior) and scarcity (insufficient food, money, or needed resource required to meet the demand). In other words, they have only been redeemed by Christ in an eternal sense, but they are not living as one who is free (from the curses of sin).
The journey from a state, where one is driven by shame and fear, begins with salvation but does not end there. One must learn to live free and not as a slave to sin. I am reminded of the story of the elephant who, as a baby, is tided to a stake he cannot move. This becomes such an entrenched way of thinking that as an adult the elephant does not believe he can pull the stake from the ground and roam free. In this way, we are slaves to who we were even though we are free.
SeventeenTewenty.org is dedicated to returning men to the harmonious state that God intended. It is a state free of shame and scarcity. It is a state where God is the provider of all things and "all things work for the good" Romans 8:28. It is a fearless state where any man can claim dominion over his world. It is a state where men can dream big dreams while not "leaning on his own understanding" Proverbs 3:5. It is a stress free existence because men understand God's "plans to prosper [them] and not to harm [them], plans to give [them] hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11. We teach men to dream again and to execute their dreams from a place of strength and abundance. We help men complete the salvation journey and have the faith of a mustard seed.