Destiny In Bloom

And They Were NEKED

And They Were NEKED

posted on May 9th, 2011 / by Marissa Star / 30 Comments

So there they were, standing in the Garden God had created. Beautiful beyond what we could imagine. God had crafted and created them Himself, in His image. They were the first supporting actors in the epic story of time, in scene one, in the first chapters, in the first book of the BIG book of the BIG story that we are now a part of. Their names were Adam and Eve. And they were … naked.

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence.” ~ Genesis 2:25 (AMP)

I was pondering said true story while driving my minivan to get coffee after I dropped my boys off at school one morning. Then came the crazy thought, interrupting my sweet pondering, when my brain came to rest on the word “naked”.

I happen to be a Southern California girl who’s been a transplant to the “it-could-be-a-nation” lone star state of Texas for going on 15 years now. I still say, “y’all” like a valley girl, can’t believe when I say, “fixin’”. But man, do I love these Texans’ word for naked. Imagine for a moment a sweet southern women sitting across the table from you saying, “Oh Honey, ther’ they were, standing in that ther’ garden and they were … (In a nice long southern drawl with dramatic pause for effect) neeeked.”

Important detail to note. But why?

Because that’s how the following conversation started with God; in my minivan, in a southern accent, with the word … Neked.

My thought (the conversation starter) went like:

“NEKED?! Really, they were neked, God? Your original design for us was neked? That was Your plan before the apple fiasco (you know, the first conflict that gets this redemption story rolling). It seems really ethereal and beautiful when I’m imagining Ken-Adam and Barbie-Eve in the high budget Paramount film that premieres in my head. Not when I stop and think about me being, um, neked … outside … in a garden … OR … anywhere in public.”

I can only imagine God smiling at me with one of those half grins while He thinks, “Let’s see where she goes with this.”

Then I began thinking about how Jesus came to restore all things and reconcile them to the Kingdom of God, how he redeemed what had been lost or stolen in the greatest act of love of ALL time: His death on a cross in exchange for our lives. A single act that spanned and united eternity, visiting all that had gone before Him for three days in the grave; resurrecting to life, that every future generation may know it (life). Its significance shook the earth. Literally. In one moment of death all that was lost in the garden was … (a breathe of awe) … restored! Life and access to a kingdom now became available. Available to all, through the gate. Jesus.

I started telling the Holy Spirit, “Well, I’ve got to tell you … I’m so glad in all your restoring humanity to the garden business that’s too “wow” for my brain to conceive you didn’t restore us to having to be neked again!”

The holy silence that turns chit-chat with the Almighty into a God whammy moment rushed in on me.

Yes, it was in this moment that I caught myself bewildered by a grand truth. I figured this is probably how the disciples felt before they said some really not smart stuff, mostly because they couldn’t see and couldn’t hear the sights and the sounds of a kingdom all around them; Jesus knew they’d get it soon enough.

Jesus rose again on the third day, ascended to heaven and then sent the Holy Spirit to walk with the disciples (then) and us (now), giving access, through Jesus, to the Kingdom of Heaven that is now … it’s all around us. We were not left alone or abandoned; the Holy Spirit is the expression of God on the earth. He is like the wind, in that we can feel the wind’s presence and see it move but we can’t see its source, where it begins and ends, or perceive its vastness as it moves across the earth.

It is His (the Holy Spirit’s) voice and counsel that teaches us the rules and ways of the Kingdom. He invites us into the source code of eternity where natural sight gives way to spiritual sight, and a new seeing becomes the paradigm from which we live our lives.

Initially, the Kingdom of God feels upside down and inside out of all we’ve ever known. In His presence, scales are removed to see and begin to understand a kingdom governed by the rules of opposites like:

Love when you want to hate.

Give even when you’re in need.

Bless those who curse you.

Humble yourself to be exalted in due time.

As God began to remind my heart of these rules and of His ways, the eyes of my heart gave way to kingdom truth.

Why would He restore us to fleshly nakedness, when He didn’t come to redeem our flesh but to redeem our hearts?

It became clear. He did come to restore nakedness; not an outward state of being, but the place we live from in our hearts. We’re called to a place of nakedness in His presence, were we don’t hide behind fig leaves of religiosity trying to earn His love, but go skinny-dippin’ in the many pools of His grace. Because 2000 years ago it was finished, redemption paid and a Kingdom made available. It will always be what Jesus did, not what we can do.

Aww … truth rushed into my minivan and arrested me to His great love for me.

You see, in moments like these He begins to talk with me and walk with me in the secret places of my heart. His presence is there with me like the cool of the day. (Starting to sound familiar?)

And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden.” ~ Genesis 3:8 (AMP)

He has restored nakedness and the garden. The garden is a representation of the intimate relationship God had with man before sin, where they walked and talked together in a deep knowing of each other.

We can walk with the Holy Spirit in deep knowing from a place of nakedness in our hearts, where we come boldly into His presence because of what Jesus has done. It’s in these times (on these walks) that the Holy Spirit speaks gently to us to lay down garments we are tempted to pick up as we maneuver through a very natural world. His voice counsels us back to the rules of opposites and to right kingdom thinking.

He reveals places of shame and condemnation that want to lure us into hiding. You see, these twins of deception have always been the enemy’s tactic to imprison us from the beginning; his game plan hasn’t changed up much. He loves sin because it separates us from God and he loves to condemn because it’s his tool of torment.

Shame is a kind of covering that shields us from intimacy with God because we are so consumed with hiding we don’t see His hand reaching out to us. When we repent of sin, any degree of it, from gossip, making judgments in our hearts, to lying, adultery and more, He says He is faithful to forgive us. God’s love and forgiveness because of the cross are not complicated or hard to receive. Walking out some of our choices can be complicated, but we have a friend that desires to lead us with His voice and wash us with His truth. He promises we won’t show up for a walk in the garden to walk alone.

[You have called me a garden, she said] Oh, I pray that the [cold] north wind and the [soft] south wind may blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out [in abundance for you in whom my soul delights]. Let my beloved come into his garden and eat its choicest fruits.”  ~ Song of Solomon 4:16 (AMP)

You see, your garden goes with you where you go. You are a carrier of His presence, a portable meeting place with God. You have the ability to shut the world out at anytime, and run away with Him in your heart for wisdom, guidance, healing and a daily love fix where He tells you who you are. You can get neked in public and no one will see. I do it all the time. I happen to do it in my minivan a lot!

I think Charles Austin Miles understood this truth when he penned the lyrics to the song in 1912, “He Walks With Me”:

I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses

And the voice I hear falling on my ear the son of God discloses

And he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own

And the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known.

It’s my prayer for the women and men of this generation, you and me, that we would understand our restored union with God; that we would see with Kingdom eyes while walking hand and hand with the Holy Spirit, listening and responding to His garden advice to live free of shame as He stewards the purity of our hearts. That the world would say of us, even though they may not understand …

They walked with God. They stood in the garden. And they were … Neked.

If you feel far away from what I’ve written you can pray with me this prayer:

Lord, would you show me how you want to meet with me in the garden of my heart? Reveal any garments I’ve hidden behind that keep me from the intimacy of holding your hand. Naked isn’t always comfortable for me Lord. Would you wrap me in your grace and speak to me about who I am, who You are and about your Kingdom? I want to know you and be known by you. Let today mark the day I began to walk and talk with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

30 Responses to “And They Were NEKED”

  1. This was really well written and very easy to understand, Marissa! Ya know how I really dislike getting all confused in someones writing and teachings lol! I know this will minister to a lot of people!! Good job and "God is good!" ;)

  2. At 49, I just completed my first ever diet. It works! I lost 20 pounds. Now, the outside is ready for neeked, so I'm working on the inside again. As I spent a quiet beach week this spring talking to God on walks and beach rides, a new novel unfolded. I am always amazed at God's gifts when we are willing to be neeked before him, even with a few extra "pounds."

  3. OK Ms. Star…I am pretty sure this is your best writing ever…stylistically captivating, and more important, conceptually wonderful! I love how you weave back and forth between the visible and the invisible, helping us all to see differently, and recognize the meanings behind the meaning. Natural, supernatural, neked and unashamed. I love that the vulnerability of your writing and life, back up the reality of Kingdom uncoveredness that you write about here. SO GOOD!! You should be very pleased with what you have done here!!

  4. Marissa,

    Surely you know that the lyrics you mentioned were "penned by Merle Haggard" came from the hymn In the Garden (words – C. Austin Miles; lyrics – C. Austin Miles) (1868 – 1946)

  5. Love hearing your heart Marissa!! Awesome article!!! It is so wonderful to walk in the garden with HIM covered in HIS grace. Love you!!!

  6. Great writing Ris, I agree with Bob that this is one of your best. I loved "that we would understand our restored union…" it gets so hard sometimes to see the neked in the midst of this world. Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Mr. Art I knew it was a hymn, as I have sung it with my Grandma when I was just a young girl … and it's lyrics are etched in my heart, more importantly the meaning behind the words. I like to think the Holy Spirit wrote the song in C. Austin Miles heart so I know he'll give me some grace as I connected to the wrong author when I searched the lyrics. When I researched under hymn, helllooo, there it was. Was actually blessed by additional history about the song …thanks! ~Ris

  8. First comment! I feel the loved Sarah! One of fav quotes after a class you went to, is you looking at me and saying, "I don't understand much but I DO know, the kingdom is here" … and really that's all you gotta get and the rest is walking and along the way beginning to see more. Love you and proud of you! ~Ris

  9. Flippin' LOVE it. I'm all about being neked, (spiritually speaking :) And you are a fantabulous writer my friend, so engaging and somehow your adorable leaks right through your words. You and your Mister are on a pretty sweet little tear with this 'presence carrier' stuff eh? So blessed to be able to glean some of your wisdom. Keep shining. Love, love.

  10. WOW!! Thank you!

  11. Wonderful job on writing this article, I agree with Sarah it was easy for us to understand and you pointed out so many good points about us and the Holy Spirit. It spoke bunches to me!!

  12. YES! Thank you for describing the vulnerable place of intimacy with God like that! It is amazing and cannot be understood until experienced…but you have made a very compelling case for anyone who would dare to venture into the garden! You go, girl!

  13. What a blessing! Thank you for making it easy to connect with God. I love the ease at which He downloads amazing revelation from a fun light hearted conversation with Him. I also love it when God laughs at me;)(with me!) Thank you for sharing.

  14. Marissa, I love reading the posts here, and you have such a way as to draw me in and hold me to the end. Thank you!

  15. Love it! And it so hits home right now as I try and get neked and deep with the Father. Thank you for sharing your heart

  16. Ohmygoodness this was beautiful, and had me in tears! What a wonderful "ah ha!" moment that you shared with us. Lord knows I needed to hear it!

  17. Love this Ris:) I sent part of this to my sister. Love you!!

  18. Beautiful post, Ris! I don't have a lot of words because I'm too busy chewing on all the meat you served up! ;)

  19. Awesome, sweet Ris! Transparency and clarity of who we are in Him! Well done!,,

  20. Stunning! An ESSENTIAL message beautifully conveyed. Thank you!

  21. Soooo good!! That was an amazing explaination of a story we have heard many times but not quite like that!! Your writing is very captivating!! I even started singing the hymn you noted in your story!! <3

  22. Loved it Marissa! You know just how to draw us in and smack us with some awesome truth about intimacy with the Father! Well done! Love ya friend!

  23. WOW Ris…I couldn't help but sing that song the whole time I read! SO LOVED going DEEP and each fathom presented a greater LOVE!!! I've reveled in this same "deep water" lately as I "Bare all" while leading worship eah week-Truly a Great Honor to be SO transparent that NO ONE is in te atmosphere but me and my Jesus, my Father, and my Holy Spirit…and each week another layer of flesh is stripped off as another layer of Spirit is absorbed on! What a Precious God and POWERFUL Jesus we serve! Thank you for "going there"…love your heart and LOVE YOU :0)

  24. OK Ris – you blow me away with your writing all the time, but I agree with Bob – this is the best ever! Truly phenomenal!

    Thank you for stirring my heart and reminding my legalistically trained brain that intimacy with Him is not a duty to check off the list, but an invitation to a romantic getaway!!

    Love it!!

  25. captivated me because I was initially fearful that we WOULD be restored to nnneeeeked! But to read the truth of nakedness made me smile and all at once desire to walk in the stillness of peace. neked. thanks Ris for being uniquely and absolutely true to you and your coffee-running mini van days! xoxoxo

  26. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. Did I mention I loved it? You are my fav. Thank you for sharing your life and your heart. Ok…back to work with a hymn stuck in my head :)

  27. This spoke directly to my heart!!

    My favorite quote, "You see, your garden goes with you where you go. You are a carrier of His presence, a portable meeting place with God. You have the ability to shut the world out at anytime, and run away with Him in your heart for wisdom, guidance, healing and a daily love fix where He tells you who you are. You can get neked in public and no one will see." LOVE IT!!

    I had questioned God not too long ago as to why He likes to speak to me in the shower?? I felt like He said, "Hello…You're naked!!:) Nothing is holding you back…you're completely transparent and you allow Me to speak to the depth of your heart because there is no shame…no embarrassment. You're just being you in all your glory!!;)"

    There is so much power when we walk with Him in the garden!!

    Great writing Baby Girl!!:)
    Love you!!

  28. This brings such a refreshing to my soul. Wow! Just thinking" the garden goes with me where I go". I love to track with your thoughts and the extremely creative way Holy Spirit nudges you to put them into visual words.Your writing style is delightful!

  29. I agree, this is your best yet. I'm amazed at how God uses you to speak to us. It flows so well…. Thanks!

  30. Beautiful, simply beautiful. Your work brought tears to my eyes. You have a true gift to lift up others. Blessings to you.