Imagine a time you were in a green forest, on a sunny beach, or anywhere in nature. Think about the feelings you felt in some of those moments. In the midst of all the bright screens that our eyes are staring at today, perhaps we’ve limited ourselves in how much more we can connect with God. Maybe in spending some more of our time in nature, we bring ourselves even closer to God. Let’s reflect on scripture for a moment. Some of the greatest scriptural events we’re all familiar with occurred within nature.
Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea
Moses getting the Ten Commandments at Mount Zion
John the Baptist coming out of the wilderness preaching repentance
John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River
Jesus teaching the Sermon on the Mount on a mountainside
The transfiguration of Jesus on a mountain
I left out numerous other examples in scripture, but you get the point. I understand some can say that this was a different time and culture where people probably had to be outside more often. That’s a fair point, but I still think there can be something said to our being in nature being a way we can connect with God more. Let’s consider Adam and Eve for a moment.
Man’s Original Purpose
This is an excerpt from another post I did on Adam and Eve that I thought would fit in perfect with this post.
“Genesis 2:5 states, “Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground” Further down, Genesis 2:15 states, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” It’s interesting that it appears man’s original purpose was to cultivate the ground the Lord God had created. The Hebrew word for cultivate is `abad, which means to serve or work. Now if you look back at verse 5, what we can understand from what it means to work the ground, is it appears to mean that God wanted man to plant and grow it. Now man was also instructed to keep, which the Hebrew word for that is shamar, and that means to guard or to have charge of. So it’s interesting that the very earth we live on today, was originally intended for us to plant and have charge over. We still do those things, but those aren’t the primary things we do now. This is not to suggest we go back to this simplicity of times, because we’re given other instructions now since humans are no longer without sin as Adam initially was, but it’s merely an interesting thing to ponder.”
Jesus prayed and taught in nature
Another thing worth considering that we see often in scripture is Jesus praying and teaching in nature. Keep in mind, there were synagogues and houses that Jesus could have opted for at this time, and occasionally he did do things inside those places. But arguably a lot of things he did outside, like prayer for example.
Matthew 14:23 “After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.”
Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus *came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and *said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Luke 6:12 “It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”
We’re all of course familiar with the sermon commonly referred to as the “Sermon on the Mount”, but did you know that Jesus taught some of his teachings on a beach too? Matthew 13:2 states, “And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.” That small unique fact aside, to close, perhaps we can find time in our lives to pray outside more. Maybe we can take time to read the scriptures outside, or plant and grow the land we live in as was seemingly man’s previous original purpose in God’s instruction to Adam. I hope this post inspires you to spend more time connecting with God in nature.
Peace to all those who are in Christ.