doubt

Lessons from Eden: Part III

So recently in a weekly group I attend we’ve discussed the first three chapters of Genesis, creation and the fall of man, and oh my, there is so much more to the story. I have written in the past about lessons from the Garden, but there are some more that I want to share that my eyes were just opened to see.

tree of the kgeFirst off, one of the lingering questions in the story is where Adam was during the whole conversation between Eve and the Serpent. Well in reading, the Bible does assume he was there, but how close is up for discussion. Nevertheless, lets assume that he in fact was there beside Eve as she was talking to the snake. The first lesson here is that silence is not always golden. Especially considering that he was the leader of that home, he should have spoken up when the Serpent began to misquote God’s word, but he didn’t because maybe he was just shocked that the snake was speaking or intrigued by what it was saying. Still, as we often do today, he didn’t speak up because he possibly didn’t see the threat in the lie that Serpent was speaking or in the Serpent himself who was said to be subtle and cunning. This very act of silence that we see here has shown it’s effects on our society. These subtle lies and doubts that the Enemy has whispered in our ears to make us question or reinvent the Word of God has desensitized us and confused even Christians as to what is right and wrong, and our society has greatly fallen because of it. It emphasizes our need to have continuous fellowship with God, as they did in the Garden, because for that brief time they were apart from God for one reason or the other, Satan slipped in and well, here we are today. God’s word is the truth and we must speak up for Christians have been silent for far too long and sin has prevailed in this society because of it, but yet we want to be popular and accepted and don’t want people to look at us weird or call us names, yet that is what was promised when we signed up to be followers of Christ. Now more than ever we need to not only speak up with the Word of God no matter how small or trivial the matter seems, but live a corresponding life showing that right is right and wrong is wrong.

As just said, for that brief moment Adam and Eve were not walking with God as they had done pretty much every day, so what happened? I don’t know, but what I do know is that we all miss the mark at times and for one reason or another we get out of touch with God. That doesn’t mean we just become heathens overnight, but perhaps we get too busy or life gets so chill that we forget our need for God, yet it’s that time we are out of fellowship that the Enemy likes to attack us and makes us question who God is, who we are and what we are supposed to do as he did with Eve. Our priorities get mixed up, we become anxious and worrisome, questioning the power and provision of God, pride sets in, and or we become apathetic, and before we even realize it, our thinking begins to change and that space between us and God thickens, our language changes, and sooner or later we fall into sin, whether worry, cussing, fornication, getting drunk, pride, bitterness, anger, jealousy, or whatever your vice may be.

So we mess up to some degree or another and feel so icky that we do the worse thing and pull away from God completely out of guilt, like Adam and Eve. We try to hide ourselves and our sin as if God doesn’t already know. We are afraid to pray, stop listening to devotionals, block out people from our lives, stop going to church because we feel so ashamed of what we did or how far off track we’ve gotten, because we don’t want people’s perceptions to change about us or let down those that looked up to us. So like Adam and Eve, we go under a rock or hide in a bush and put on a mask so no one can really see us. But God in His awesome love, grace, and mercy went out looking for them even though he was well aware of what they had done. He does the same with us, we just have to be willing to respond like Adam. God didn’t jump on their case or write them off from history because of their sin, but instead he covered them, though there were still consequences. As a body of believers, we should have the same mindset of God and should someone go missing from church or you notice a different pattern of behavior or attitude, reach out to them and show them the way home without automatically condemning or judging them, but show them the same grace, mercy, and love God showed to you. Yet, we neglect to do that far too often for a long time now and so many have slipped through the cracks and have been forgotten. So as much as you are able, check up on each other.

The last thing I want to point out that was pointed out to me is that God said not to eat of the tree originally, yet Eve told the Serpent that they were not to touch it nor eat it. Credit to her. Why? From Eve, this simple recall shows a great sense of maturity that we can apply today by not touching sin. Far too often we tease sin and put ourselves in compromising situations because we want the experience or we want to see how far we can get without actually sinning, but how much does that go as planned. More times than not we go further then we desired and do what we said we wouldn’t do and things get messy. We just wanted to touch it. This lesson from Eve urges us to just completely abstain from sin as much as we can, whatever is in our control, the choices we make every day. Though we can only control so much and get tempted, through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God we are able to not touch, preventing us from tasting the fruit.

This is one of the more lengthy posts I’m sorry, but I’m glad I was able to share and I hope and pray it blessed and encouraged you. Take these lessons from Eden and use them every day to more and more be you for a purpose.

If you want to check out other lessons from Eden, check them out on the links below:

Lessons from Eden

Lessons from Eden: Part II

Jewel of the Garden

Just in Case

The story of Gideon is very interesting and to cover it all, a blogsite would not suffice, so for the sake of this entry, I want to focus on the beginning of his story, which pretty much sums up much of my relationship with God in one way or another.

If you aren’t familiar with the story of Gideon (Judges 6-9), it tells of a man full of insecurity, fear, and uncertainty so God had to prove Himself, and yes, yes He did. Nonetheless, it’s the beginning of his story that draws most of my attention. Gideon was pretty much a nobody, in that there nothing special about who he was, where he came from, or who his family was. But you know what? That is the beauty of it all. God’s standard for using someone has nothing to do with who we are or where we come from. What He has spoken over your life, the purpose He has for any of us, is not dependent on such superficial factors, rather our ability to believe what He has spoken and the choice accept it and pursue it. Sandy Smith put it this way, “God has a way of using those the world calls “nobodies.”

When God first expressed to Gideon his future as a mighty warrior (6:12), Gideon didn’t believe him for much of the reason many of us refuse to trust God today: His circumstance blinded his faith and belief and he didn’t see God working.Yet, God replied “Go in the strength you have.” One of the most remarkable things that make me love the Lord all the more, is how He is able to take the little that we have and do something incredible, if we allow Him to. Just as He told Gideon, I am telling you as He also told me, give Him all you have, even if you feel it’s very little, if anything at all, because “I knew nothing, I was nothing. For this reason God picked me out,” which is how St. Catherine Laboure explained it. Living a life of purpose is giving God the all of the little that we have to offer the God of the universe and trust that He will bless it and multiply it, like He did with the boy who only had two fish and five loaves of bread.

One of the things I grasp most in this passage is how God knows our limits and strength. Gideon asked a question that many of us do, “how can I?” We question ourselves and God doesn’t correct us, instead He promises to go with us (6:15-16). Bottom line, with the Lord, we have everything we need; we are in the majority. We are finite and however ways we are limited, He is infinite and has an unlimited amount of power and riches. We are weak but He is the Almighty God.

Nevertheless, as we each do often times, at least I know I have about a million times and then some, when we hear God, we question if it is God in fact talking. Although, generally speaking, when we aren’t sure, for one reason or another, it is good to inquire, which emphasizes having an intimate relationship with God so that when He speaks you know His voice. Still, God is gracious and puts up with our stubbornness and doubt, and will comply and show Himself; we just have to be willing to see it. Truth be told, many times it does require God several attempts before we get it, but we build our relationship with Him, it takes less for us to believe what He says and does.

Overall, God has spoken, and His word shall come to pass and He will fulfill His purpose in your life, whether it looks like it or not. Furthermore, you have no capacity, strength or ability to do all He has purposed you to do apart from Him, but just in case you forget, as we all do, as long as you have Him, you have all you need to accomplish the greatness set before you. Oh, and if nothing else, remember that God likes to show off, so be careful when you ask Him to prove Himself ☺.