As we look back into the Garden at Adam Eve, we can see they were perfectly setup. They had it all. They walked with God daily, all their needs were perfectly met, and they had each other they. They had a purpose and they were living totally unashamed of who they were. Yet when sin crept into the Garden, suddenly none of that was enough. God was no longer enough, and the perfect life He provided for them was not enough.
This is the beginning of human discontentment. What caused this discontentment for Adam and Eve? What brought on the desire to partner with the devil in agreement that God was not enough? What caused Adam and Eve to decide that they too should be like gods? Was it simply temptation itself? Or was there some other deep-seated root that we don’t know about? The Bible doesn’t go into great detail about those facts so we don’t know for sure. What we do know is that what we are left with is the entrance of sin into the world.
It was at that moment when Adam and Eve partnered with the devil that sin took hold over all mankind. It was with Adam and Eve that the desire to be gods or higher than God, became predominant in our hearts. In Philippians, Paul talks about living in a world that is crooked and perverse. Well that crookedness is our affinity to worship everything except God himself. We can’t recognize the sin in our own hearts and neither did Adam and Eve. They rationalized the fact that they were disobeying God’s only command and made a way for it to seem perfectly excusable.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Isn’t that what we are still doing today? We have lost our way and our identity. We have given over the worship God deserves to worship ourselves, our desires, the things of this world: family, friends, church, career and on and on. We don’t see that we’re worshiping these things or that these things are the false idols hanging over our lives. What we see is that everyone else is doing the same thing, so it is normal. But when we lay in bed at night, the discontentment rolls over us like a tide and we have no idea why.
We don’t understand this deep, longing cry from within the recesses of our heart. So we keep trying harder to gain approval, stature, knowledge, and acceptance from all these things. No matter how much acceptance, knowledge or approval we get, we never feel satisfied. I understand this completely because this is how I lived my whole life. I’ve had many, many days where all I wanted to do is get on Facebook and interact with people, talk about my life and be heard. Or text a friend or talk to someone in my family about my problems so that I could feel understood by another human being.
We do have a need as humans to connect with other people, to be heard and to be understood. What we don’t understand is we will never be as satisfied with the human connections, affections and approval we have in this world, as we will with the approval, affection, and intimacy of Christ. Everything outside of the relationship with Christ is a mockery of what we truly crave and desire. Yet that is exactly how the structure of this world has been set up, so that we elevate our idols of family, friends, church and career and then we leave God in this box and come to Him when we need him.
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Well I for one am tired of living like this. I’m tired of setting God aside as I seek out approval and acceptance from everything else. The problem for me has always been ‘can I trust God, can I believe God, can I believe that I am who God says I am?’ I believe that is probably the same questions that arise for many others. You see, our God-given identity in Christ was stolen away by the enemy when he crept into the garden. He didn’t just offer a temptation to be like gods, he traded it for our identity. Ever since then we have been bent and crooked.
Instead of rising up to the truth of who we are and worshiping God with all our hearts, we are bent in shame because we do not know who we are and what we’re worshiping. God is not angry with us, and He is not looking down on us. God never looks down on us. On the contrary, He sent Christ to help redeem us into the truth of who we are. Unfortunately with the help of modern-day technology, we have enough distractions to keep us wholly preoccupied and away from God. God is calling us back to the Garden my brothers and sisters. He’s hearkening us back to a day of innocence and simplicity.
I hear the soft call on the Father’s voice saying ‘come my children’. For all my striving, I have gotten nowhere. So today I bow before my Father’s throne, not in shame, but in humility and repentance. I know that while I have made choices to participate with sin, I am forgiven. In this world we cannot continually take the brunt of the shame that was handed down to us by our forefathers.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love,
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
We are the generation that needs to rise up, away from a crooked and perverse world, and raise our hands to worship the Almighty. You are good. Your Father says you are good. He says you are loved, and there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. So today join me in humility. Let go of shame. Let go of the things of this world that we’ve created as idols. Let go of everything that you think you are, or should be.
Give it to Christ and ask him to exchange the lies that were handed down to you from the Garden, for the truth of your identity. Loved. Accepted. Child of God. Then submit yourself to being refined by the fire of His love, so that He can change you from the inside out; starting with your heart. Until you can believe the truth that you are good and your father wants you.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39