THE REPERCUSSIONS OF CHOOSING LUST
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Genesis 3:7 NIV
- First change: Loss of innocence
Chasing after the “what more is there that God is trying to keep from me” will lead to one’s eyes being opened [the world might hail this] but what it means is that [ironically] your search for “more” takes you to a place where you become conscious of how insufficient and not enough what you thought would be “more” actually is. There is not enough information or knowledge outside of God to make up for choosing knowledge over God.
Ever wondered why sometimes people who seem to have everything—money, fame, prospects you can only imagine, etc.—seem more dissatisfied than they should with what they have, even including life itself?
Ever considered that maybe God isn’t keeping stuff from you? That He’s keeping you from stuff [that will harm you, and draw you away from Him]?
Fact: True security comes with a certain measure of restriction.
Someone with a security detail is someone who is powerful in his/her own right and yet (s)he is not as free to move about as someone who doesn’t have a security detail can; the President, for example, doesn’t just go out to buy ice-cream on a whim because he’s aware of who he is and what his position of power means and so he knows to exercise restraint and self-control in his dealings.
We need to come to a place where we understand that proof of power isn’t necessarily doing whatever you want.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Genesis 3:8 NIV
- Second change: Compromised fellowship leading to an attempt to hide from God.
God was walking in the garden—this speaks to the fellowship God had with man.
“…and they hid from the Lord God…”—the Omniscient, Omnipresent God.
Why did they attempt to hide from an all-seeing, all-knowing, ever present God?
Why do we do the same? Especially when we know what it is to have lived in sweet fellowship with Him?
Maybe it’s because we realize that He knows us so well that He would see right through us if we present ourselves before Him after we’ve done what we know we shouldn’t have.
BUT hiding only gives a false sense of safety from discovery because whether you present yourself before God or not, post-disobedience, He knows what you’ve done and He sees you where you are—including in your hiding place. Like the Psalmist asks where can one go from the presence of God? [Psalms 139:7-12 NIV].
This is the next stage of choosing sin—where we try to hide so we can attempt to “make it up to” God, but we can’t; not on our own.
Question. How do you feel when you already know everything about something and you ask someone and they lie? That feeling of disappointment? I imagine that’s how God feels about His “hiding” children.
God knows EVERYTHING! Nothing you’ve done will shock Him. My advice? Go to the One who knows EVERYTHING and still wants you just as you are! Don’t try to fix it yourself, GO BACK TO HIM!
“But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.””
Genesis 3:9-10 NIV
- Third change: Broken fellowship marked by distance… “I heard you…I was afraid…so I hid”
Fortunately for all of us, broken fellowship is not broken relationship! It can be fixed!!!
Adam speaks of being afraid of the Presence of God. We see in this statement further proof of how disobedience had altered the relationship man had with God. Adam wasn’t lying; he was afraid because his eyes had been opened just like the serpent had said they would be but instead of becoming like God as the serpent had claimed he would, he rather become fully conscious of how imperfect and flawed he was when faced with the Presence of One so PERFECT!
Every man who experiences the presence of God fears Him. There is holy fear–reverence; this is felt by all people and is in response to the awesomeness of God. This is fear expected of all men even while in the body. For men who choose to live in disobedience of God, beyond this holy, reverent awe is another fear. This is fear generated by a realization of the danger they are in for disregarding One so mighty. I believe this is the fear Adam speaks of when he says, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid…”.
When the LORD appears, the kind of fear(s) one will experience will depend on the kind of life one has lived. Christians who are not excited about the Lord’s return are afraid [terrified, scared] because of the lives they’re leading but those who fear [revere, respect, esteem] the Lord are those who are excitedly looking forward to His coming.
We all ought to be careful in our pursuit of “more” especially where it gets in the way of honouring God and His word. No such pursuit ends well. In our world right now are many who believe they are so enlightened that they don’t need God or that they don’t need to depend solely on God but we need to send prayers up for all who believe this because eventually, God will return to this realm as a Judge and His Presence will force some people into the futile endeavour of hiding when they realize how truly naked and vulnerable they are. It would be sad that we did nothing to bring them to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4 NIV encourages us to pray for ALL people because this pleases God our Saviour who wants all men to come to a knowledge of the truth. Beyond praying for them, pray for yourself too for power from the Holy Spirit to share the truth with them [Luke 21:13-15 NIV; Ephesians 6:19 NIV; Colossians 4:3 NIV] and then share [Romans 10:14 NIV].
SUMMARY OF MAJOR LESSONS & APPLICATIONS FROM LESSONS FROM THE FALL:
- Know God and His word for yourself!
2. Find the highest and most important place for God in your life and do your best never to remove Him from there or (un)intentionally have something or someone else displace Him.
#GODOverEverything. If God isn’t above all else in your life, it means something or some other things is/are either at par with Him or above Him. What this means is that at some point, when it comes to making a choice of who or what to honour, not choosing God will not be too big a deal to you because in the order of what matters most to you, God isn’t above everything.
3. No one who wants you to do what God’s word has said you shouldn’t do wants or has anything good for you and no pleasure that dishonours God is worthwhile in the long run.
Obeying God and His word is wisdom—don’t let the world cower you out of obeying the LORD. Deuteronomy 4:6 NLT– “Obey them [the decrees and laws of God] completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations,…”
When people ask you why you don’t/won’t do something or why you don’t support something, it should be enough [for you, if not for them] to say that “…because God doesn’t approve of it.” Your default in any argument should be what the Bible says, and you need to own this stance without apology.
4. The world and its many “options” are the reason why God’s commands may seem burdensome but they’re not; EVERYONE born of God overcomes the world. [1 John 5:3-4 NIV]
5. Guard your affections [Proverbs 4:23 TPT]. Even movies teach us that what a person loves most is what is the easiest to trap and harm them with/by. Your affections are the things you love, like, have a deep fondness for. These are the things that are most effectively used as bait by the enemy [James 1:14 AMP]. Be careful about these things; if you don’t guard these [watch them carefully (so they do not control you)], they will guide you into sin. I repeat: unguarded affections may guide into sin.
6. It isn’t enough to flee these lusts and these things of the world; you have to pursue God-honouring ideals that keep your attention. Like 2 Timothy 2:22 NIV instructs, we ought to not just flee evil desires but PURSUE worthy virtues – righteousness, faith, love and peace.
7. God is everything and God is enough.
God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honour and might forever. Amen. [1 Timothy 6:15b-16 NIV]
More grace to you as you choose God every day, in every hour, and in every situation!