Spiritual growth is our goal, but as with most things,
growing in our spiritual life takes hard work and discipline. What was meant to be natural in the beginning
has become a chore. Why is that, why,
after a beautiful beginning, has the condition of the world become so
desperately far from God?
Last week I mentioned that in the beginning God was the
source of all creation, man was created for a relationship with God and people,
each of us has a role, and God is the boss.
However, all that changed the moment Adam and Eve turned God’s program
upside down. The forbidden fruit in the
garden wasn’t to deny Adam and Eve of anything, but rather a test of their
resolve to trust in God’s goodness. The
serpent (we know him as Satan) placed a question in their mind, is God
good? If he were, the serpent queried,
why would he withhold anything from you?
As soon as Adam and Eve stepped outside of God’s set boundaries they set
into motion a consequence that has affected us ever since.
God as the source.
The serpent tempted Adam and Eve to be like God, to be the source of
their own knowledge, the source of their own moral choices, and the source of
what they could or could not do. In that
instance they said they didn’t need God.
was made for a relationship with God and with people. Their choice severed that relationship. No longer would their relationship with God
be the same. There was now a barrier
between them, but it also impacted Adam and Eve’s relationship. They began to blame, accuse, and foster
distrust. God’s curse was a mirror of
what was to happen when people didn’t live according God’s plan.
Roles. God had given
roles to man and woman that created order and satisfaction. After their sin those roles no longer were a
joy but a burden. Women would be subject
to their husband, and they would continually try to usurp man’s responsibility
to lead. It would be a constant strain. God’s role as head of the home would be
replaced by lusts, possessions, and power.
God is boss. The fall
into sin did cause man to feel guilt over their, confession, and
repentance. Instead man, in his
arrogance, has pushed God away, thinking that his own way is best. Meaning, purpose, contentment, peace
satisfaction, joy, and happiness are sought everywhere but within the framework
God’s law, rather in his effort.
What was meant for good has been turned upside down. All one has to do is look around and see the devastation
that permeates the world. Wars,
immorality, abuse, broken marriages, homosexuality, self-indulgence, hatred,
and greed are not the exception but the rule when sin reigns.
From our perspective we hope that we would have made a
different decision than Adam and Eve.
Yet, each day we chose the same course as our forbearers. We need something, someone, who can return us
to a state that would allow us to chose a different course. There is hope, God has not left us alone, He,
in His grace, has made a way. I’m just