You know better

Dear Self.

Yes this is for me (and you). You know better, do better.

One day I’m gonna preach this. Genesis 3. We label this as the fall. As if it was a great tragedy that happened long ago and has shifted every negative occurrence of the times. Well, I think it should be called the falling or the still falling or the repeat fall or the fall fall fall again…you get it. Its still quite relevant and unfortunately common for People of God to experience this same scene.And at the root of this distraction is a clear idea that Satan sends, uses, enjoys, masters distractions. You wouldn’t believe how many times in the course of the day how many distractions we encounter. If you’re like me Chic-fila distracts me from my diet. TV distracts me from reading. FB distracts me from writing. Talking distracts me from listening. Clutter distracts me from communion with God. Colors distract me from driving. Music distracts me from thinking…yes we face distractions!

Where was I? I just got a call from a number +45 98 15. I answered…no response. I got distracted. Okay, so thats a fact now lets get it back on track. In Genesis 3, God gives us the problem and solution to sin. He gives us the way to please and displease Him. He illuminates the blessing road and the curses road with maps for both.

3 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. (Association. Enter a character who probably shouldn’t be your best friend, your gossip buddy, your bae, your boyfriend, your sp…too late, you get it). And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (You notice people far from God always have so many answers. They want to tell you pricisely what to do with a life they had no hand in making. Be weary of friends who always know exactly what you want to do and have no Godly source for the advice they give.)

2 And the woman said to the serpent, (Talking back. I know you remember growing up and how you weren’t allowed to talk back to mama. Saying something opposite or in opposition to what she told you. Thats disrespectful. Its like saying “yeah, whatever”. Well in this case she should have talked back, however she should have spoken the Word of God. How many times are we tempted and we use our lame water-down poorly memorized version of the Word. We stay really surface level with claiming the promises and commands of the Lord. And in storms and when tried and tested, you know this, anything on the surfaces only is blown away. But…she’d tried it…“We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”(Did he Eve, did he really say you can’t even touch it or are you taking God’s protection, finding some sort of rejection in it, and making the Big Bad God out to be someone taking or keeping something from you. Boo boo, when God says “no” its to bless you. Where did you read, who told you, what Holy Spirit revealed to you that God wants to curse you, wants to withhold good gifts, enjoys seeing you in “want”. Like I said, surface).

Sidenote- I promise this is not a distraction, but an enhancement to this message. In Genesis 2:15 God warned Adam (a warning from danger…a warning he later ignored) no to each of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” We think we’re direct? God is direct. Don’t eat it, eat it and die. So our job is to hear God, remember what he said-exactly what He said (insert bible) and believe it. I would add obedience, however in my experience when I believe in my heart the Word of God it causes the act of obedience. There is a million dollars under your shoe. How many of you looked? You either did or did not believe me. Maybe you didn’t even believe me a lot but you had faith that maybe I knew something you didn’t know, maybe I worked something out that you didn’t see, and maybe just maybe looking in the direction of the promise you’d find the promise! You see what I’m saying??? Also, Adam received the word, communicated it to Eve somewhere in between this time because God created her after He gave Adam this word. And if Eve struggled to believe it, which we can now understand she did…she could have just asked God. I mean we find later that they had a relationship with one another. He talked to her, asked her questions, she responded. They had conversation. She had access to Him in the garden. How often do we think perhaps God said something and then we consult a friend or loved one what they think…I mean could we ask Him to reveal Himself and His word to us, personally? He is God. Oh, maybe its a belief thing. Next point.

4 Then the serpent said to the woman,(always talking) “You will not (just one word from the enemy can change everything) surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (again ,Satan, who told you that? Cause last I heard y’all aint on good terms. Just like a Petty Betty to insert opinion and discontentment. Plus listen closely “like God”, knowing good and evil. Satan kinda took a freebee on this one. We are created in His image, God told us that. And we know good from evil…duh. So, Satan “what is you saying”. Like, He didn’t say anything of value. NO THING at all. He stirred a lie with the obvious and created a lust for something we (Adam and Eve) already had. A sense of greed, if you will. And entitlement, if you will. And the plotting begins. It really just takes a thought. Read Corinthians 10:15. God has us covered on what to do with those thoughts.

So here we are at the point of sin. Its basically already happened. A seed of unbelief, watered with the illusion of lack, stirred with a plan.

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (Completely distracted. Eve isn’t remembering promises. She isn’t focused on God. She isn’t asking for help. She didn’t consult the man of God. She is ready to sin. How many of you (sorry us) have put ourselves comfortably in the position to sin. I mean got the sin couch, sin blanket, put on a sin movie. Netflix and chill. We got a sinsation- see what I did there? We sin sat and sin waited and sin sinned sincerely – did it again! I mean we even put on sin music, got sin dressed, prepared a sin meal and got to sin sinning.) (Devil uses the same devices), that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate (Done. Probably the fastest pomegranate she ever devoured. NO it wasn’t a fuji apple- those are heaven-sent.) She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate (I know Eve didn’t share the first fruit. She picked two more and gave it to Adam so he would think she waited for him and they were eating together. Oh yeah, Eve is getting good at this sinning thing. After all, she’s learning from the father of deception. She’s probably thinking about the next time she’ll try the fruit which one and how that will taste and that she might eat two before the two she picks to share with Adam. C’mon somebody. Ever been in sin thinking about the next sin. Thats because sin doesn’t satisfy. How can you be enjoying something you’ve longed for and be thinking about the next time. Sin is a lie. Sin is false. Sin is a trick and a master. He (Sin) said he’d let you go if you gave in this time and now you’re setting thing up for time 99 and it still hasn’t measured up. I hate sin.) 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Right after the sin. That knowledge they wanted- and already had…came in the feeling of guilt and shame. Exposure. I bet God was thinking …scratch that I have no idea- I would have been thinking, thats what you wanted? To see how filthy you are without my covering and protection? Why did you want that? And you think these fig leaves hide the filth? No. They just become a new layer of covering atop sin. You’re stained and you’re dirty and I knew you would be. So I’ve already prepared your bath. Insert Jesus and the blood and the cross)

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (for the first time, this kinda makes me/us/them scared of God. Thats not a feeling to have toward your Father. Except when you know you’ve betrayed, disobeyed, dishonored, and you don’t yet understand grace and mercy…they didn’t know He had not changed in His love for them. They also didn’t know God chastens those He loves, so consequence is coming…is also protection. If God never drew a boundary we’d never turn around. Protection.)

9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (an opportunity for confession.)

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Okay, way to be honest Adam. Go deeper though…where are you really? In relationship to God. Where are you? Reflect.)

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Who’ve been hanging out with, listening to, admonishing above your God? Did you do what I said don’t do to do what someone else said was okay? Did you conform? All answers in the form of questions).

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Blaming God AND God’s gift. Whew, thats bold. But we do it. Its because he works with me, get Him fired Lord, then the temptation will be gone. Its because she left me Lord, I’m lonely, why didn’t you keep her here. Its because it makes me feel better God, make it taste bad then I’ll stop. Our audacity to deny God, to blame God, then to command God to change things for us. Spoiled kids.)

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” (An invitation to repent. Because sometimes we need help in even admitting we are wrong.)

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (She almost repented. There’s still some blame there. I ate. But its because…Yeah I lied because…Yeah I cheated because…again Eve has not taken advantage of the relationship God set up for them. She could have said, “Daddy, I was wrong forgive me. Help me. Change my heart and my desires. I know the serpent is still out here and he’ll probably try to trick me again, remind me what you said. Can you fill my mind when he speaks?”)

I’m challenged to pause here and reflect on my own journey. Associations. Close ones that are not godly. Lazy bible memory. Enough to sound and look saved. Not enough to work in the face of temptation. And I have a bible app, bibles, dictionaries, and concordances. Maybe its easier to make up a quick prayer and have a quiet conversation with the enemy because I’ve already lost belief in who God is and I want to do what I want to do. I think God owes me some relief from the weight of obedience. I believe what I want to do is okay and so I do, I sin. And hide. And blame. And half repent. Half-repentence is a pivot, not a turn. And if I don’t stop and humble myself and recognize who God is, its much too easy to repeat the cycle.

Association
Bible
Silence
Commune
Believe (Obey).

These steps are both the problem and the answer. I’d like to suggest that the direction of the cycle depends on the very first step. Sometimes self-association is also self-sabatoge. Ever heard the quote “if you aint got it, you aint got it?”. If you’re not strong and you keep falling alone, its time to find godly associations. Accountability. Counsel. Because lets face it, you know better.

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