1 The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” 2 The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. 3 It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.'” 4 The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. 5 God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” 6 When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it – she’d know everything! – she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate. (Gen. 3:1-6, The MSG)
Gen 1 tells us that Adam and Eve were made in the image of God. Yet when they came in proximity of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the clever serpent entered and challenged them with, “God knows that the moment you eat from that tree… you’ll be just like God, knowing… good and evil” Do you see what the serpent was doing there? They were ALREADY just like God! They were created in His very image. Yet suddenly they felt they lacked something… they lacked a certain knowledge. And a knowledge that God apparently already had… and was apparently withholding from them.
So what did they do? They took what God wasn’t giving them.
But was this the only way to get what they didn’t yet have?
What if instead of taking for their felt-deficit, they asked God Himself to share His knowledge with them? Might that have been another solution?
Indeed, I believe it was.
THE FIRST LITTLE WHITE LIE
You and I do this same thing every single day, you know. We have a desire for something, and we believe the little white lie that God doesn’t want us to have it, or it withholding it from us.
So what do we do? We go and take what we desire, without ever coming to God for it.
We could also call this, “taking matters into my own hands.”
Indeed, this is our curse. We were born under a curse to fend for ourselves… unable to trust that God will say yes to our needs and desires. And it is this curse—this little lie—which is our greatest barrier to doing life with Him.
BROUGHT NEAR IN CHRIST
The amazing thing is, Jesus brought this curse to death. This perpetual lie holding us at a distance from God lost its power at the cross. Why? Because in Christ, we have been brought near to God.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ… for through Him we… have our access in one Spirit to the Father…. are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…” (Eph. 2:13, 19)
This passage is speaking of Jews and Gentiles. But we can understand that the Jewish nation was a figure of the Kingdom of God, and the Gentile nations figured those outside God’s kingdom. Before we believe in Jesus as the new head of a new humanity, receiving the Holy Spirit who re-creates us into a citizen of the heavenly Kingdom of God, we live perpetually “taking matters into our own hands.” We know no other way of life than one of self-ambition.
Ahhh… but now that we’ve been internally re-created by the Spirit of God within, we have full access to God. Our Head (Jesus), who we are in, is seated perpetually next to the Father who always says yes to Him (2 Cor 1:20). Therefore we can approach God, trusting beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He will always grant us what we ask of Him.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
CHRISTIANITY = PERPETUAL TRUST
So the solution to this little white lie really is not to take matters into our own hands… but to approach God—remembering we can—and present Him every desire we have…
But you must ask with faith, and no doubting. (James 1:6)
When we doubt God’s yes, we believe the little white lie that God will tell us no. That He’s not for us. That He doesn’t want to share with us what’s His.
We will only ever be living the Christian life when we are trusting God to supply our needs in every situation. This does not happen automatically once we become a Christian. It’s a deliberate thought process we must actively engage in.
This practically works out in this sequence:
1. We feel a need (often signaled by nervousness, stress, fear, worry, or anxiety).
2. Instead of mustering courage, determination, or grit, we shift the eyes of our mind to Jesus.
3. We remember we’re in Jesus’ new humanity, the kingdom of God, and in Him God always tells us yes. (This is abiding.)
4. We move forward into our situation, expecting God to deliver what we need for that moment.
Over and over, all day long, this is how we live from from the Kingdom of God on this earth.
LIVE AND LET LOVE
Paul said “We walk by faith.” Notice he did not say, “We sit back by faith.” No, faith is an extremely active practice. We step forward over and over, risking it all. Risking the “what if God doesn’t come through for me” lie. In the beginning, as we venture forward with God, it feels crazy scary. But as you begin this life of risk, you will begin to personally experience God’s kindness, faithfulness, and intimacy with you. And as you see how He comes through for you, your faith will grow. Walking by faith will begin to feel less scary. In fact, it will begin to feel like the safest way of all. You’ll never know a greater faithfulness than His. He always says yes to coming through for us! Always!
Oh the blessed joy of doing life with God! Of constantly growing in realization of God’s high love for you! Friend—risk trusting God in that situation/task/relationship/need today. He will ravish you with His love. You’ll never be sorry you risked your life on His love.
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