Part 1: Recognizing the fear that God is hiding something from us in ourselves.
I'll be posting this short book by parts: Intro. Part 1. Part 2. And Part 3. If you'd like to skip ahead, feel free to download all four parts here, now. Enjoy.
Story 1: Adam & Eve
Genesis 2v15–17, 3
1. What does God say?
God, speaking to the man, says:
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” 2v16–17
2. What does the person do?
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” 3v6
The woman and man did what God said not to do.
3. What fear did the person/people trust more than God that moved them to reject God’s way?
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 3v1–5
Fear: The man and woman chose to believe God was hiding something from them. Keeping the best from them.
See this: God told the man in 2v16–17, “not (to) eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Simply from the details of the story, we don’t see God telling the woman directly. This could mean one of many things, one of which is highlighting the profound need for humanity to work together, to participate with each-other.
Am I allowing those around me to shape me more into the person God is longing and excited for me to become? Or, do I think I can figure life out on my own?
4. What happened?
“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. 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.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 3v8–13
Shame: They hid.
Anxiety: Feeling as if they’d have to explain what happened.
Worry: They were no longer confident in how God would treat them.
Blame shifting: Man blames woman. Woman blames the snake.
Separation of self, no longer identifying with themselves: They refused to be themselves and instead projected their actions (which came from an identity mix-up) onto the other.
Physical consequences: Work and life as they knew it became more difficult (3v16–19). The rest and blessing they’d been given was no longer good for them and they were no longer able enjoy it (3v22–23).
Recognizing the fear that God is hiding something from us in ourselves.
Practice: Take a minute to think about a situation in your life right now that feels like God is keeping His best from you. A place where you feel like His way is constricting, not free, or limiting your enjoyment in life. In a few short sentences, write about the situation and how you feel.
Now, recognize the feeling that God is hiding something from you is a lie. Learn to see that just because it may feel this way, that it’s just that, a feeling. And that sometimes our ever changing feelings want to lead us from trusting God.
Prayer: Father, I want to trust You in this moment. I want to believe You have good things for me as I listen and obey. I want to believe Your way of living is the best way. I see my desire to not trust you and recognize the lie. You are good. You always have been. And you always will be. Holy Spirit, come remind me that You are better and teach me how to trust You today.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Part 2 will be posted soon, stay tuned :)
My prayer is that we’d continue to allow the Spirit of God to form the way we see and know all things.
That we’d be honest about our weaknesses, both with God and each other.
And that together, we’d learn to recognize the fears that lie at the foundation of our brokenness, and have the courage to agree with Love to move through them.