Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Biting the Apple
“And the LORD God commanded, ‘You are free…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.” Genesis 2:16-17.
Well we don’t have to turn too many pages in the Bible to see that humanity’s freedom to choose really can change the course of lives for the good or bad. We are certainly living out the consequences of Adam and Eve's choices. They had absolutely everything they could ever need or want. They had the freedom to experience 99% of the blessings and extravagance of God. Their lives offered so much beauty and privilege but humanity’s heart feels entitled to more…feels determine to run after that 1%...feels that the lack will satisfy like no other and produce what is missing. The apple, that toxic thing that they had been told was forbidden, became their god. ‘Adam and Eve freely chose to disobey God. Human freedom means having the ability to cause your own actions. God made man free to choose, even free to choose the possibility of sin and evil. Adam was created with the power to obey or disobey.’ Redeemed, Angela Thomas-Pharr, p. 36. And so are we!
When we choose to do anything that we know is destructive we have plucked the apple of disobedience. When we knowingly put ourselves in tempting situations we have chosen to linger around the tree. When our freedom of choice places those we love in captivity we have spread our blankets under that tree and taken up residence. Sometimes the freedom of others to choose forces us to walk out circumstances we otherwise wouldn’t have to experience. ‘We are created with the ability to make meaningful moral choices. God has instructed us, but He does not force us to love Him, obey Him, or follow Him.’ Redeemed, Angela Thomas-Pharr, p. 37.
But praise God that we are not left in our messes! God has given us everything we need to be victorious over our sinful choices. We are equipped in Him to choose what is right and good. He will give us the courage and self-discipline to triumph over our weaknesses. He will give us an escape hatch to flee from bad choices and walk in the freedom of the Spirit. He will show us through prayer what masters over us and how to dash that idol on the rocks. He will reveal just how rotten our apple is and invite us to enjoy the other 99% of His garden. Be encouraged that we are not defined by our past choices once we lay them down, do the hard work required with God and live out the destiny that God has ordained for us. God sees the sincerity of our hearts and will bless our choices when we choose Him and His commands. Through the boundaries God sets in our lives we will walk in freedom.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Co 10:13.