Monday, October 15, 2012

It Could Have Been My Hand Reaching For The Fruit

We can read the account of Adam and Eve in the garden and place blame. Oh, how could they? How could Eve have listened? How could Adam have followed along? Why didn't he stop her? Why did she make the first move? The list of questions is endless. My point? It could have been my hand reaching for the fruit. I could have been there just as easily, listening to the serpent, taking in his words of deceit. Just like Eve, I could have blamed Adam. I could have refuted God and said it was all the serpents fault. (Genesis 3)

They lived in perfection. A sinless beauty surrounded them. Adam and Eve walked with the Lord. Then came the fruit of choice. A choice that led to sin and to the abrupt leaving of the garden. No more perfect beauty. Sin was to now to be part of the lives for generations to come.

Do you really think they thought about the impact they would make upon the world? Do you really think knew theirs was a choice that would lead to death? Had they taken it all for granted like we do today? Did they look at themselves and wonder, "Not me"?

God created them in complete perfection and gave them endless bounty, but through Satan's slithering words, it all came to a crashing halt. The hand that once walked with God was now reaching for a fruit of deception. They couldn't cover themselves quick enough. Now they could see the ugly. Nothing looked the same to their eyes that had been uncovered. They could now feel the emotion of shame. Guilt was inevitable. Blame was not to escaped.

This is why it is so important for us to be careful what we allow our eyes to see and our ears to hear. We must be wise in our walk. We are to walk in humility, not pride. Oh, how that pride fall seems longer and harder. But humilty comes with growth. I've had quite a few falls, and praise Jesus, He doesn't hold me down, but He picks me up and makes me stronger for the next steps. I'd rather fall into the arms of Jesus than off the side of a cliff. Humility is key in our Christian walk.

In life we look to the world as if we cannot understand how one could make the decision they have made. We wonder, "How in the world could she do that? Why did he do what he did?", and all too quickly we stand with the words rushing from our lips, "I would never do that". Lord, help us. We judge and we claim what punishment should be. We blame and forever and ever we run from being accountable for our own actions.

See, this unsaved world does not understand the Word of God. We look to the world as if we are amazed, but should we really be? If I remember correctly, I was once blind. I walked as the world.  Praise God for His sweet grace. If they are not looking to the Savior, if they cannot understand His will and Word, why would they choose differently? That's where our grace comes in. We are to live in this world, but not be part of this world. We are to be set apart, but yet still living in the midst of this unsaved land of hearts needing a Savior. We are to love with God's love. Not a judging eye or a pointing finger.

Too often, it is us, those who are saved, that are doing the the judging. We look to the world and can see wrong in every direction, but what about in our own garden of life? It might be time to do our own weeding. What about in our own surroundings? The difference? We know God's Word and yet we ignore the Holy Spirit's calling. We ignore His commands and we choose NOT to love with a heart like His. We can think that we are better. Dear Christian, we are not better. At the foot of the cross we are all on level ground. I am a sinner in need of God's grace daily. Who am I to judge another or call them out on their walk, when I in fact, am not walking as I should?

Our perfect garden is awaiting us on the other side of heaven. The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way. We can't make our own way and there is a sweet beauty in that fact. The sweet beauty is realizing I must surrender all to my Savior. I must allow Him my life to build His garden. I plant the seeds and He grows the harvest. He is creating a beautiful garden. Too majestic for our eyes to take in while here in this world, but it is waiting for us.

We must stop living in judgement and stop placing blame. It's time we stand and be accountable for our own actions. We don't need to tell another they aren't a Christian. What I need to do is simply live in God's love. I need to be an outflow of His grace. I need to allow forgiveness to be part of my walk. I must stop looking at others with eyes of the world and see them as Christ sees them.

Pride is that quiet voice that says, "I wouldn't do that". I have been there, my friend. I have spoken those words loudly and it wasn't too soon that I was on my knees asking the Lord, "Please forgive me of that". Those fingers we point at others have a way of coming right back at us quick as an arrow.

I don't want others judging me when I step wrong. I have twisted my ankle many times because I have stumbled. After that stumble, I may limp for a bit. I may have to stay off of for a time. But I will walk again and hopefully, with new eyes I will watch my step and make sure I don't stumble over that temptation again.

If I have stumbled, I don't others to kick me when I'm down and make sure they point to what made me fall. I can pretty much figure that one out on my own as the Lord gives me a clear picture. I need others to lift me up. To encourage me in my walk. To give me a hand and help me balance myself.

The garden isn't so far off. We have Adam and Eve to remind of what can happen we when stumble, but we too have God's reminder of His sweet grace. Yes, with circumstance comes consequences. May we allow God to do the humbling and may we join Him in the encouraging.

How is a garden created? One blossom at a time.

"For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the One to whom we are accountable."
Hebrews 4:12-13

"God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."
Ephesians 2:8-10

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"
Galatians 5:22-23

"If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 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 Corinthians 10:12-13


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