Wednesday, August 27

Living in fear....

"They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:8-10 NASB

The speaker said that Adam and Eve feared, and that was the sin that caused our common first parents to be evicted from the Garden designed for their purposing. When God walked into the Garden, their reaction to Him was one of fear and because God did not put a spirit of fear in us, they sinned. Nothing was mentioned of the original sin, the true distortion of God's designed purpose for both Adam and Eve that caused the first ever known eviction in human history. Fear doesn't cause sin; it is because of sin that we fear in the first place. Could that be why God says that HE did not give us a spirit of fear? We did it to ourselves.

Starting at verse 2 in the third chapter of Genesis, we see the sins committed by both Adam and Eve;

"The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate." Genesis 3:2-6 NASB

It is after the sins evidenced in the above verses that God came to the Garden, causing fear to enter for the first time into the heart of our parents who had had their eyes opened and I believe knew the only choice God would have because of their disobedience. Why wouldn't you fear the Creator when you've put Him in a spot and gone against His wishes?

Adam doesn't do anything while the serpent is talking to Eve, though we see that he was standing there watching the whole exchange. He failed to stand before beauty and order as evidenced by Eve and protect the entrance of evil, evidenced by the serpent. His failure to do so would have not been the final straw, but his decision that 'maybe God isn't big enough to fix Eve's disobedience and I'll be alone' and the resulting action resulting from that temptation resulted in his disobedience and subsequent sin.

Eve, never partial to the original instruction from God (probably having heard it from her husband, Adam), doesn't believe that God is giving them the fullness of the Garden, as is made clear by her embellishment of God's original instruction. God told Adam, just before the creation of Eve, that he could eat from any tree in the Garden, "But you must never eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because when you eat from it, you will certainly die."

Eve's response to the serpent creates a position that is far more ominous, "You shall never eat or touch the fruit, or you will die" shows us her thought that God was holding out.... Eve makes it the centerpoint of her world.

The game played by Lucifer causes a distortion of God; that His love and grace, mercy and honor, were somehow being held back, that He did not want His creation to have the fullness of life because He kept them in an inferior state. The benefits of committing sin outweighed the affection and allegiance to God by our parents and still are one of the devil's tools to this day.

Feeding upon our speculation based on the world we see that maybe God wasn't as big as He appeared.

Divine law cannot be cannot be reproached unless it is first misrepresented, and much of the Be in Health doctrine is misrepresenting scripture (as Pastor Wright claims, only the KJV is authorized and subsequently is the only translation where the verses make 'sense'). You cannot confuse the authority of God unless you twist the purpose, vision, and holiness of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph.

Mankind, or (if I must be PC) humanity, has a fascination with control and self-knowledge. Most of the 'new-age' theology that has captured many a pastor's heart is about controlling our sins, our blessings, our minds, and our world. God made us after all, and Christ empowered us to command control of demons, our environment, and our complex minds. These theologies answer the same desires we find in our first parents; erasing the discontent of our present state which we feel isn't as good as it should and could be and highlighting our desire to 'be gods' so we can control ourselves and everything around us.

Wright's assertions that sin is the cause of disease and sin is caused by fear, if presented correctly by the teaching, totally disrupts and negates the need of Jesus Christ to have to die upon the Cross of Calvary; having suffered shame, humiliation, horrific beatings, rejection and ultimately, the full brunt of mankind's sin to save us from the price of our parent's sin and the behaviors we've learned from them and the other figures in our lives through the generations.

The theology of suffering is nullified. God doesn't promote suffering, so we are okay….if we're not in a suffering state. If so, we've got to get right with God to be unsick.

Which suits our humanness just fine! We've just got to clear the "junk from the trunk" of our minds to be truly free!!!!

"But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering." (Romans 8:17).

It is not what we gain in this world that is going to last until the next. Yet we hoard, we want riches---so we can buy our toys, our houses, and our cars and be free from the worry and fear of financial distress. We want what we want without having to submit to the authority of God, who doesn't owe us any explanation of what He does and why....though He often gives such to us when we are ready for the knowledge and wisdom.

We want answers, clear and concise, to the frustrations that we face daily. If we truly love and know the Father, why do we sin? Why, when our journey is impacted by boulders and rockslides do we despair? Why? Why? Why?

"This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit." Jeremiah 17:5-8 (New Living Translation)

Gaining perfect health, abundant riches, and a 'stress-free' life isn't the purpose and the inspiration of any Christian, a true believer. To think that the God of the universe, our Creator, and Jesus Christ, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our Counsellor OWE us anything ---an expectation of a fatted calf because of our proclaimed allegiance is utter arrogance and sheer folly. Someone said it, we like it, and so we accept it as truth……..without turning to the Creator for the answers to His own words.

But, because we cannot place God in a box; activated by our slipping a coin in a slot and obtaining what we want……we make Him in our image, forgetting that our image is a distortion of God's creation of us. Our own golden calf. And we can declare that we weren't designed to sin, we weren't made to be sick, and we weren't made to be poor. And, because we are the apple of our god's eye, we can get all those things as we want them.

These are results of our disobedience and sin….from Adam to today's generation, not God's design. We forget Paul's admonishment…." 'gods made with human hands are not gods' " (Acts 19:23-26, NRSV).

But the Bible declares God's words, "I did not give you a spirit of fear" in Paul's pastoral letter to Timothy (who was known for his timidity). I believe that Paul isn't talking about the 'fight or flight' reaction we have to danger but rather our self-imposed fear to embrace a life living on an eternal promise. As Matthew Henry says, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of power, of courage and resolution, to meet difficulties and dangers; the spirit of love to him, which will carry us through opposition. And the spirit of a sound mind, quietness of mind."

The spirit which Christ left us with, the Holy Spirit, does not promote timidity or cowardness or even lavishly paralyzing fears. Rather, He promotes strength and power from God that enable us to bear such things without being overcome.

Rather, the only fear we should have should be like the Old Testament; a reflection of true piety (Proverbs 1:7; Job 28:28; Psalm 19:9), conjoined with love and hope to create filial reverence (Deuteronomy 32:6; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 1:2, 63:16, 64:8) strengthened by the holy fear we are shown in the New Testament which helps us from straying amidst the false religions and doctrines prevalent today and keeps a penitent attitude in our hearts (Matthew 10:28; 2 Corinthians 5:11, 7:1; Philippians 2:12; Ephesians 5:21; Hebrews 12:28,29). Because of our fear of the Lord, we desire to follow the instructions He gives us on how to draw closer to Him. Which creates the desire to clean ourselves of any and everything we hold dear that prevents us from that relationship.

And that fear doesn't create sin. It is the absence of that fear that does.

I fear for my children, I fear for my job, and I fear for the trials that continue in my life. I move despite that fear, because I fear the Lord more.

And He gives me the strength to move in that fear, a byproduct of my fallen humanity.

Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT)

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