Thursday, January 16, 2014

Breaking and Making Relationships with God - Genesis 3:23

Genesis 3:23 -- " So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made."

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Adam and Eve show us an example of how we break our relationship with God.

First, they became convinced that their way was better than God’s (Genesis 3:6). Satan had manipulated Eve’s desire to be only what she could not have, forgetting all the wonderful pleasures that God had already provided. We do the same thing everyday. Haven’t you ever wanted the one dish for dinner that you did not have the ingredients for? Haven’t you ever gotten a car or a phone and immediately wanting a newer, faster, better one? These are the same emotions that Eve dealt with in the garden. Satan is still working the same angles and why should he change? Those angles are still working.

However, to build a relationship up with God we have to erase our excuses and self-defenses. We must learn how to be content with what we have to we can appreciate all of the wonderful pleasures that God has already provided. We need to look to God to fill us and not food, things or bad habits. We build a relationship with God by keeping our focus on Him and being thankful for everything we have.

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Secondly, Adam and Eve became self-conscious and hid from God (Genesis 3:7). Haven’t you ever wanted to hide from God. Anytime we fail, I believe, there is always a moment of shame where we wish we could just become invisible. However, you cannot hide from God, He is omnipresent. That consciousness is given to us from God to know when we need to confront something in our thoughts or actions that would not please God.

To overcome this gut instinct to flee, we must stop trying to hide from God. It is in the moment that we feel we must hide that we know it is time to face God and confess our wrongdoing. And then we must repent, turning away from our sin promising not to continue living in a way that is unpleasing to God. Thankfully, God is very patient and forgiving while we do this time and time again. We do mess up and sometimes it takes a while to change the behavior, but be encouraged because God will never abandon you and He will help you change as you grow closer to Him.

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Thirdly, Adam and Eve tried to excuse and defend themselves by playing the blame game (Genesis 3:12-13). It’s easy to think you are not to blame for your sin. But it also isn’t true. God holds each individual accountable for their decisions. That is why there is so much in the Bible about holding onto your faith, not conforming to the world and resisting the devil who will encourage you to lie. Even though Satan offered Eve the fruit, she did not have to choose to eat it. Even though Eve offered Adam the fruit, he did not have to eat it. Once the choice is made you must be held accountable for it.

To overcome this error, we must learn what God accepts as right and wrong. Then, we must be convicted that God’s way is better than what looks good in the moment. Temptations often win because we believe they are the best option in the moment. However, if we would check that option with God’s Word, it may not always be a good option at all. As humans we are very impressionable, but God is constant. When we trust that His way is better, without exception, then we will have no excuses not to make the right, Godly choice.

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Adam and Eve gave us examples of ways our relationship with God becomes broken. But by studying their story and asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom, we can understand how to build our relationship with God up. Even if we do fall, God provides ways for us to redeem ourselves through Jesus Christ so that we are closer to God than ever before.

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