There was once a time that man could exist on this planet in perfect harmony with God in paradise. He simply had to obey one rule. It wasn’t a difficult or complicated rule. It was simple. Out of the abundance of things to enjoy in God’s creation simply don’t eat one kind of fruit.
Genesis 2:16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
Sometimes I think that if I only had to live by that one rule that I would have it made and my life would be a piece of cake. But I am pretty sure that I would find myself walking by that tree once in a while just to make sure of where it was so that I would know how to avoid it. Then maybe I would spend time looking at it and taking some pictures of it so that I would recognize the danger should I become disoriented and not realize I was in the same neighborhood as the tree. Before long I would be stuffing myself on its fruit and I don’t even like fruit. I’m like that, people are like that. So passing judgment on Adam and Eve is the silliest thing I can possibly do. I would have probably screwed things up for all of mankind far quicker than they did.
So all of us have to live with the consequences of sin by living a pretty tough life here on earth. We struggle emotionally, physically and spiritually because of what sin has done to the perfect creation of God. I have a friend that has become a believer in Jesus Christ and has turned his life around and yet he has had to go to jail because of the things he did in sin. Unfortunately, even though salvation has cleaned his slate in the eyes of Christ, it isn’t until the end of the earthly life that we are free from the consequences of sin. That’s when we get to cash the check. God does, however, offer us many tools with dealing with those consequences and we can handle some things that would eat a fellow without God up pretty quick.
If I choose to sin, it makes life tougher. I am basically looking God in the eye and saying, “I want your influence in my life to be less, I want control and I want you to back off!” I have to face what I am doing as a blatant disregard for the good God wants in my life.
Isaiah 59:2 It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away
and will not listen anymore.
If I am living a life full of sin it affects God’s hearing. He doesn’t listen. Why would He do this? Because that is what I am asking him for by sinning. He isn’t going to condone my selfish actions by answering my prayers when I am willingly separating myself from Him! It is me and me alone that closes the ears of God. When I turn my back on my disobedience and move back toward God, He hears me much better.
Matthew 3:8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
Turning to God doesn’t just happen one day when we become a his child and He adopts us as his own. It is a daily process of drawing nearer to Him and He helps us cope with this world of sin that pulls and claws at us every day in hopes of wearing us down and causing us to turn to our own desires. It is something I must do every single day. My focus must be on the source of life and not on the things that I know should be forbidden.
When I feel the lure of things I should avoid, what do I expect it to bring me if I should give in and give it a try? Sin only brings pain. It pulls me far from God and puts me in peril. Why do I expect it to bring me joy and pleasure?
Psalms 16:11You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Those things are only brought to me by being in the presence of God, cleansed of the sins that separate me from Him. He will lead me through the consequences of the sins of others and myself. He will give me joy. He will show me the pleasures of living. I cannot find them elsewhere.
God, give me contentment in your presence. Show me the way of life and grant me joy and the pleasures of living with you forever. Amen.