Hello everyone!! I hope you are experiencing God’s Blessings today, and that you have been telling the stories of God’s goodness to those around you.
We had a great time this last week with our group here in America, and I was able to encourage them with some of the testimonies that I have heard from you.
I’d like to remind you that I would love to have a short description of how The Lord has been working in your life since you’ve been part of this group. I don’t need a long story, but just a look back at where you’ve been and how God has brought you here in your journey.
Thanks so much!
Earlier this summer I talked about something that is a common theme for walking in the revelation of the Lord. We need to HEAR and OBEY the words that we receive from our Father in Heaven.
He is GOOD and every word that He has for us is guaranteed to be good for us. We can TRUST Him!
Activating principles in the Kingdom of God, requires us to HEAR God’s voice, in order for them to be activated. However, if we don’t OBEY it, then God’s word becomes powerless in our life.
I’d like to start in the beginning, and read about the very first call for OBEDIENCE, from the ONE who created us all.
Look at Genesis 2:15-18
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” AMEN!
Now I want you to notice here that God’s measuring standard from the very beginning was whether or not something was good – very good – or – not good.
Even while he was creating the Earth, and all of it’s plants and animals, God called things “GOOD”.
When He had finished creating Adam as the first man, God called him “VERY GOOD”!
So, I want to remind you here, that God had a plan for each one of us from the very beginning. He knew you clearly and deeply, and declared that you are VERY GOOD.
David described this Plan of God in Psalm 139:16
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
Now, I just want to make a quick comment here that God does not plan SIN or the effects of SIN into any of our lives. What I’m saying here is that God doesn’t give us sickness, disease, and poverty because those are ALL effects of SIN.
David says all of our days were written for us, but he doesn’t say that we live them all out, according to how they are written. We have the continual choices in front of us, of whether or not we will OBEY.
Let’s go back to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:1-6
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
“but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
What was it that caused Adam and Eve to sin? I’d say the reason is that they questioned the Goodness of God. He had given them clear instructions, which would result in Good things for them.
So many times we find ourselves at the crossroads, of whether we will obey the instructions of God, or ignore them and do our own thing.
Notice in the verses we just read, that the serpent very clearly calls God a liar. My interpretation of what he said to Eve is this, “God has lied to you. The thing He said will happen, is not going to happen, and furthermore…… God is keeping something from you, that is VERY, VERY GOOD!”
The idea behind it was, “Not only is God keeping something from you, but even worse, He is keeping the BEST part for himself”.
This lie was very cunning, in that it invited Adam and Eve to become OFFENDED, toward the very one who had given them everything they had.
You see, OFFENSE is a very poisonous thing! Had God ever given them a reason not to trust Him?
How was it so easy for them to go against His Word? How could they believe a lie so quickly?
In verse 5 the serpent says, “you will be like God”, but doesn’t Genesis 1:26-27 say, that God had already made them like God?
Let’s read those verses… Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
These verses are very clear! God had already made them like Him, and given them everything He had made (including the entire Earth).
You see OFFENSE is a lie that questions your very IDENTITY. When someone does something that you are offended by, I can promise you, the root of it somewhere questions your identity.
The Lord told me a while ago, “Offense can never be given……. It can only be TAKEN”. That is even the way that we describe it in speaking about it. We say, “they TOOK offense at that”.
I learned this a long time ago, that if I’m not concerned about what people think of me, I am then FREE to follow God, and obey His every instruction.
So now…back to the issue of questioning God’s goodness. Isn’t that the TRUE test of faith? Are you willing to believe? Am I willing to believe?
Are you willing to trust God even when it looks like He’s leading you into something that you can’t just automatically see the outcome?
Hasn’t He already done enough to prove to us that He is Always Good? Why did He then push them out of the Garden and set angels to guard the entrance to keep them from going back in?
I’d like to read those verses in Genesis 3:22-24
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—
therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Have you ever wondered why God had to do that? The Lord has shown that it was because of His great mercy that he didn’t allow Adam and Eve to stay in the Garden.
He is saying in verse 22 that now that they’ve eaten of the knowledge of Good and Evil and disobeyed
His word, it would be horrible if they would live forever in their sin.
So this is when God designed a better way. Do you remember earlier today I said that God never plans for sin or writes sin into our stories?
Well that is completely true for the simple fact that He would have to go against His own Holiness if would predestine us to sin without our choice.
And, remember that every time I mention sin, that includes all effects of sin like sickness, disease, and poverty. God doesn’t predetermine us to be forced to sin, but He has FOREKNOWLEDGE about us.
He doesn’t make so we HAVE TO sin….. but he has made a way out of it if we do. If He had rejected Adam and Eve, then He would not have talked with them after they were out of the Garden.
But, we see His mercy evident all through history as He continually works to restore mankind. His goal is always to restore us into a right relationship with Him and get each one of us back to the perfect connection that He had with Adam in the Garden.
It was through Jesus that a PERFECT MAN was able to fulfill what Adam was not. Jesus regained all authority back when he went to Hell as punishment for Adam’s sin.
If you have not taken your rightful place as a child of God, you have then chosen to live without the freedoms, benefits, and authority that was assigned to you from the very beginning.
When your days were written before the foundation of the world, God had already made provision for you to take your rightful place.
Isn’t it amazing how Merciful and Gracious and abounding in Love that our Father in Heaven is?
So, I feel like I need to remind you again that God is GOOD no matter where He is leading you. Even if you are in the fire, He has made the provision so you do not get burned.
What circumstances are you in right now? Are they a result of you disobeying His voice or of following His leading?
God does not punish us for our sin, but sometimes the sin itself has negative consequences attached to it. Remember, don’t hide yourself from God as Adam and Eve did in the Garden.
Run to your Heavenly Father and I promise to you that He will restore you back to relationship with Him, and back to walking in freedom from all effects of sin.
Let’s finish out by reading a couple verses which describe what Jesus did for us.
Look at Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Now if anyone has a testimony or prayer request, I’d love to hear what those are.