Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010

"He answered, 'I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'" Genesis 3:10

This is a very heart-breaking encounter between God and Adam. It shows the death of innocence and the end of intimacy with God. Things would never be the same. However, this encounter is also very instructive. Let's see what we can learn from their misdeeds.
Observation One - It takes more than being honest with God to be intimate with God.
After Adam's sin he played "hide and seek" with God. He hid and God came seeking Him. When God found him, Adam confessed to his sin. He didn't lie to God. He told the truth. But he was still hiding from Him. Agreement with God did not restore oneness with God.
Our corollary would be when we confess our sins to Christ. He promises He will "forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness". That act of faith can bring us into relationship with God but not automatically into intimacy with him.
Observation Two: Adam's honest confession didn't remove the consequences of his sin.
Adam reveals three damaging consequences of sin in his confession - guilt, fear and shame. Those negative emotions caused him to hide from God.
Guilt is the result of moral failure. Adam felt guilty because he was! He sinned against his own spirit because God gave him a clear command and he deliberately disobeyed. Fear is the result of knowing he was in danger of the judgment. The shame comes as a result of his inadequacy apart from God. These are three very strong negative effects that Adam had to overcome to regain intimacy with God. They kept him chained to his past and unable to enjoy the moment. He was never able to overcome those consequences and restablish the intimate walk with God he had once known. He could hide his sin but not remove it. Adam was doomed to wander on the edge of Paradise the rest of his day. He became a recipient of the grace and mercy of God but never again enjoyed the intimate presence of God.
Observation Three: Intimacy is being spiritually, morally and emotionally naked before God.
Before Adam sinned, he and even were completely naked before God and absolutely comfortable. There was nothing hidden and everything fully revealed. Sin changed that for Adam.
Because of Adam we are born hiding from God. We inherit a nature riddled infected with guilt, fear and shame. How do we come out of hiding? How do we shed the guilt, fear and shame in order to feel like we belong in the presence of God?
Honesty is a good start. Facing the truth about who we and the truth about Who He is and surrendering to that truth will usher us into relationship with Christ. The truth is that it takes faith in the Second Adam to deliver us from Adam. Agreeing with that truth and confessing it will get you into a relationship with God but it won't gain you intimacy.
What does it mean to be intimate with God? It means allowing Him complete access to every area of your life and earnestly seeking to know Him completely. It means clinging to God with the complete absence of guilt, fear and shame. It means coming confidently and comfortably into His presence and feeling you belong.
Doesn't that sound good! It's what the First Adam lost you and what the Second Adam won back for you. He took your guilt! He removed your fear! He absorbed your shame! Don't be content to dwell on the edge of Paradise, enter in and walk intimately with your Creator!