Greed & Pride–All Conquered by Love


He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:10

Shame leads to fear, which causes us to hide, and try to take matters into our own hands, without regard for God and His provision.

Before their eyes were opened, they were, like children, utterly dependent on God for everything.

(This is also our condition, whether we like it or not, before and after our conversion– God is in control. We just learn how *really* in control He is once we come to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.)

And, like children, as soon as their Father wandered away from them for a moment (though He was never really gone) they gave into the temptation to disobey the Father–in whom they had ultimate trust and faith, before they were left to their own devices.

Without Him in the immediate picture, they became prideful and greedy, in that they wanted to know more than the knowledge that God was currently already providing them with.

Truth is, He was protecting them, and savoring the relationship that He had with them. He was relishing in the fact that He was their provider, and they were completely in fellowship with Him, and He sustained their every need.

I mean, just look at all the work He went to, creating everything, and then to give us this beautiful land, with flowing waters nourishing the ground and watering the plants and animals!  He even let Adam name every single animal that He created for him. And gave him dominion over everything He had created.

What more could you ask for, right? Well, I can only imagine that God was barely getting started with the blessing that He was going to shower them with.

–But, sin crept in.

All of a sudden, when faced with temptation, and God couldn’t be immediately found, (though they weren’t looking for Him), they decide that God, who created them from dust and breathed life into them, could not be trusted.

It wasn’t enough for Adam and Eve to just let God lead, and take a back seat to Him. They wanted more. They wanted control. They fell for the lie that they had to know more. The lie that God was not truly the only One who is sovereign.  So, they took matters into their own hands.  They partook of the forbidden fruit, which God commanded them not to touch.  Immediately, they realized the horrific thing they had done.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.  Genesis 3:7a

And furthermore, they felt that they needed to take matters into their own hands….

And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Genesis 3:7b

When the realization hits them that they have sinned against God, they immediately try to figure out, without regard for God, what to do. They quickly come up with a plan to cover their nakedness, their shame, by the works of their own hands–sewing fig leaves together.

They no longer have their trust in God and His provision (which is far greater than they could have come up with on their own, if you keep reading to Genesis 3:21).

Gee, doesn’t that sound like us today?

When we, or someone we love, run into trouble, we are already at work, burning brain cells, smoke coming out of our ears, quickly figuring out a plan of action to rescue the situation–or the other person. Instead of stepping back and putting our trust in our Almighty God–the Creator of heaven and earth, and all that is in it.

We do more planning than praying.

In our hurry to resolve the situation, we start thinking we know better than our Father. We think we know the way everything should work. We think we have the answers, or can figure it out, if only we work hard enough and put together a good, solid, formative plan. And then, once we have our blue print in hand, we go running to God, showing Him the way that He needs to act.

If God would just act the way we see fit, everything would be resolved
, we think.

–When in fact, in moments like these, we are blind to the reality that only God knows His own plan. Only He knows what lies ahead in each of our paths.

As humans–and I do believe it stems from being created in the image of God–we want to protect those we love.

But in our humanness, from our limited viewpoint, we are not able to see past the next minute, much less down the line.  In our love and protective hearts, we want to save others from harm. Or, we want to keep them from trouble that we see impending on the horizon. –when, in all reality, that very trouble may actually be what is needed to drive that person into a deeper relationship with God. It may be that we, in our human minds, want to protect them from the very thing that will cause their eyes to be opened and their hearts to be restored back to the Father.

Let us resolve to trust God, and His Sovereignty, again.

After all, even after His righteous anger poured out, didn’t He yet still provide a much better covering for them, in their now-fallen state?  He didn’t just give up on them altogether.  He loved them.  And, He didn’t make a quick-fix patch to ‘get them by’, either. He fashioned the coverings from animal skins. (I’m imagining the fact that animal skins could be laundered, and re-worn over and over again, instead of the quick-fix fig leaf that would only end up tearing and have to be re-made over and over and over again.)

I believe the fig leaf is representative of our hard work, all the countless hours, weeks, months, that we spend planning to “fix” something that is broken.

Then, when our plan doesn’t immediately work, we go back to the drawing board and come up with another blue print for God to follow.  “This one will work, I just know it will, Daddy” we say, like a kid, handing it to Him, proud of our master crayon sketch.

But, He sees beyond the here and now. He knows that our fig leaf, or our crayon sketch, will only deteriorate in a matter of time.

The animal skin, on the other hand, I believe is representative of our All-knowing Father’s provision.

His provision is so much greater than we could ever anticipate.  He has already foreseen the inevitable laundry problem, and the fragility of our fig leaf. He knows what is coming in the future. And His job is to protect His children. And provide. And sustain. And create.

This shedding of innocent blood (animal sacrifice) was the first sacrifice that He made, on behalf of Adam and Eve, after the fall. This is just one mere instance that points forward toward Jesus’ sacrifice, on behalf of all humanity–all who would believe.

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous  Romans 5:18-19

Let us visualize ourselves standing there, in Adam and Eve’s place, watching as our LORD our God kills an animal, and cleans the hide, and fashions it into clothes for us.  Looking forward, we could never begin to fathom the intricacies of His mighty plan of redemption–how could we ever begin to even fathom His Ultimate Sacrifice in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus?

Now that we have that mental image, let us refocus on our struggle today.  Let us honestly examine our hearts and ask ourselves, is this situation out of His control?  No.

Does he need our master plan of intervention?  No.  He may use us, assuredly.  But it will be by the power of His Spirit.  It will not be through our fig leaves and crayon sketches, which don’t amount to much.

Let us learn to be submissive to His leading, His promptings within our hearts.  Let us not try to sketch the plan out in infinite detail–with our broken crayons.

While we are still sketching our crayon blue print, He has already paved the streets with gold. He has prepared the way, all we have to do is trust Him.

((Oh, it’s WAY harder than it sounds, I know.  I think maybe He is finally getting this through my head here recently in the last few weeks.  Well, I hope.  It seems so clear right now.  But, I hope that I remember this when the next wave hits of me wanting to do-do-do, for Him.  I pray that I stop, and pause, and wait, and be silent, and listen before I jump into action.))

But He is so gracious and He teaches us along the way how to trust Him. He is such a wonderful Father. He doesn’t demean our crayon sketches. He puts them proudly on His fridge, while He goes back out to the garage to put the finishing touches on the gift that He is making for us.

One day we will see that He has taken to heart every crayon sketch, every tear, every tiny idea that we brought to Him. He never once ignores us. All those times we thought He was ignoring us, He was proudly displaying our beautiful artwork on His fridge, and saying “just wait and see, My child,”  before he turned to go back to the garage, finishing the artwork that He was creating all along.

Because only He has the master plan, and only He knows the intricate ways that must be followed–the paths that must be taken to get there.

Some of us will just have to go longer, sometimes harder, routes than others.

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