What if? What if, in the Garden of Eden, instead of being a passive listener, Adam had broken into the conversation Satan was having with Eve? He could have followed God’s directive to lead and protect his wife and said, “Hey, what are you doing, talking to my wife? If you want to talk, talk to me!” And after a few more sentences, “No, you are a liar; we are not going to listen to you. Come on, Eve, we’re leaving this fake. It’s time to get ready for our evening time with God!”
You probably know that God’s specific reprimand to Adam was about Adam’s failure to lead, about him following his wife instead of obeying God’s command. (“Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,…’” Gen 3:17). The original sin was not eating the fruit, but Adam’s failure to lead himself well and then failure to lead his wife well. That then resulted in the eating of the forbidden fruit.
Yes, what if Adam had led himself well? How different the world, history, our lives would have been! Recently in my worship time it struck me: every day we get to reenact the Garden of Eden and in some small way correct Adam’s mistake. Satan comes to us and tempts us. His main temptation is for us to disbelieve God and follow a lie. Take for instance worry. Every time I worry, I’m saying, “God isn’t really big enough to handle this situation. I need to step in and help Him, make sure He does it right!” The Almighty God who hung the earth on nothing, who breathed out the stars, who sets up and takes down rulers can’t keep His word to guide and protect me? That’s what I’m really saying when I worry! I have chosen to believe a lie of the enemy.
Instead, when I am tempted to worry, I need to break into the conversation between me, my flesh and the devil, and say, “No, I am not going to listen to these lies that God is weak! My God is strong, He is the Commander of the Hosts of Heaven, He is the Sovereign God who is the bringer of the dawn, the provider of salvation, the ender of time. I choose to trust Him to bring what I need into my life, to orchestrate the events beyond my control. I choose to pray about this, to do my part and leave the outcome to Him! Praise you, Lord God, for what you are going to do in this case!”
If we respond like that, we will accomplish what Adam failed to do. We will have chosen to be glory-givers, not glory-stealers. We will have joined God in another step of His great plan for the recreation of the universe. We will have moved ahead in the sanctification journey the Lord has for us.
So each day, be aware of where you are living the Garden of Eden test all over again. Every temptation to be impatient, unkind, fret, worry, be jealous, compete or give into fears, is also the great opportunity to take up God’s grace, lead yourselves well and be a fountain of grace to those around you. Which will you choose? “He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” (Prov. 10:17)