The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Here is the story. God created paradise, placed Adam and Eve there, and God would walk in the garden with them each evening and fellowship with them. God only made one request of them to not eat the fruit from just two specific trees. Mind you there was an abundance of other fruit trees from which Adam and Eve could eat, so they had plenty from which to choose each day. The crafty serpent comes and persuades Eve to eat from one of the trees that God had made off limits. Eve does not want to be alone in her deceit so she shares the forbidden fruit with Adam. Adam too eats fruit from the forbidden tree. “Oops!”, Adam and Eve both say, “this feels bad, let’s go hide.” God comes to walk in the garden that evening but something is very wrong, His friends do not run to greet Him. Where are they, what has happened, what is different? Of course the Lord already knows what has gone down. I can only imagine His heartbreak that what He had provided so abundantly for His children was not enough; they allowed themselves to be led astray and now everything must change.
Here is the amazing part. Ready? Even in their disobedience and betrayal, God works in the mess that Adam and Eve created. God wades through the destruction that Adam and Eve have created, sets up His sewing machine and makes them clothing.
It is so much better to never create a mess, but great comfort is found in knowing that God can and will work in any mess we may create in order to cover us and protect us. No matter what we are His children.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
I laughed right out loud when I first saw the picture above…..hilarious and also very intelligent. Animals can think and problem solve. God created animals with ways and means to procure what they need and or want. I think about that weird sea creature that has a long extension off of this head that it uses as a lure to bring prey close enough to snatch with its mouth and down the gullet it goes. Ugly little bugger, but very crafty. How about carnivores that have to think one or maybe two step(s) ahead of their prey in order to succeed and live. We had two min-pin dogs, Tiger and Lily. Lily was a crafty little stinker and lazy. She would fuss and fuss until Tiger covered her with the blanket. Lily could cover herself she just wanted to be waited on hand and paw.
When I think about all the amazing animals in this world that the Lord created with their wide and creative skills, then I am stopped in my reading tracks by the fact that the serpent was created more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord created. The craftiness of the wild animal gets them what they need and want; many lure their prey in totally unaware of their immediate danger. In verse one of chapter three we see the serpent putting the lure out for Eve drawing her into his sphere where he can strike and kill.
This world and most churches have completely lost sight of the serpent’s lure and the death found there. Many are drawn in today by the lure and never give a second thought to the one who is holding that lure. But there is way more to the story. If we but see with our eyes and take hold of our inheritance God provided for us from the very beginning, we will never be the captured prey. The following verses are from the first chapter of Genesis:
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
We should never underestimate the craftiness of evil and we should always take hold our birth right as created sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and know that we have been given dominion to govern in the name of the Lord.
Arise, Oh Church, take your rightful place. If a cat can figure out how to get a drink from the refrigerator, we should be able to figure out how to use what the Lord has given to us.
The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.
Before Adam and Eve bit into the forbidden fruit shame was not in their vocabulary. They were naked; they were free. We were designed to be naked before the Lord; free, unencumbered. Naked, transparent, without hesitation, without reserve in worship.
With what do we cover ourselves in this world that restrains us from the freedom in which we were created?
My soul cries for nakedness in worship; giving my all, my everything to glorify the Lord.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Oh man, this has surely been the season for difficult life events. A very dear Christian friend of mine and her family have had a very long season of bad news and struggles; the newest of which came today. Sometimes we want to scream, “When is it enough, Lord?”
The picture above is of our patio door leading out into our backyard. We have had those crosses on that door for years. Last week I saw a message in that door of crosses. I could hear God saying to me, “When looking out to the world, filter your vision through Me; through My Son; through the Holy Spirit. See Us first, then you are ready to walk out into the world.”
Struggles happen and some seasons of life are heavy with the weight of those struggles. The only way to survive those struggles and to claim victory over them is to see the world through the filter of God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit. When I open our patio door and begin my journey outside I think of passing through this world into the Kingdom of God which is just beyond the veil……..”then we shall see face to face.”
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
I choose this day to live in the shelter of the Most High. Where is your residence?
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
Years and years of life accumulation in a house that has tremendous storage capacity = CRAZINESS!
Moving a lifetime of acquisitions is not for the faint of heart. Even when paying a company to move your stuff, there is still an extreme array of items to plan for and a “Boot Camp” workout of physical labor to be done. At this point in our move my brain is beginning to turn to mush; my mind screams, “No more decisions, I can’t decide another thing!” My body is reminding me of muscles that I had long ago forgotten existed.
My days at this point move back forth between absolute peace and a super storm of emotions. I am an extremely organized person and to be living in the midst of chaos, dust and clutter is a challenge for me and then my poor family has to deal with me and the move. I have times of great struggle. When I turn my focus to God instead of the circumstances I hear Him say to me, “Kay, relax and trust Me. You are worried about things which are not eternal. Remember what truly matters; My Kingdom and those you love. All else will fade away.
This time in our lives seems to be all about 20/20 Kingdom Vision. Peace is found when I am still and put God back upon His throne instead of trying to take His seat.
Can I get an Amen?!
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. Ephesians 1:1
Above is the opening line of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. Seems rather ordinary at first and matter of fact; no mystery there. And yet the line grabs me and draws my eyes back to it time and time again, why?
Too often this world thinks of God as way “up there”, far far removed from us and our lives….He is distant. There is a common thought of looking for God when one nears death but for now just continuing with one’s own battle plan. It seems to me that for many finding/having God is just too much work and a real inconvenience.
Before Paul became an apostle of Jesus, he was Saul a ruthless persecutor/killer of Christians. Saul was zealous to purge the world of the heresy of Christianity, of those who called themselves followers of Jesus Christ. Saul knew religion but he did not know God. God desired for Saul to know Him. God put Himself in Saul’s face. God sought out Saul (You can read that wonderful account in Acts 9)
God seeks us. Do you also see the wonder of the first verse of Ephesians? Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus BY THE WILL OF GOD. Saul had no interest what so ever in knowing God, but God had a desire to know Saul/Paul. God seeks a relationship with us. Amazing. Awesome. Wonderful.