Today's Word of Encouragement from Wayne:
"They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man. and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ 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: 8-10
There is no need for a child of God to hide "from the presence of the Lord God" out of fear. The apostle John wrote of our most blessed freedom from fear because of our Lord God Jesus Christ, "We love, because He first loved us. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1st John 4:19, 18, 16).
What had happened to Adam and Eve? Whereas the sound of God walking in the garden may have once been cause for joy for them, they now hid themselves from God’s presence, because they were afraid and they were aware of their nakedness. We know the account of the serpent and of Adam and Eve eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and "then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked" (Genesis 3: 1-7).
Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil produced self-awareness, apart from God, and the act of their eating from the forbidden tree represented Adam and Eve living independently from God their Creator. Sin entered their hearts at that time and they were, ultimately, exiled from the garden (Genesis 3:24). Praise God that you and I have received Jesus Christ our Savior. His blood has atoned for our sins and has, by His grace, opened up a new life for us. We were born into this world of sin already cast out of the garden and now, through Christ our Lord, we have been born again, to live forever with Him in His garden of life.
Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will always produce a sense of separation, accompanied by a self-awareness apart from one’s identity in God, and fear. But you and I are invited, every day, to draw near to God, as His "kingdom and priests" (Revelation 5:8) so we may minister to the Lord and, in His presence, eat from Christ, Who is in truth our tree of life, our bread of life, our daily bread. Beloved Christian, don’t hide from God’s presence.
Don’t let fear or sense of self keep you away from your Lord of life and love. Instead I urge you to run to His presence so you may be blessed with an awareness of God and of your status as His cherished child. In His presence is love, and healing. Apart from His presence is fear, and guilt. The tree of knowledge can only produce separation, fear, and self-centeredness. But God’s blessed tree of life, within us now in the Person of Jesus Christ, produces, oneness, love, and God-centeredness.
Walk with God in His garden of life today and let the perfect love that is Himself renew you, as His Own presence casts away every thought of fear, separation, and self-awareness. Hallelujah!