May 26, 2007 – TheScroogeReport.com Post
GREG LAURIE – A NEW BEGINNING
Greg Laurie pastors Harvest Christian Fellowship (one of America’s largest churches) in Riverside, California. Laurie is also the founder of the Harvest Crusades.
Talk about having it made in the shade! When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in a veritable paradise. It was beautiful to say the least, and they enjoyed direct communication with God Himself!
Adam’s job description was to tend and keep the garden, discovering and marveling in all God had done and walking in fellowship with Him.
The first couple was told they could eat of any tree in the garden – except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And yet there was Eve, hanging out by that very tree.
Why is it that we are always attracted to that which can harm us? You tell a child to not touch a certain thing or go to a certain place and that’s exactly where he will be when given a chance. It’s human nature!
Satan was saying, “Eve, you can be a goddess! Adam, you can be a god – just take a bite and see.”
That was the bite felt around the world.
Satan certainly knows how to package his wares.
But God told Adam and Eve, and us, not to sin for good reason.
In our warped minds, we think that God is keeping something good from us. Scripture, however, tells us: “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
God gave them a warning, and they ignored it.
The book of Genesis records how our first parents ignored the warning, were fatally injured and had no one to blame but themselves (Genesis 3:1-13).
Of course, Satan, the devil, was there too, waiting for an opportunity to lead Eve astray. Here are three ploys he used to bring her to ruin.
Ploys, I might add, that he is still using today.
No. 1: He questioned God’s word.
Satan didn’t deny God had spoken. He simply questioned whether God had really said what Eve thought He had said. He wanted her to think that perhaps she had misunderstood God’s command. He wanted to “interpret” God’s words for Eve. It’s the same in our world today. Satan still twists the truth to try to alienate people from God.
No. 2: He questioned God’s love.
Satan wanted to make Eve think that God was holding something back from her. In reality, God Himself had placed this lone restriction in Adam and Eve’s life to keep them from sin and its painful consequences! In the same way, the barriers God places in our lives are there because He loves us.
No. 3: He substituted his own lie.
Satan led Eve to believe if she ate of the tree she would become like God. At that point, Eve had a choice: She could take God at His word, or believe Satan’s lie.
Satan knows that our minds are “command central.” This is where we reason, fantasize and imagine. Through our imaginations we can reach into the future, and in our memories we can reach into the past. The devil will try to get a foothold in your thinking. He will attempt to make you second-guess what God has said in His Word, or try to get you to dwell on the “what ifs” in life.
Our counterattack is found in II Corinthians 10:4-5: “I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him.”
Having eaten now of the “forbidden fruit,” something unusual happened to Adam and Eve: The Bible says, “The eyes of both of them were opened.” That is, their eyes were opened to the earth, but closed to heaven.
So what happened next?
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:3).
When God didn’t find Adam waiting in their usual meeting place, He called out to him, “Adam, where are you?”
I believe there was hurt in that voice, but love as well, as a Father called out to His wayward son.
And there was Adam, the crown of God’s creation, cowering behind a bush in fear. He then asked Adam and Eve a series of questions in that terrible moment.
Who told you that you were naked?Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?What is this you have done?Obviously, God already knew the answers to those questions, but He wanted to be sure they understood their actions. He was looking for an admission of wrongdoing, an admission of sin. He desired nothing short of a full-blown confession.Instead of acknowledging his sin, however, Adam offered the mother of all excuses – in fact, it was the first recorded excuse in all of human history. “The woman who you gave to be with me …” Adam was in essence saying, “This is Your doing. It’s the woman You gave me!”That’s what sin does. It blinds you to reality. We dare to blame God for the stupid decisions we sometimes make in life.But God wanted fellowship restored with Adam.That would ultimately be accomplished through the death of God’s own son, Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross.
God desires to walk with you in the cool of the day, just as He had enjoyed the company and fellowship of the first human beings. He wants to draw near to you, comfort you, instruct you, guide you and lead you into a life of abundance and joy. He wants to be an intimate part of your life.
Could He be calling out to you right now, just as He called out to Adam?
Where are you?
How did you get to this place?
Do you want to change?
If so, you need to come to Jesus, and ask Him to help you do just that. He’s just a prayer away.