Pastor Phillip O’Reilly
In Genesis 3, there’s a story that everyone knows. Adam and Eve have just been created, and God has blessed them with this beautiful, lush, wonderful garden. Nothing ever goes wrong for them. Everything is perfect. They get to just live and walk next to God and things are great. Until they aren’t.
A serpent enters the picture. He’s deceiving and sneaky and poisonous and convinces Eve that she can eat from the one tree she’s been told not to. Eve eats the fruit, gives some to Adam, and he eats too. And then things change. Fear sets in, regret sets in, shame sets in. Suddenly, they realize they are naked and feel like hiding from God. They cover themselves with leaves and hide behind the trees. That’s when God asks a question He already knew the answer to – “where are you?”
God already knew where they were hiding. He already knew why they were hiding. What He was asking was for them to take a look inward and figure out where their hearts were in relation to God’s.
Shame is a powerful motive and perhaps the enemy’s greatest weapon. When we feel shame, it colors everything a certain shade of grey. When we feel shame, everything has a sour note – a whisper of negativity rides every breeze. Shame leads to fear. And fear is crippling.
Fear – of inadequacy, of losing control, of rejection, of change, of lack, of vulnerability, of missing out, of abandonment, of failure – all builds up within us until we are, like Adam and Eve, hiding from God. Until God is calling out to us “were are you?”
The thing that’s great here is that God loves us in spite of shame and fear. Adam and Eve messed up big time and had very real consequences, but still there was compassion. Still there was love. Even when we are hiding from Him, when we are afraid, when we are feeling like a mistake, God just wants to love us. He waits for us to come Home so He can pour out his unending, undeserved grace.
Instead of shame, we have to choose joy. Instead of fear, we have to choose trust. Afterall, God has never given us reason not to.
“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” [Psalm 34:5]
Watch this message here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/342594971