Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 (NIV)
If God is all about rules, then he certainly started off the garden of Eden on the wrong foot. It was a one-rule paradise. Think about it. God’s ultimate world was designed to be a world of freedom from day one. Adam and Eve were surrounded by beauty. They got to hang out with God. They had all the food that they needed.
They had one small rule—stay away from the tree!
But the serpent took their focus off of all that they had. He adjusted their view to focus on the one thing they couldn’t have. When they ate the fruit they got more than they bargained. They lost their innocence. For the first time, they felt ashamed and embarrassed. God was walking through the garden looking to hang out. They were hiding behind fig leaves.
That same old lie is still out there today. It tempts seekers and believers to focus on the forbidden fruit. Many think that God is holding out on them, that he’s keeping stuff away from them that feels good. That they are missing out. You see, they are focusing on the small stuff that God says, "not good for you, my child. There is beauty all around you. Reach for it!"
Real freedom comes from reaching for God instead of forbidden fruit. It comes from hanging out with the God of the universe and discovering what he wants to say to you about life, about your dreams, about ministry, about your passions. That’s tapping into something pretty significant—freedom to run after the things that matter and recognizing those that don’t.
God is a passionate God and we live a passionate faith. It's deep and beautiful and offers purpose and passion and purity in a lifestyle that cuts all the cords as we fly in our faith.
Is God all about rules? Nuh uh. He's about running after him and discovering who He is, and who we can be through him.
This is my prayer: I have you! I have the God of the universe directing my footsteps. Reshape my thinking, father. Show me what I do have. Help me live outside feelings, outside the present. Thank you for protecting me from things I don’t always see. Teach me to trust you and your plan for my future. Help me to reach for you instead of forbidden fruit!
Suzie Eller, follower of Christ
author of Real Teens, Real Stories, Real Life