Who told you that you were naked?

Sin and Disobedience

Daily Spirit & Word: The Fall of Mankind into Sin.

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Good morning my friends, my holiday is over, I’m back at work, it’s been awesome to have a long break from my usual routine, but it’s also good to get back to ‘normal’. It’s early morning and I’m up with my Lord Jesus. You know something, I’ve been meeting with Him every single day of my holiday, because you cannot have a holiday from being a follower of Jesus.

Yesterday someone came around to my house and asked me this question; “How many times can you go away from the Lord before you finally and fully fall away?” It was a simple and honest question. When someone asks me a question like that, I know that it’s like a loaded-gun or an iceberg, there far more below the surface than above the water. Some people have said to me, “How can you fit 120 men inside one of those, referring to my Submarine?” Then I have to explain, “You know my friend, an Submarine is much like an iceberg, there’s far more beneath the water than there is above” If you could see a Submarine in a dry-dock then you’d realise what I mean, it’s an immense piece of exciting engineering which always reminds me of a whale.

My response was, “You only need to go away from the Lord ONCE before it becomes permanent.” His face fell immediately, because, as I’d guessed, he was looking for a way to excuse his life of sin. You see my friends, we cannot have a holiday away from the Lord once we’ve started upon the journey of faith with Jesus. Do you remember the Lord’s words on this subject?

Hand to the Plough:

Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

But I’m going through Genesis at the moment and a phrase jumped out a me this morning:

Genesis 3:7-11 7  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 
8  Then the man and his wife heard the sound (voice) 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.
9  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 
10  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 
11  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 

Thankfully, those who’ve trusted in Christ Jesus have been SAVED:

Colossians 1:13-14 13  “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

When we come to Jesus who knows the end from the beginning, He knows your whole life, even before you gave in and trusted Him as your Saviour, so He knows those times that you’ll yield to temptation, that you’ll be weak and fall into sin. And He still gives you the blessings of the knowledge of forgiveness and a new heart to obey Him. What amazing grace and mercy.

Yes Jesus has ‘rescued’ you from the dominion of darkness: However, we still get those same, Adam like, feelings of separation when we sin. Remember how Adam and Eve, once they’d eaten the forbidden fruit, made coverings for themselves out of leaves and hid themselves in the garden of Eden. What was it that made them hide? They heard the voice of the Lord in the garden. The Lord was either singing or saying something out loud, and the voice of the Lord became a terror to them. They knew that they were naked; i.e. that the Lord could see what they’d done, it was open before Him who’s eyes see and know everything. It’s the same with anyone who sins, even just a little, the mere fact and act of disobedience has the exact same effect, we all want to run away and hide from God, from his presence, from His Holy voice. We don’t want to see Him, we don’t want to hear Him, we don’t want to be anywhere near Him, so we run away and hide and try our best to cover-up our shameful nakedness.

Asking that question, “How many times can we go away from God before it becomes permanent?” is like asking “How many times can I choose to sin and get away with it?” The answer is “NONE” You’ll never get away with it, God knows it all and He’s right there as a witness to every single act or thought of disobedience.

Alexander Maclaren has said it brilliantly: “These are still the two lies which wile us to sin: ‘It will do you no harm,’ and ‘You are cheating yourselves out of good by not doing it.’ Alexander Expositions of Holy Scripture – Genesis.

When God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” He KNEW that Adam and Eve had eaten and had received the knowledge of Good and Evil.

My friend related how he’d been feeling; that there was an emptiness, a barrenness, how God seemed distant, far away. Then he said something amazing, “You know, I know, that God has not moved away, it’s me”…

Temptation to sin: We’ve already lost the battle when we’re thinking to ourselves; “I wonder how many times I can do this and get away with it?”

Disobedience: Acting or Thinking sinfully; results in cutting us off from the Lord. Even after we’ve come to faith and trust in Jesus. Until we get right with Him again we’re separated from Him, we’re not walking with Him, we’re in the darkness and there is a feeling that we want to cover-up our shameful nakedness, to hide our inner-self from the Lord. There is no peace when we’re walking in the darkness. There is no joy in our hearts.

“Who told you that you were naked?”

When we choose to sin, afterwards it’s like the LORD is not there, as if our relationship has died, we’re cut-off from Him. We’ll also get fearful and want to run and hide from God, because we become aware that He can see right through us. 

When Temptations Come:

We’ve got a choice: We can listen to God’s voice, His witness within, our Conscience, that will be crying out to us; “This will lead to the death of your relationship with God”. Or we can reason with ourselves and con ourselves into believing; It’s not that bad, everyone else is doing it, everybody thinks it’s OK, it won’t do me any harm, why not enjoy yourself, you deserve it, you’ve earned the right to enjoy it”

But Moses Chose A Different Way:

Hebrews 11:25  “He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”

When we choose to follow God’s WAY: It’s costly in terms of dying to self, in saying “No!” to the pleasures of sin for a season.

Hebrews 11:25  “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”

Yes we can enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but whilst we’re doing so, we’ll be doing it away from Jesus and it will be as if He’s dead to us, as if He’s not real, as if there is no God. The realisation will come to us that we’re NAKED and we’ll want to run and hide like Adam and Eve. But just like a dark-cloud hides the sun, the sun still continues to shine behind it’s dark lining; so God continues to reign and rule behind the darkness of our disobedience.

Just as God called out in the Garden of Eden for Adam: “Adam, Where are you?” He’s calling out to you and me today: “Where are you?”

  • Are you walking with the Lord?
  • Are you seeking to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season?

Have an awesome day with Jesus. Choose LIFE, JOY, PEACE and FELLOWSHIP with God today. It’s going to be FREEDOM and FOUNTAINS of LOVE flowing within.

Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I pray today that when temptation comes, I’ll be listening to You in my heart. Help me to know that choosing to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season is like death to my relationship with You. This day Lord; I’m choosing LIFE and the joy that comes as I walk with You. Help me Lord! Amen.”

Don.

 

With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again

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With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again.
With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again.

Daily Spirit & Word, 451: With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again.

Jesus Christ is the ANSWER to our deepest needs in life: relational connection with the Creator.

Good morning my friends. Last night when we were out on the Streets sharing the Gospel with folks and giving out tracts and Gospel messages, we had a few great conversations with people, but as usual one sticks out in my mind more than the others. It was with a woman we stopped and chatted with under the railway bridge on Norwood Road in Tulse Hill.
It was so noisy, trains going overhead, buses roaring their engines and an endless stream of traffic on Norwood Road, but she stopped when we offered her a £1,000,000 note. I said, “It’s not real, but has a message about Jesus on the reverse side”. She smiled and we began to chat about faith. Isaac asked her, “Do you have a faith?” She said, “I used to, but I’ve been a bit disillusioned by things”. We would normally have gone back over her life and asked about her faith background, but as I found out afterwards, both Isaac and I felt the Lord was telling us to just be quiet and listen to the lady. As we did so we discovered a woman who revealed she was; lonely, desperate and seeking a deep connection with the something, she knew there was something missing in her life, she’d tried many different paths and found them all to be a dead end. She’d been trained as a Clinical Psychologist, trying for years to help people through their difficulties, but she needed help herself, she was desperately lonely and though she thought she should have or know the answer, she’d found all her pathways empty. Now she was ready to try something, anything to make that connection.
After listening for about ten minutes, I said, “You know something, God loves you”. Guess what happened? She began to cry. She’d been waiting to hear that for so long. Then I said, “When you know Jesus Christ, you’ll never be lonely again.” She looked straight into my eyes and said, “My mother is a committed Christian”. I said, “I’ll bet you she’s been telling you that for years?” She nodded. I said, “There’s more, with Jesus you will NEVER be Lonely again and you’ll have a FRIEND not just for life, but for all eternity.”
After giving her some assurance of life with Jesus, we then chatted about the NEW Course we’re starting after Easter, it’s a course that’s looking at the Resurrected Jesus and different people’s encounters with Him. I asked her, “Would you be interested in such a course?” She said, “Yes I would indeed”… I gave her our little leaflet with contact details and said, “Please get in touch with us, I know you are going to enjoy the experience of getting to know Jesus Christ.”
We’ve been saying for many moths that Jesus speaks when we go out for Him, but there’s POWER with us my friends. The Holy Spirit made sure that Isaac and I knew last night to keep quiet and just listen for a while. What if we’d just blurted out with the Gospel? We’d probably have lost that woman, but by being attentive to His leading we were able to engage on a completely different level. We ask Him to prepare the way and He does, but we must be careful to observe and listen to His leading.
Lonely: Loneliness: There are countless desperate and lonely people in our world today. The Bible reveals that loneliness is like a prison and we, Isaac and myself, could see that this woman was like a locked up prisoner desperate to see the outside world and escape the prison cell of loneliness.
 
Psalm 68:5-6 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”

Here the Psalm reveals what we said to the Lonely lady last night:

A) God is A Father: A father relates with his children. God relates with those who come to Him as a Father. Yes He disciplines, rebukes and punishes, just like an earthly father does, but God also encourages, gives grace to the humble and strengthens those who are weak and feeling empty.
B) God is a DEFENDER: of those who can’t defend themselves. We serve a God of Justice and one day He’ll give righteous justice to all who mistreat those who are fatherless and widows.
C) God is in HEAVEN: But He’s also right here beside us. God is NOT far away in a place that cannot be found. He’s close to every single human soul. He’s only a prayer away.
D) God PROVIDES: For every single soul there is a FAMILY to belong to. When you come to Jesus you are in God’s Family, He becomes your FATHER and every Christian is your brother or your sister.
E) God sets the captives FREE: In the verse above, loneliness is described as a PRISON and those who are suffering loneliness as PRISONERS, but listen what happens when He sets those prisoners free.
D) There’s SINGING: rejoicing, happiness, peace, joy, praise, release. When you’re set free from something the next thing you want to do is CELEBRATE and REJOICE right? Well my friends, that’s what happens when Father God sets the LONELY FREE.
G) DESERT EXPERIENCE: Those who’ve yet to come to the Saviour, it’s like living in a DESERT, “A sun-scorched land”.
Reflecting back on our meeting with the woman last night, I can see her now in my mind, walking along the road, looking sad, head down. However, after our conversation, as I watched her walking away there was a difference in her. She was walking taller, she was lighter, brighter and more joyful and hopeful. There was a spring in her step and I know an expectation of peace and the prospect of an end to her deep loneliness.
With Jesus Christ as your Lord, Master, Saviour and Friend, you’ll never be lonely again. We, who’ve trusted in Jesus, have an answer to one of the world’s greatest needs today: The need to feel connected, loved, accepted for who we are, cared for, and protected. God has revealed in my places in the Bible that He is the Answer to ALL of life’s relational problems. We’re rootless and restless until we find our eternal rest in Him. It comes when we come to Jesus. Release comes when we come as prisoners longing to be set free by Jesus.

In Everyone’s Life;

There are SIN issues to deal with.
There are Righteousness issues to deal with.
There are Rebellious issues to deal with.
There are Character issues to deal with.
Yes all of the above in ALL of our lives, but there’s a much bigger issue, the issue of being and FEELING CUT OFF from the Creator. We’ll always be lonely until we come to the Saviour, there’s a soul searching within every single human being, that will not be satisfied until we find our true rest in Jesus. That’s why Jesus said, “Come to Me”.
We can try and fill that aching and longing with things, with people, with pleasures and distractions, but it won’t go away. Many mistake the longing for needing more of what the world offers, and they spend all their energy and time trying to fill their life up with things and the world’s resources, but what we need most is to find total satisfaction in absolutely NOTHING, but being with Father God, when we find that total satisfaction, then we’re set free to really enjoy what He’s provided for us.
We’ll no longer see the world and the things of the world as something to posses, to own or keep, but to use and enjoy and give away freely, because our Father has given all of it to us. We’ll hold onto these things loosely, because our happiness, contentment, security and joy are not dependent upon the things or the people of this earth any more. Our deepest JOY and Happiness comes from being connected, related, joined and filled with God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
So for anyone who’s feeling lonely today, I would say “Listen to what the Lord your God has told you in His Word. Read and reread those words aloud, because it’s only in knowing the LORD of Creation that we find true companionship that our souls are crying out for.”
My friends, come to the Creator again today; to Jesus who made all things, stop trying to find soul satisfaction in the world, it will always leave you feeling wanting, but be filled to overflowing with His presence in your lives.
What a FOUNTAIN!
What a JOY.
What a PEACE.
Have an AWESOME Thursday.
Don.

NOTES on Loneliness / Our Need For God.

Bible Verses, Quotes, Scriptures About: Feeling Alone; Being Alone ; Feeling Empty, Feeling Lost, Feeling Lonely, Feeling Alone ; Loneliness ; Feelings.Psalm 25:16-17
“Turn to me and have mercy on me, because I am lonely and hurting.
My troubles have grown larger; free me from my problems.” (NCV)Psalm 121:1 -2 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” (KJV)John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (KJV)Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NKJV)1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” ~ KJV Ad.

Psalm 142:5-7 “I cry to you, O LORD; I say,
“You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” (NIV)

Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (ESV)

Psalms 46:1
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (KJV)

Psalms 27:10
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (KJV)

Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

Matthew 28:20
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (KJV)

Hebrews 13:5
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (ESV)

2 Timothy 4:16-17
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” (NIV)

Psalm 68:6a
“God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” (NASB)

Lamentations 3:24-25 “”The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.” (NASB)

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (NASB)

Luke 19:10
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Amplified)

Psalm 91:1-2, 14-15 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Because he loves me, says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (NIV)

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (KJV)

Psalm 9:10 “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (ESV)

Psalm 28:7
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (NIV)

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (NIV)

Lamentations 3:22 -23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ” (KJV)

2 Chronicles 16:9a
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (NIV)

John 14:1-2, 27
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (KJV)

Matthew 11:28 – 30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (KJV)

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

Once Alienated From God..
Galatians 5:4 “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (NIV)

Colossians 1:21 “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (NKJV)

Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (KJV)

Bible Verses About Being Alone, Solitude, Jesus Being Alone
It’s Important to take out time to be alone sometimes – Like Jesus did
Matthew 14:13-14
“When Jesus heard what had happened to John, he left in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. But the crowds heard about it and followed him on foot from the towns. When he arrived, he saw a great crowd waiting. He felt sorry for them and healed those who were sick.” (NCV)

Mat 14:23 “After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone.” (NCV)

Luke 5:16 “..but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so he could pray.” (NCV)

Finally..
Psalm 62:1-2
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

Romans 8:35-39
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)

With Jesus you will never feel lonely again.

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