Lately, I have been reading the story of God creating Adam and Eve and have noticed how much we have in common with them today. Not much has changed over thousands of years and I believe that looking at the story of creation, the fall, and redemption of man will greatly impact the amount of freedom that we live in today.
Genesis 1:26-28 tells us, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. ” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” These verses sum up our identity and purpose on the earth. Anytime we drift away from what God has said and His purposes, we are in danger of believing a lie. And…..this is exactly what happened just a few chapters ahead in Genesis 3.
After God had placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to rule with Him, the serpent came to deceive them, pulling them farther from God and His purpose. This chapter tells us the story, but I want us to look at Genesis 3:5, “For God knows the day you eat of it (the fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Stop right there! Anyone catch that subtle lie? “You will be like God.” Didn’t God make Adam and Eve in His image already? Did they need to do anything to be like Him? Apparently, the truth that God had not gone deep enough into their lives, they were deceived, and therefore sinned, leaving mankind marred with sin until Jesus would come to redeem us. Here we see why it is absolutely vital that we know and live in truth.
Psalm 51:6 tells us that “God desires truth in our inward parts”. What does this mean? He longs for His ways to be our ways and for Him to define our lives. Our Father wants to tell us who we are and what our purpose is. He longs for us to spend so much time with Him so that we know Him. How can we do this? How can we safeguard our lives from the lies that Satan would try to tell us, like He did to Adam and Eve? Here are a few ways:
1. Get to know the Living Word. There is no substitute for reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God. God has already revealed so much about Himself through what He has already said. At times, I fear, that we are trying to get a “new word” when we really just need to get back to what He has already said to us. Jesus is the living Word (John 1:1) and He is also the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Spending time in the Word of God and honoring the Living Word will bring so much truth to us, which will safeguard us against deception.
2. Spend time in a truth-loving community. In order for us to live in the truth, it is imperative that surround ourselves by people who are like-minded. We can love everyone and should treat people with different beliefs with honor, but those who influence us the most should be people who are head-over-heels in love with Jesus and who obey Him at any cost. This is the sign of someone who lives in the truth. Look for friends who are open, honest, and full of integrity. Look for friends who obey and follow Jesus wholeheartedly because who we hang out with is who we will become!
3. Walk closely with Holy Spirit. John 16:13 tells us that “when the Spirit of Truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” You guys, we have the Truth living on the inside of us. It does not get better than this! If we surrender our lives to live completely dependent upon the Spirit of God, we will live in truth because He will never lead us astray or contradict what God has revealed in His Word (though He will challenge us and our thinking/interpretation of who God is and what He does!).
I also love that the Spirit will reveal to us places where we have believed lies-either about God, ourselves, or others. As we spend time with Truth, we will see areas where we have been deceived. Our gracious Father will never leave us in that defeated place, though! He will always show us the way out and give us hope of redemption!
One of my favorite (and most challenging) quotes by Bill Johnson is, “I cannot afford to have a thought about myself that is not in God’s”. Boom! The truth of this statement has the ability to wake us up, causing us to rise up in the authority that God has given us to steward our thoughts. I am not sure if we realize how vital what we believe is to how we live. Think about it; one lie in Genesis 3 had the ability to change the course of the entire human race for thousands of years (until Jesus came and redeemed us. You can read a lot about this in Romans 5). Likewise, there have been times in my life where one lie greatly (and negatively) affected my entire life. I am sure you would say the same about yourself.
So, today, let’s spend some time with our Father, asking Him to take us deeper into who He is, deeper into the truth. Let’s blow open the doors of our hearts and ask Him to reveal to us any place that we have believed a lie. Most importantly, let’s give Him permission to lead us into the life of freedom that He died to give us and has waiting for us!