Where Did It Go? (3:1-24)
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 105 · 6 months ago

Where Did It Go? (3:1-24)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Where did perfection go? Where did you go? What does God do in the middle of our brokenness? (It might not be what you think).

And if you've been like me, you've probably seen some pretty, uh, terrible, horrible, you choose the bad adjective word, of things and events that have happened in our world, in our nation, over the last you know, you choose the time period right there, the last couple of months, the last week, the last yesterday. You you've turned on the news, you've read articles, you've you've listened to what people tell you about things that have happened, and it's things that, like, you would never imagine would ever happen and they're terrible and they're horrible and it's just like, I just don't ever want that to ever happen again. And you know, you know some of those things that that come to mind when you think of those things. And, Um, what's worse for me, when you think about or when I think about these scenarios, is like these are real people and like there's articles and and interviews that are done with family members or people just asking them, like what happened, like what is going on in their world to make them do these crazy, terrible things, and like these are real people that were created in the image of God with a purpose. They were handmade, hand crafted to create and to cultivate, to to do amazing things in work and and and have a blessed relational life with people. And yet something went terribly wrong. Right, something went terribly wrong. So what happened? What happened? I think the answer to that question is really hard for a lot of people our world to put into words like like literally, honestly, I don't think our world has a category, has a word to put on somebody that does things like that. You know, I went through some of the stories this week and I wrote down some general thoughts based on the articles I read, in videos that I watched and interviews that I listened to. And and so when someone's trying to explain these things, they say sometimes like the people who did these terrible things they were a quote unquote, good person. Um, maybe they stuck to themselves a little bit. Maybe, you know, the people didn't know why this person became so violent or why they chose to target certain places or certain people groups. Maybe they talked about how it was all a set up, like it was just all a show. They might have talked about the how the changes they've seen recently in the person, like the strange songs that they were making or the pictures that they were drawing. But it like goes back even further than that. It goes back to a bad relationship with their mother, it's not doing well in school, it's it's not having a father in their life and maybe they were bullied in middle school. They they maybe might have engaged in fights in the neighborhood and even before this person was ever born, they, the parents, had a criminal history too and like as terrible as the things that these people do, the parents sometimes stay. I Want I want my child's story to get out there, because they've got a story too. He's got a story, she's got a story, and the right I mean they do, they do have we all have a story, we all have a life and a and a reasons why things happen the way that they do. And and sometimes the parents don't want the media, don't want social media, don't want people calling their child a monster, calling their son or daughter terrible things, because they...

...don't know. We don't know, the media doesn't know everything that this person went through. Those are some of the thoughts that I found by people talking about these these people that have done terrible things. And so how do we get how do we get from you were handmade by a loving God to create and to cultivate. You had a purpose, you had a mission, you had a design. You were going to do some incredible things in this world. You were going to love people two this right. How does that happen? Because there's something inside of all of our hearts, there's something inside of your heart and your mind that knows that our world is not the way it should be. There's things that happened that should never happen. This world is broken. You know that, I know that, we all know that. And somebody emailed me this week after my sermon last week and said, like, if our world would just live into the reality that we were all created in the image of God, like if we all believe that and we all lived into it, this world would be of an amazing place, like there would be peace, there would be blessing, there would be like goodness if we all would just live into that reality and that truth that we were all created in the image of God, and we all want that, but that's not the world we live in. Right. So what happened? What happened? Are we just all good people and a couple of them go off the deep end Um? where? Where's God in all of this? Right? Why does he let these things happen? These are big questions. They all kind of relate it to the idea of the idea of what happened. Or, thinking about it this way, where did it go? Where did it go? Because the last two weeks in Genesis One and two build this beautiful picture, this foundation, this this is the way God designed the world. It was good, it was very good. This is the reason why things are to work the way that they are to work. And we left last week. There was a husband and a wife. They were in a perfect place, the garden of Eden, and they were naked and they were unashamed. It was perfection, it was amazing, it was beauty, and today is everything, but that. So, what happened? Where did it go? Because into that perfection, into that perfect environment, into that perfect relationship, came deception, the serpent, who was the shrewdest of all the wild animals, the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, did God really say, you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden? Did God really say those are some of the most important words that you could ever say out of your mouth. Did God really say? And I had encourage you to keep saying that, keep asking that question, keep saying did God really say? Did God really say, and searching for what God really said. Did God really say? Because if you don't ask that question yourself, other people are gonna be asking you that question and they're gonna be asking you that question with the purpose to trick you, to deceive you, to lead you somewhere that maybe is not true. So it's important to to ask yourself the question, did God really say that? Because look who shows up in this perfect place? The serpent, and the serpent is talking and nobody thinks that's weird. That's you know, snakes don't talk today, but we watch you've watched movies like the chronicles of Narnia,...

...you know the the animals talk, right, or you watch an animated film and the animals are talking and we don't think that's weird either, right. And so maybe maybe that's the way it was supposed to be. And you know, it's interesting to think about. Whatever the case, maybe the devil, the the adversary, Satan, entered into, or took the form of or or took control of this serpent, the snake, and he was speaking to even any time he opens his mouth he is deceiving. He's deceiving. Did God really say he wants to get her to doubt God's promise? Wants her her to get the doubt God's word? That's his most used tactic, even today, even in your life. So did God really say that marriage is supposed to be this way? Did God really say that you can't go there? Did God really say that you can't do that? Did God really say that he created the war old? Did God really say? Well, did he? We have to be careful of how we answered that question. And every little nuance, every little word, every little word, has a meaning and a purpose and it it kind of all fits together. And so did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden? Did he say that? No, of course, eve says we may eat any of the fruit from the trees in the garden. It's only the one tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. It's like, well done, Eve, well done, right, you are standing up for what you know to be true. But then she adds something. She said I'm said, you must not eat it or even touch it, and if you do, you will die. So you gotta be careful, because God never said that. He never said that she and not touch the fruit. And so we have to be careful about adding things to what God has said, even adding things in good ways and good things, because, like that's what when Jesus showed up on this earth and he was teaching and you showed up to the religious leaders and he's showed up to the Pharisees, and the Pharisees had added all these rules on top of what God had said, and God never said them and Jesus had a lot of bad things to say to them. And so, like God said do not work on the Sabbath Day. God never said you can't press a button in an elevator on the Sabbath Day, but that's the thing that people do today, even today in Israel, and so we have our own versions of that in our culture. Today, Um, we're sitting in a movie theater, and so sometimes people say God said you cannot see our rate in movies. Have you ever heard anybody say that? Maybe you believe that he never said that. God never said you can't see in our rate of movie. It's not in my Bible. Right. We have to be careful not to add things to what God had said, even if it's a good intention. So what do you do? Right? What do you do? There's there's principles you can certainly glean from God's word, like Philippians for eight it says this. Now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. And so you take principles from things that God had said like that and apply them to things that maybe God has been silent about for whatever reason, and you apply the principles and you can make decisions about what you think is the way that it should go. But we have to not add things to what God has said. What God has said is what God has said, and that is whatever he believed was to be enough. And the moment, and this is...

...true about you, it's true about me, the moment you start adding stuff, adding rules to things like that. Right, don't go see an R ratar movie, don't walk across the Hallway into the R rated movie. Don't do it. What's the first thing that you feel and think of? Oh, I think I want to go see that. What movies are playing now? Like I would like, like. That's the first thing, our first instinct, because we're adding something to what God has said. And so the devil has exposed that eve believes something that God never said. And so he takes it a step further. He says you won't die. The Servant replied to the woman. God knows that. Your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat of it and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil. So now he's taken it a step further, claiming that God is holding back from Eve, that God really doesn't love you. If he loved you, if he really cared about you, then you could have that. Go for it right. He's speaking to her heart, he's speaking to her soul, he's he's trying to get her to the belief something core about who God is. That just is not true. This is the Devil's deception, the devil, Satan, the demons. He's not gonna show up at Your House one day wearing a red mask, holding a pitchfork and offering you a great plan for the day. Okay, he's not gonna say hey, what do you think about today? Here's the plan. We're gonna go rob something and then we're gonna like kill somebody, we're gonna take the money, gamble it away and then we'll drink the night away. Does that sound good? Right? The answer to that is obvious. Right. No, nobody's saying yes to that. Right. The answer is no. But that's why the devil doesn't operate that way. He shows up in a very intriguing way, in a very interesting way, in a very way that looks good and feels good and you might not even know it, because he's that good at deception and he's gonna speak to your soul. He's gonna get you to believe things that just aren't true. And so we have to expose the deception and we need to replace it with what is true. Right, it's the that's what Jesus did when the devil tempted him with something. Jesus used God's word to say this is a lie, and not just that it's a lie, but here's what's true about the situation. We have to do both. We can't just expose the lie. We also have to replace it with what is true. So like when somebody says to you something like you're ugly, but the devil speaks that to you, right, and there's everything inside of your soul, everything inside of your heart, it's like that's not true. Right, that's a good feeling and a good emotion to have, but if that's where it ends, that's not enough. You gotta take that, expose that as a lie, but replace it with what is true about you. Like what what is true about you? God created you, handmade you, designed you with a unique purpose that's unique to you. Like that is the truth that you have to replace with the lie of what people say or what the devil tries to whisper in your ear. Or, like this one, your life is meaningless, and everything inside of you says it's not meaningless. No Way. Well, how do you know that? Right? What? Like, what's the truth that you're basing that reaction off of? Well, again, God created you with a unique purpose to create and to cultivate and to...

...fill your world with his love. Like we have to replace the lies with truth. Not just enough to recognize the lie, we have to know what's true, because if we don't if we don't do this, deception turns into action. And so the woman was convinced. Right, we start to believe things that aren't true. She was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit look delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. And so she took some of the fruit and ate it, and then she gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it too. This is the anatomy of every sin you've ever sinned in your life. You saw it, you wanted it and you took it. You saw it, you wanted it, you took it. You saw it, you wanted it and you took it. You saw it, you wanted it and you took it. This her should kiss has been sitting up here the entire time you've seen it. Maybe some of you want it. I want it and and we know today, if you've read the signs right, you're not supposed to eat the ones with the silver all the other ones are good, the purple to pink, the Blue, just not the silver ones. But I want it and and and you gotta when you when you like, go for it right. There's there's a little effort involved in this. Right, there's a little that it takes time and and when you get the chance, right, it's like, m mm hmm, I was better than I thought it was gonna be. But you have to see it. You you learned to desire it and you go after it and you take it. That's always the pattern. Every sin you've ever committed, everything wrong you've ever done in your life. So if you're going to try to stop the Sin, what level do you try to engage sin at in your life? Do you engage it on the action level? Right, I showed you it takes time to do all of this stuff. So maybe you make it harder for you to actually get to it. You put passwords on it, you put some sort of software or program that makes you go around it. Maybe you add some alarm to it. Right, you open it and somebody's calling you, Hey, I saw you open the box. Right, there's something that you can do on the action level. Maybe it's wearing a rubber band around your wrist. Right, you're going for it and you see your rubber band you're like, can you snap yourself on the wrist to remind you that you didn't want to do it? On the action level. Right, there's things that you can do on the action level to stop giving into the temptation that God gives us or that the said Satan does to us and God allows. Sorry, you've got to clarify that. Right. So there's the action level, but then there's the desire level, like you want it, and are you combating the sin in Your Life? At the desire level, are you asking God to change what you desire, change what you really want, because we...

...want a lot of stuff, but God's got a lot of great stuff for us. We talked about that, right. There's so much purpose, there's so much meaning, there's so much amazing things that God wants for you in your life. Are you changing asking God to change it at the desire level? But then what about at the seeing level? Sometimes it's a physical seeing, other times it's more of a internal seeing. Are you asking God, are you doing things to help combat the sin in your life at the seeing level? When when I was in college, we played, I played football and baseball and we'd get on these tour buses to go travel to the Games and there was movies that somebody chose to put on on the buses and I don't know who chose the movies, but they chose the worst movies I've ever seen. And like, the language is terrible, right, what you're looking at is terrible. And so what did I do? I bought some noise canceling headphones and I wore and I downloaded the loudest music I could find and I blared that music and I put my headphones on and I closed my eyes and I tried to go to sleep because I was trying to combat the sin in my life at the seeing level so that I didn't have to create this desire that then I could take action on. So what level are you trying to combat the sin in your life with? The seeing level is the hardest one, because there's stuff that you can't do about. Right you're walking down the street, there it is right like that is so hard. And we can't just live in a bubble. God doesn't call us to live in a bubble. God calls us to engage our world, to be in our world, not of our world. We've gotta interact, we've got to do things. And so, like some of us, right, we can. We can protect ourselves in different ways, take action on different things, but it's hard and some of you. Some of you, you've got that person contacting you constantly and you've blocked them, you've changed your phone number, you've changed your name, you've done all this stuff and they still find you and you still get that text message and you still get that call. And I know it's hard. It's really, really hard. But there's good news that Jesus Christ lives inside of you and the person of the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer and you have the power to not give in and say yes through Christ, you don't. Don't have to give in at any of these levels. Right, you don't have to give in. You don't have to give in at Christ is in your life, at the Holy Spirit is empowering your life. You don't have to give in. You don't have to. But we do, right, and Adam and Eve did. And so what happens when they give in? What happens when we give in? At that moment when they gave in, their eyes were open and they suddenly felt shame with their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to what to cover themselves. And we are so good, you are so good at covering things up, you will find whatever you can do whatever you can control, whatever you can come up with to make yourself feel better, won't you? At least that's me right. We all have those things that we run to, that...

...we go to that, Oh, if I do this, then God will think more highly of me. If if I could just grab this thing and and grab this leaf and put it on me to cover my shame and hide this, then Oh then God will, God will think I'm okay. We all do it, and those that have been involved in church, those that are spiritual in some way, we've got some really good things that we run to. We will will attend church and we'll think our physical presence makes us right with God, or we'll start reading our Bible more and we'll think reading makes us have a right relationship with God. We'll we'll even start praying and we'll believe that talking covers our sin. Like these are really good things, they're absolutely really good things, but reading and talking and where you sit doesn't make you right with God. There are things that we do to try to cover up our shame, cover up the things that we've done. So that's the first thing that we do. We cover up when we sin. The next thing we do is we hide, and so God is walking about in the garden, and so they hid from the Lord and then the Lord God called him. Man, where are you? And he's replied, I heard you walking in the garden. So I I hid and I was afraid because I was naked. Right there, we hide from God and maybe you're hiding from God in one way or another. There are people in your life that aren't attending a church this morning because they are hiding from God. There would be no way, in any way, shape or form and they would ever attend a physical church gathering because some people believe that if they were to walk into a church that God would just strike him dead right there. I believe that they are hiding from God because that's our natural tendency. If we do something wrong, we sin against God, we want to hide from him. We hide from God, and the next thing we do is we like to when we sin, we like to blame other people. The man replied, it was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit niative. And then the Lord God asked the woman, What have you done? What was the serpent who deceived me? She replied, that's why I hate it. The man blame the woman. The woman, blame the serpent, and ultimately it's God's fault, because God gave him the man woman. Right, it's God's that. That's what happened. We blame other people for the choices we make and ultimately we blame God. M Hm. So there's hope, though. You don't have to cover it up. God's grace is enough. You don't have to cover it up, whatever it is, it doesn't matter what it is. God's grace is enough for you, for it, for everything, God's grace is enough and you don't have to hide. You don't have to hide in shame. You don't have to like if it took you everything in your being to be at Church today because you just feel so far from God that, Oh man, if I go like you don't have to feel that way because Jesus took your shame. You don't have to be ashamed. He he literally was spread out, his arms were spread out on a cross with your sin on him, in your place, on your behalf, and he died a humiliating, horrible death for you. So that you don't have to feel that way, so that you don't have to be that way. You don't have to hide. Jesus took your shame and you don't have to blame others. You can own up to it. Say I messed up,...

I messed up. Let's practice. Turning the person next to you, just tell him I missed up, I missed up, Yep, I missed tell him, tell him I made a mistake. Tell the other neighbor, the one that you didn't choose the first time, tell him I made a mistake. There you go. Look, Hey, you can, you can say it like. Those are powerful words. Right. It's not mistakes were made, it's I made the mistake. That's a huge difference and it changes everything. So these are all things that we know now, right. We know we don't have to cover it up, we don't have to hide and shame, we don't have to blame others. But Adam is living this out in the moment. Right. This is the word first, the moment in all of history up until this point. And you've had a worse moment in your life too. I've had a worse moment in my life, and I want to ask you, and I want you to see so beautifully this morning, where is God? Right? This is what happens to us. This is what happens to man. Where is God at your worst moments? What does God do? What does God do? Genesis Three Eight, the Lord does what he always does. He's walking about in the garden and he and he asked a great question. He says, where are you? Where are you? Who told you? See, in your worst moments, God does not respond in rage, he responds with relationship. And in your worst moments, God doesn't give wrath, he gives with he wants to be with you. He's he's asking where are you? And certainly, certainly, judgment and truth are coming. There's consequences for the choices that Adam and Eve make, that we make, but these consequences come because God desperately wants to have a right relationship with you. He wants to walk with you, he wants to do life with you, he wants to be right with you, he wants to be with you. And if there's something that's coming in the way of that, if your sin is coming in the way of that thing, that makes God so mad, so angry, so frustrated. He's like, that is not the way it should be. I want to be with you, I want to walk with you, I want to be right by your side every step of the way. He loves his handmade, hand crafted creation. And so again right. Where did it go? Where did all of this go? What? What is the consequences of the choices that Adam and Eve make? Where did this perfection go? Well, to the serpent, the effects of the sin was well, because you have done this, you are cursed more than all the animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, right, you will lose your legs, growling in the dust as long as you live, and I will cause hostility between you and the woman, in between your offspring and her offspring, and he will strike your head and you will strike his heel. God gives this curse to the serpent, that they're gonna be crawling around in the dirt, and then he gives this promise. Amazing, right, this is the worst moment in the history of...

...the world up until this point, and God gives a promise of hope, a promise of a future. That devil, you're not gonna win, Satan, you're not gonna win. You will strike his heel, but this man is going to crush you, man is gonna Defeat you. There is gonna be someone, someone on offspring of this woman, that's gonna come and destroy you, Satan. You are not gonna win in the end. Right, this is the worst moment in the history of the world up until this point, and God is speaking a future hope, a future promise, into his creation. The effects of sin on the serpent. There was also the effects of sin of the woman. He said to the women, I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy and in pain you will give birth and you will desire to control your husband and he will rule over you. Women. I'm so sorry. I have nothing to say about that particular effect because it hurts. And the joke is is that that's why women have babies, because if men had to, there wouldn't be any. So you're strong and yes, that's why. And then the other effect of sin for you, for the woman, for the relationship, is that you want to control your husband and he wants to dominate and rule over you. You wonder why you ever have conflict with your spouse. That's why, right, that's why, like there's gonna be this battle, there's gonna be this fight, there's gonna be this who's in control here, like I want to make the decision. No, I want to make the decision. Here's where we're going for dinner, here's what we're having, here's you know, like everything right, this is the beginning of the conflict. And, uh, I want church. You Want Church to be helpful, church to be helpful for you. Yeah, so when you're driving home today, if you're driving with your spouse, just look at him and just say I made a mistake. They'll look at you like, what did you just say? What am I sitting next to my spouse right now? You, you're actually taking responsibility for something. I don't know what it is, but you're you said an amazing phrase. That's incredible. Right, just just say it, right, just just helpful, helpful, helpful tip, helpful marriage tip, the effects of sin on the man. That's the last one here. Since you listen to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles, and, though you will eat of its grains by the sweat of your brow, will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made, for you were made from dust, and to dust you will return. Because of Adam and Evesen, everything and all creation was broken. Was Not the way it should be. It's it's groaning to be changed, it's groaning to be redeemed, it's groaning to want it to go back to the way it should be. And so again it's the worst moment in the history of the world up until this point. What happens? What happens? The man Adam named his wife Eve because she would be the mother of all who lived. That seems so weird. The worst moment in all of history and he's naming her. It doesn't make sense. I think this is beautiful because what Adam is doing here is he is hanging on to the hope that God has spoken in this...

...moment. God promised that life will come from Eve, that the offspring, her offspring, will destroy Satan. And Adam looks at his wife in the middle of the worst moment and he names her and he calls her the hope and the promise of that from you will come life, from you will come life in the worst times. and I wonder, what do you name the situations in your life. Do you name the situations in your life, after the bad stuff, after the hard stuff, after the negative stuff, or do you hang on to God's promises, God's hope, even in the worst times of this is what the future will be. I'M gonna name it according to God's hope, according to God's promise. What do you name the things in your life? And look also what God does. He made clothing from animal skins for Adam and eve. Remember, their first instinct is to cover themselves. Right, they sinned. They need covering. God's first instinct is to get something to cover them with. He took an animal skin. Now, where do you get animal skins from an animal, specifically a dead animal? So God kills an innocent animal, takes its skin, makes them this beautiful clothing whatever and gives it to Adam and Eve, who needed something to cover their sin, to cover their shame. It's the first example, the first foreshadow of all throughout history, innocent animal were killed to cover the sins of people. And one day the God man Jesus came the innocent one and died, not just to cover your sin, but to pay for your sin completely. There would never have to be another sacrifice again. See, we like to cover ourselves, but God wants to cover you. You can never cover your sin well enough or good enough. Let God do it, receive it from God. And so the Lord God said, look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take the fruit from the tree of life and eat it? Then they will live forever. This is a problem. God gets their heads together and says we have to protect our human beings. They can't be stuck in their sin forever. If they eat of that tree of life, they will live forever and they can't do that. We have a solution. We have a way to fix this problem. We have a way to solve this problem. They can't live in their sin forever. And so God banished them from the garden of Eden and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. And after sending them out, the Lord God's Station, Mighty Cherub in, which are just special angels, to the east of the Garden of Eden, and he placed a flaming sword that flashback and forth to guard the way to the tree of life, because he did not want them to live forever in their sin. He had a solution, he had a way to solve the problem and he needed to get them away. And you don't have to live forever in your sin either. There is hope for you. You don't have to live forever in your sin. There is hope for you. So stop running from God, stop hiding from God, stop trying to cover yourself up with different things, stop trying to blame other people for your sin. God odd desperately wants a restored right relationship with you,...

...and Jesus has done everything possible to make that happen in your life. All you have to do is receive it. All you have to do is say I believe it. Jesus, you did that for me and I trust that and I believe that. And so we've talked a lot about sin today and maybe today you're just you need your sin forgiven. And guess what, you've come to the right place and God is with you everywhere, because God is ready and willing to forgive your sin, no matter what it is, no matter what you've ever done, no matter how horrible you might think it it was. Jesus paid for it on the Cross. He died he was buried and he rose again the third day to give you life if you just receive it. And so would you just pray something like God, I know I'm a sinner and there's nothing I can do to be made right with you, but, Jesus, you died for me, you've paid the only for my sin and I'm giving you my life. Amen. If you prayed that prayer, I just invite you to tell somebody that you did that, whether it's me, tell somebody next to you, close to you, write it right on the connection card and be like, I need that, I need forgiveness, I need that and I believe that God has done that for me. We'd love to walk with you, so let's pray. God, thank you for your love. Thank you that in the worst moments of our life, you want to be with us. God, thank you that in the worst moments, the worst decisions we've ever made, you did not love us any less. In fact, maybe we could even say that you love us more because, Oh God, every time we sin, every time we choose our own way, every time we think we know what's best, it breaks your heart. You have such a great plan for our life. You have such a great design and such a great order. And who are we to think that we know better than you? God, you love us, you died for us, you rose again to give us life and you are with us even in the hardest, darkest moments. Thank you, God, he.

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