We’ve all heard it, the story of Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. God gives her this immaculate, unimaginable place in the state of perfection with only one rule: don’t touch the fruit on this tree. You can have any fruit you want, just not this one. And reading these verses, we try to put ourselves in that place. Standing there, in the garden, staring at the fruit that really didn’t mean much until Satan began the crafty work of making it seem like she was missing out. Just like that, one split second of letting our guard down and we’re suddenly believing the lie that God really isn’t for us, that He’s holding out on us. That we have to take matters into our own hands in order to get what we really want.
I’ve just described the place I find myself in so often, but I’m not standing in the garden. I’m standing right here in the midst of my every day life. As time passes and it feels like opportunities slip through the cracks, I remind myself that nothing slips through the hand of God. And if it does, let it slip. I am better for it. But the moment I let the enemy whisper into my ear, “Did God actually say _____?” (Genesis 3:1), that’s the moment I begin to question the intention of God. Which then leads Satan to feed me his next lie, “…you will be like God…” (v. 5) This isn’t entirely a lie, because every time I choose my desire over God’s will, I have made myself my god. Not that I have become like Him, but that I have replaced Him. What Satan fails to mention is that making myself my god leads to my death. When Eve indulged in her sinful desire and bit the fruit, she brought upon us fatality. And we bring spiritual fatality upon ourselves every time we indulge in our sinfulness. This choice completely changed the dynamics of Adam and Eve’s relationship with Creator God and their (literal) daily walk with Him. We watch this play out in the remainder of Genesis chapter 3. And so our sin does with us, affecting our spiritual walk and relationship with our Creator.
In order to overcome sin in our lives, we must start at the root of it – our desire. When the enemy begins to plant the seed of desire in our heart and feed us the lie that God sets boundaries to limit us instead of free us, we must stop the forward moving train there before it ever gets going. The key to not biting the fruit is praying against the desire to have it. We can only do this through the resurrection power of Jesus. Praise God that He is for us. So for us, He left heaven to come and rescue us. If we really believe that He willingly gave His life to set us free, why would we believe that He’s holding out on us now? This is the beautiful story of redemption – redeemed once, but rescued from ourselves consistently through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.