Faithlife Sermons

Texts from God

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I watched a Police Drama where the police used GPS tracking to mark the whereabouts of a suspect from the preceding night through the streets of the city. She was suspected of selling drugs and trying to kill one of her classmates.  As the young girl tweeted her friends with what she was doing every few minutes, the phone carrier would date stamp each message with exact longitude, latitude and time of each transmission. Throughout the interview with the girl, her father was surprised time and time again at each revelation that she was not where she told him she would be, or doing what he believed her to be doing. The police mentioned that with the limitations of the phone system, the girl could easily have given her phone to a friend and have her tweet things from where she was supposed to be.

Throughout the show the subject of trust between the parents and kids kept coming up, did the parents really know where their children were and what they were doing.  Had the father been the kind of father that was interested in the affairs of his daughter, he could have used the same GPS tracking that the police used to keep tabs on his daughters whereabouts and keep her accountable to what she told him she was doing and where she told him she was going. Additionally, if he was a concerned father, he would make sure he was a part of her life, so much so that he would insist that their relationship included regularly talking and texting each other, not just to keep tabs on her, but because they genuinely cared for each other.

Our Heavenly Father holds us accountable and keeps track of us in a comparable way. Unlike the limitations of the phone which will only send out what we want to share, God sees and hears everything we do and think. Because He knows exactly where we are and what we are doing every second day or night, He is able to help us when we are heading into paths that can compromise our walk. When you are tempted to sin, God texts a warning to you and uses your conscience as a direct line to your heart and mind to let you know this path is not O.K.

The biggest line the world strings is that no one has the right to tell us what to do, and only we get decide what we do and when. On the surface this sounds good, but if you look closely you will see that is the same lie that was told to Adam and Eve in the garden so long ago. Look at verse 1 of Genesis chapter 3, “1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?””.

Laying aside the desire to point fingers and lay the blame on the woman for committing the first sin, we need to realize that Adam and Eve are like any other child; they yearn for more responsibility and acceptance from their parents. Because we have been given a creative mind by God, when we hear our parents or teachers telling us to be careful or do something we have heard before, we feel that they do not trust us, or we feel they think we are incapable of doing it without being told.

Every child goes through this time of growth. What we need to understand is it is the pride within us that balks at being told what to do, so that even if the one that says it has the purest motives, (that of a loving God to His creation), resentment can creep in if we allow the voices of those around us to feed the restlessness within us. We see that Eve is, (pardon the pun), ripe for this type of peer pressure, look at her response in verses 2 and 3, “2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ””

God simply forbade them from eating that particular fruit, as the caretakers of the garden they were free to touch everything in the garden, including that tree and its fruit. Eve tells the serpent that God told them they were not allowed to touch the fruit lest they die.  And if you think about it, this is what we do to justify our growing restless feelings, by exaggerating or adding on to what we are told, to make the rules we are given to obey seem oppressive, when this happens we allow resentment to grow in our hearts.

When the serpent sees that Eve has let his words affect her and allow resentment for God to be birthed in her heart, he goes in for the kill in verses 4 and 5, he lies to Eve and tells her what she wants to hear, that not only will nothing bad happen, but God is trying to keep her from being like Him, to see if he can fuel her resentment to birth the ultimate rebellion, disobedience, “4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.””

Ultimately Eve did disobey, and Adam followed right behind her, not wanting to look like a coward in front of her. These are the times every parent dreads, when their children lose their innocence. Some children lose it very slowly, little by little like losing baby teeth; it can take years and be a painful process for both child and parent. Other children lose it so quickly it is as if their innocence was a veneer that cracks, peels and disappears almost instantly. Either way, the parent knows that they can no longer be responsible for their children’s actions; they can only be there for their child and when the child is ready to listen, offer advice.

We can look at the lesson of the fall in the garden and allow our restlessness of not understanding why God allowed Adam and Eve to fall, birth resentment for Him in our hearts, or we can accept that His plan has to include allowing His children to face these trials and temptations.  By letting us face trials we can fail, God is showing us the very trust and acceptance we long for. By making us accountable for our thoughts and actions, He is giving us the responsibility we desire. If we trust Him and follow His plan for our lives, and if we have the relationship that stays in constant contact with Him, He will give us the warning, wisdom and strength we need to succeed in every trial and test that comes our way.

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