Choice

Have you ever said “How can a loving God _______?” This blog might help you…

Neela runs into the church the other day at 8:30 am and asks for a “root beer float?”

My response was “You’re not at grandpa’s house anymore baby!”

Consequence is the cost of Choice and Choice requires a measure of Maturity. But in North America we treat Choice like it’s a Right and spend a lot of time hammering down on that aspect of it. This is sort of funny because Choice just IS. It always has been a part of the human race. Individual personal choice.

My mom had to take the choice of touching the oven door away from me when I was little. Apparently my curiosity and energy brought a level of danger to my person with it, and the consequences were what mom was worried about. Her solution was creating a little barricade around the oven door to keep me from it, which probably worked for a little while. The trouble is that you can’t keep a good man down (translation: there was no way in the world I wasn’t going to figure out a way past her pathetic “barricade”), also mom had in fact barricaded herself away from the oven she was trying to work with and needed a different solution.

She decided to train me (often a last resort among parents of children in present times:). She said “Corey, DON’T TOUCH THE OVEN DOOR!” to which I responded with a “look” that said “good luck with that!”. She then did a very smart thing, she turned the oven up good and warm but not hot enough to cook anything with. I proceeded to wiggle my rear end and walk towards the oven with the intent of defying her. I looked at her, looked at the oven, looked at her again and stuck my little hand full on the oven door!

A tiny amount of pain can work wonders to avoid much greater pain further down the road and that’s exactly what happened with me. Don’t you dare think of my mom as a monster! She very wisely did the only thing that would have worked and not only kept me from burning my hand, she also taught me how to think.

My system of beliefs changed at that moment and changed the course of my life. I learned to trust that mom loved me and knew more than I did.

What you believe about God will inform your heart if you can trust him. Many people view God as untrustworthy when I would suggest that their beliefs about Him may be the problem.

Go back to the Garden of Eden. I know you might think this is just a story but I believe it actually happened and can give us an acute view into why the world is the way it is today. “How can a loving God ______?”

How did the serpent (Satan) ever get Eve to swallow the same lie that got him into all the trouble he was in? Very cleverly, that’s how. Watch what happened:

“Has God indeed said…?” “Did God really say….?”…. then he followed it by something that wasn’t true. He plays out a scenario that wasn’t really happening. “Did God say that you should not eat from any tree in the garden?” (….all false surprise and humility I’m sure….”Just a harmless question…” “There’s no harm in asking….?”) But there WAS harm in asking because it lead to Eve responding with “We may eat of the trees of the garden. But from the tree which is in the centre of the garden, God has said, “Do not eat from it (God said) OR TOUCH IT (God didn’t say), or you will die.” When she says this she thinks she’s done the right thing, which is EXACTLY what the serpent wanted her to think. But she had added to God’s words when she supplemented His command with “or touch it”. You may not see the inherent danger in this because you are inherently human just like I am.

Perhaps she had added an addendum as a guardrail to make absolutely certain that she didn’t EAT the fruit. Her motives were probably good. But her decision lead her to the next thing and all in the context of “It never hurts to talk about it” though one would have to beg the question if it hurts to talk to the devil in the first place? I know I’m playing the devil’s advocate (tongue in cheek) by daring to bring one of our most fundamental “Rights”?  into question but let’s see where it goes….

She decides she has the right to add to God’s words and it all started with a “harmless” conversation with a snake. (Also I may have described how you ever dated him in the first place as long as I’m being the devil’s advocate here). Harmless is what harmless does in the end.

The snake suggests, then flat out lies to the woman and she doesn’t call him on it. “NO, you FOR SURE WILL NOT DIE!”. She could have cut him out right there but what he says next hooked her… “For God knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will BE LIKE GOD, knowing good and bad.”

He suggests, she adds, he lies, she’s hooked. It’s a conversation that could have taken place in a matter of less than a minute and thousands of years later you and I are still paying for it.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? 

Ok I may be abusing the all-caps here but when we turn over this rock you’ll see the core of the human problem and it will terrify you as it has terrified me. The reason it scared me to death was not the fact that I live in the reality of a fallen world and all of the terrible things that happen to people, the shock is that the principle Eve broke is so inherent in our nature that we do it every day and don’t even think about it. It’s the killer who looks like an innocent child that we lack the insight and awareness to unmask that is murdering our relationship with the God who loves us and only ever wanted the best for us.

Satan got Eve to question God’s motives. Once her trust was shaken (“Why is God trying to keep this from me…?”) the next step, however illogical, was taken and “the hell with the consequences!” (literally).
It was not enough then to be made in the likeness of God, she wanted what she could never have…what cost Satan his place in heaven… to be “like God”. But to be made in the likeness of God is not to BE God.

She jumped at the comment from the serpent “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (this could be thought of as “to know by experience”? The same word is used for the intimacy between her and her husband. Like intimacy intimacy…Like once you’re pregnant you’re pregnant)

I feel like doing a mic drop here (the white rapper) and leaving you with the statement that will hurt you but could save you…. thinking about it…..

Mic drop:
The Choice you were born with was to decide whether you would choose good or evil. God or the devil.
The Choice we tried to take from the God who loves us was to decide WHAT was good and WHAT was evil.

That’s the killer.. there’s something in me that wants to be my own god.

 

Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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