There are some things I am learning about my Heavenly Father. He is good. He enjoys me. He likes to talk with each of His kids. He is always looking for people who will love Him and believe what He says.
The trouble Eve had, as do all of us, is that when the enemy of God pointed out the forbidden fruit was beautiful, she looked and seemed to forgot what God said about it. She pondered with her own eyes and mind that since it was lovely, then perhaps knowing good and evil was a good thing. Not quite calling God a liar out loud, but being deceived by the voice of a snake, she chose to believe what he said rather than the words of her Father.
There is no snake in my life that is quite so obvious. Although to Eve a talking snake in a garden full of newly formed creatures probably wasn’t obviously out of place either, but in my world, it is more that I let circumstances dictate who God is and how far His powers reach. When my world is out of control or when pain comes close, that’s when I begin to think that God is less than I need. He is smaller than my problems, perhaps too small to fix my particular challenge. The place of refuge under the shadow of His wings doesn’t feel quite so safe anymore and since I have not seen Him help me yet today, I take this as evidence of His character, His will, His strength. Then I look at the pain around me in other people’s lives, and believe in those circumstances letting them dictate my belief of who God truly is. Or worse, I take it as His response to me, to us. I listen to the voice of a circumstance taking it as a sign He doesn’t really love me or us. Or that we have sinned too large for Him look upon us with provision or bless us with help.
The great problem with this approach to a spiritual life with God, is that everything in His word and everything that Jesus said and did contradicts it. His word tells me He created us to be in relationship with Him and He loves us so much He sent His son to die to keep that relationship possible. His word tells us we walk by faith, not by sight and that when we believe with our hearts, then we see and then blessings come alive. He responds to our faith, drawn to its fragrance as evidence of love. He longs for our love. He loved us first. He gave His all for us, first, before we ever responded.
I hear Him calling me to Honor Him as God, to have no other gods before Him and to believe what He says, not listen to the voice of a deceiver or the noise of a circumstance. I hear Him asking me to have faith as small as a mustard seed in Him and it will move a mountain of pain, lack or bondage sending it crashing into the sea.
John 10:3-5; 7-10
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him [the shepherd], and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.