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Monday, July 7, 2014

Recognizing The Signs

Genesis 3 : 11 – 12, And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." NKJV
If you ask the Lord to reveal more to you about His nature and power, you will discover as I have that it usually means that He shows you something new about you. If that seems puzzling or contradictory to you consider this; you were created in His image, but sin has blinded us to who we really were supposed to be before the fall.
Recently, the Lord gave me a deeper understanding about the scriptures in today’s devotion. When the Bible refers to sin it is generally in the context of darkness or spiritual blindness. In fact, when Adam and Eve sinned the eyes of the flesh nature became opened and for the first time man had become sin conscious. When we hear the term “sin-conscious” we tend to think of the realization that there is sin in our lives, but that isn’t always the case as we have read in today’s verses concerning Adam’s sin.
I find it very interesting that Adam had all of the symptoms of sin but wouldn’t confess that he had sinned when God confronted him on the issue. We see that Adam was fearful, ashamed, and knew he was naked, which was the indicator that told God that Adam and Eve had sinned. But in spite of all these signs, Adam was blind to the truth that he had indeed sinned.
How could Adam have all the symptoms of sin but not take responsibility for his sin? When God asked him if he had partaken of the tree of knowledge, instead of confessing his sin Adam chose to blame Eve. This condition or state-of-being is what the Bible calls spiritual blindness or being lost. It has now become a human trait that all humans have fallen prey to because we have all sinned. Adam blamed Eve and she blamed the serpent. Sin isn’t gender bias; it blinds us all to what is really hidden in our hearts before Christ reveals the truth to us.
When sin isn’t recognized and confessed it will lead us deeper into a state of bondage where we will begin to view ourselves as victims of sin instead of participants of sin. You see, Adam saw himself as a victim of sin instead of being guilty of a transgression that needed to be confessed and taken ownership of.
When God confronted Adam about what he had done, Adam responded as a victim of his wife’s actions. By doing this, he was seeking to find pity in God’s sight that He might be willing to assist Adam as a victim. Let’s break down that last statement. Instead of repenting for his sin Adam wanted God to have pity on him in his fallen state. If this sounds familiar it is called a spirit or mindset of entitlement.
When people live in unrepentant sin they will generally view themselves as victims and play up their negative situations trying to get someone to help them “out” of their negative situation by feeling sorrow for them, without addressing the real problem of sin in their heart. Instead of seeing sin as bondage Adam and Eve both saw themselves as victims of sin.
Perhaps you know someone who plays the “guilt strings of your heart” occasionally, trying to manipulate you into helping them while they live in bondage to sin which brings a curse upon their life. If you know someone who fits this description, than you have an obligation to assist that person but not in a way that enables their sinful ways, but empowers them to overcome the sin and live in freedom. If we bear one another’s burdens, then we have fulfilled the law of Christ which is to love our neighbor as our self.
Jesus requires us to speak the truth in love. Jesus always brings balance to the way the gospel is to be implemented. The knee-jerk reaction to this word today is to tell people that you can’t help them because they have sin in their life. We don’t have to remind someone they have sin whenever they ask for help. However, if they use the same story over and over trying to get you to help them over and over, then you know that you have to speak out in order to truly bring freedom into their life.
What is the answer for this bondage mindset and is there any hope? Yes there is hope, because we’ve all been in bondage to sin at one time or another in our life. Hebrews 11 : 6 says that without faith no one can please the Father. When we look to Jesus as the answer for our sin problem and we confess our faults before the Lord then He will forgive us and cleanse us from our unrighteous ways. Once we humble ourselves before God by faith then He will empower us to come out of bondage to sin through His grace. Grace is spiritual strength from God’s Spirit which empowers us to face the truth about the sin in our heart and to walk out of the pit or bondage of sin.
Once you are liberated by the power of God’s grace you will no longer view yourself as a victim but rather as a victor. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Beware of people who continually seek for your pity as a means to get their needs met. By the same token, guard your heart that you don’t become a judge of people and condemn them before they’ve had time to prove their real intent. Words of wisdom from God’s Word to equip you as a disciple of Christ!
Serving God and loving people,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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