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“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6).

CREATED TO GROW AND DEVELOP WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF GOD’S WILL, THE HUMAN RACE HAS NOT BEEN CONTENT. Deceived, we have proceeded on the assumption that the really good life is outside of those boundaries. When Eve, and then Adam, disobeyed God, they did so because they had lost confidence in God’s goodness. Satan had suggested that God’s restrictions were unfair, and that, in fact, God was being selfish in keeping them from the knowledge they desired. They were seduced by Satan’s lie when he said, in effect, “Seize what is yours. Take what you have a right to enjoy. Break the rules and be your true self.”

Well, we are not fully developed, that much is true. But if we believe there is some true “self” we were meant to be, and “realizing” that dream requires disobeying God, then we have bought into the very same lie that destroyed Adam and Eve. God created us with great potential (we hardly have enough imagination to comprehend it), but fully becoming all that is possible for us requires staying inside the Creator’s will. Despite what the devil may say, at the end of the road of disobedience there is nothing but death.

The fact is, we are not our own. Created by God, we belong to Him. We exist for His purposes. Any declaration of independence on our part is an act of rebellion, all the more serious because it is an abuse of the freedom we were given. God wanted us to use this freedom to obey Him — not as robots but as loving children — but we have chosen to pursue our own path, in defiance of His will. How sad it must be to our Father that not only do we not see our sin; we glory in it. We think we’re building heaven on earth. We’re the masters of our destiny, and we’re “fulfilling our human potential.”

But if we don’t turn around, we are going to spend eternity in a place where, without any more interference from God, we will be completely “free to be ourselves.” And it will be our little “self” (now fully “realized” and “actualized”) that will make hell, hell.

“The sin that shocks God is the thing which is highly esteemed among men — self-realization, pride, my right to myself” (Oswald Chambers).

Gary Henry — +

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