7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool[a] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”[b] 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
I have a habit that I believe we all struggle with. I sin. I usually know it right away but it’s not the habit of Sin that I am referring to. It's what happens after I've sinned and realized it. Just like Adam and Eve, I often struggle with how to behave after I've realized that I've sinned. As you read in the passages above from Genesis, Adam and Eve sinned and then realized it! Their eyes were opened, their minds aware, and they tried to conceal their sin. They wanted to cover up their nakedness and hope that there would not be any consequences to face.
Do you ever do that? I do that sometimes. I sin and then I realize it and try to cover up my sin and conceal my mess. It takes a lot of energy to do that. I often find myself exhausted from trying to cover up and conceal the dirt in my life.
If you notice though, God came to them in the garden. He pursued them and looked for them. Not out of judgement or wrath, but love. Like a father looking for his children playing in a garden, He knew they were hiding from him because they had made a mistake. He searched for them and called to them. God wants to search out and call out our sin, personally. He comes to us as we are concealing ourselves from Him and calls out to us. I am so thankful that Adam responded to His call.
Do you respond to God's call? Sometimes I am afraid of simply acknowledging His presence. Sometimes I would rather stay hidden and concealed. God called us out of hiding, out of darkness, and into the light of His presence, because it is in His presence that our sin can be revealed, repented for and atoned for. Satan tried to convince me often that there is no use in exposing myself to God. That is a lie.
So, Adam and Eve hid because they were scared. Sin is scary. It makes a big mess of things in our lives and causes lots of hurt. So we are afraid to face God and face others. Adam and Eve sinned together, concealed their sin together and hid together. I've realized that my flesh often wants company in my sin. It is somehow "easier" to sin with someone supporting my sinful efforts and actions. I pull away from godly friends and influences and long to be around people who are sinning like me, or who support my sin. I overreact in anger when my sin is challenged and questioned by Godly people, so I don't want to be near them. I hide myself and my sin from God and other Godly people.
Isolation often leads to shame. In the quiet and isolated moments in my life I know that my sin is wrong, that I am running from God, and from Godly influences, and my flesh wants to wallow in shame. Do you ever wallow in shame? I sit in it sometimes. I am tempted to believe that the shame is who I am. Shame often wraps itself so tightly around me that I feel like I might drown in it. I am so humbled that God comes calling for me every time I isolate myself.
When God asked Adam and Eve to confess and repent, they blamed everyone else. Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve and God! I've often blamed others for my sin. In fact, in order to continue in my sin without submitting to the conviction my soul feels, I often have to create a delusional reality where my sin is justified and right. That usually includes blaming others for "making me sin". Our flesh prefers sin to be someone else's fault because then we are freed from doing anything about our own sin. I often project my sin upon others and then sit back and expect them to fix it. Eve expected the serpent to take the blame; Adam expected the woman and God to take the blame. Satan watched and celebrated the division and shame he created through our sinfulness.
I always need to repent and stop, but sometimes I don't know how? Do you know how to stop and return to righteous thinking?
Here is what I do...
When I want to conceal my sin, I fight back and expose it for everyone to see. I just open my mouth and say, I sinned and this is what I did.
When I want to hide from God, I find him and bask in his Glory. I run to Bible study, church, my Godly sisters in Christ and ask people to pray with me.
When I want to hide from others, I run into the loving arms of my Brothers and Sisters in Christ and shout my confession and submit myself to exhortation from the ones I love and who love me.
When I am afraid and feeling shameful, I turn up the word to my favorite worship songs of triumph and grace and sing them at the top of my lungs. I speak, sing and pray the shame away and God always shows up!
When I am stuck and blaming others, I ask God to humble me and prepare my heart to receive a rebuking in love and adoration from my God and from my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I expect my delusional reality to crumble and expose truth.
I repent to God with my mouth and believe it in my heart. He is faithful to bless me abundantly in my obedience. Then I start the process of maturing in Christ again a bit more prepared and refined than the moment before.
His Grace and Mercies are abundant.