“You literally messed up everything.”
He could have said that.
He could have blown up at them. He could have went straight to their hiding place (Gen. 3:9) and dragged them out with only the nearest branch they could tear off to cover their nakedness, afraid and ashamed and made sure everyone knew it was their fault.
Where Are You?
What was His response? He gave a simple invitation in the form of a question. “Where are you?” He gave them the option to choose fear and hide or trust and step into the light.
Fear poses as a friend that promises safety and security in the dark, but it quickly becomes an abusive captor. It says, “God is a distant, withholding, rule-keeper. YOU can provide something better for yourself but… ……..you have to go outside of Covenant with God and family to get it.”
How we see forbidden fruit reveals much of what we believe about Father. Is He really a good provider or do I need to go out of bounds to provide for myself? If you have ever taken forbidden fruit you eventually learn Father’s boundaries are given for one of two reasons: to protect His blessings or to protect your freedom.
To eat forbidden fruit, we have to believe the voice of Fear and until we replace that lie with Truth, we will see through a lens of fear, mistrust and suspicion. Hiding from God and others seems a rational option when we are listening to the voice of Fear.
Hiding ( struggles and failures) is a declaration that fear is the ruler in that area of my life which prevents me from experiencing victory or freedom in the matter.
Fear becomes the master in darkness. Fear says, “You have to provide for yourself. You will be rejected if you go for help. You are alone to face the fight.” When Fear is the voice we are listening to, we cannot find comfort in the light, love and security Father offers (John 15:9-10 make your home in His love). Fear says we won’t be be safe if we step into the light and we will heal best alone and unknown. The irony is that when we listen to the voice of Fear, we stay in the darkness with the very one that is working to destroy us and keep ourselves from healing, freedom and wholeness found in the light with Father and His family.
When we are not at home in the love of Father, there are only 2 options we take to try to soothe the need of rest and to fix the pain: PLEASURE or PERFORMANCE. Remember the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15?
The younger brother wasn’t satisfied being in relationship with Father and all that came with it so he took his inheritance and found the biggest parties he could find until the cash ran out. He hoped Pleasure would fill what only love could.
And the older brother? He had the same problem but it looked more “grown up” and responsible. He wasn’t happy and at rest in the love of Father, so he became a striving, angry, jealous work-aholic.
Both went to addictions of some sort to find what only love could give.
Fear says we will be shamed and exposed if we dare step into the light, but what is the truth?
The truth is Father’s gentle “where are you” is an invitation to step into the light for our brokenness to be loved into strength and wholeness. Yes, there were consequences for their actions, just like ours, but when they stepped into the light, God didn’t shame or expose them. God came and gently invited Adam and Eve out of hiding into the light to not only be seen, known and accepted but to be covered. He made proper clothing to replace their inadequate attempt to cover themselves and He even took steps to protect them by creating boundaries and safeguards from more potentially damaging decisions.
We have the same invitation to come into the light to be loved into wholeness.
The invitation to the light is an invitation for brokenness to be loved into strength and wholeness.
So, Father is asking today, “where are you?” Come out of hiding, freedom and healing are waiting in the light.
I pray courage for you today to break all alliances with fear that say hiding is your best option. I’ll leave you with a song called Out of Hiding (video)
BREAK IT DOWN and Take it home! Process it some more with some coffee or friends!
- ICEBREAKER: What is your most epic hide and seek story or best hiding spot?
- Take a look at Genesis 3:1-10, at what point do you think fear entered the equation for Adam and Eve?
- Based on their reaction verses 7-8, what were some of the assumptions or changes in the way they perceived God and each other after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?
- Why do you believe people run to darkness for a sense of security?
- Would you say we all have areas of struggle, fear or weakness that we are afraid of sharing with others?
- Imagine someone hiding behind a tree or in the dark while telling others to go see God for help, comfort and healing. Is it possible for us to boldly encourage people to run to God for safety and help, when we have areas we are hiding from God and others in? How so? (no right or wrong answer here, just getting us thinking)
- The article says there are 2 ways we seek to be comforted, Pleasure or Performance, if we are not finding rest, security and safety in the love of the Father (John 15:9-10 Msge). Have you seen this to be true in your life, and if so how?
- ACTION STEP: 1. Take a moment to pray for self or others in the group to find courage to step into the safety and security of the light of Father. 2. To take a small step, consider a brother (men) or sister (women), that you would feel safe to talk to and pray with this week about a struggle you have.
Extended Sermon notes -> Called Out and Covered