After they had sinned, Adam and Eve hid themselves from God, behind the trees in the garden of Eden: Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” God removed them from the garden of His presence and they inherited the consequence of their sin, living under the curse – (Genesis 3.)
At Calvary, through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, the sin problem was dealt with and He gloriously reversed that curse. “To all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ, He gives power to become the sons of God.” Calvary restored the intimacy of fellowship we can have with our Heavenly Father. We can walk with Him in our garden of life – our daily circumstances. If we have ears to hear, we will hear Him calling our name to fellowship with Him. God wants to be included in all my daily “doings”, not just my crises. “In ALL thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil,” Proverbs 3:6-7.
When we sin, just like Adam and Eve, we want to hide in our shame and guilt, but our Heavenly Father calls to us, “Come out from behind the trees….show yourself!” 1 John 2:1 “...If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” who is the appeasement for the sin of the whole world, (verse 2). Sin separates, but because of the finished work of Calvary, when I humble myself and truly repent, a royal exchange takes place: I am forgiven through the shed blood of Christ, washed clean, restored to fellowship with the Father again and changed by His grace. My standing is all in Jesus Christ and His righteousness – in Him alone. I have no standing of my own. Philemon v.6 “That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
When I “come out from behind the trees” before the Lord and show myself, it is the place where I acknowledge truth about myself and what I am, apart from His grace. I acknowledge my need of Him to change me. Acknowledging the truth does not put me in, but it is the starting point and prevents me going out. Then I have to humble myself under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who will direct me to the “counter” where the royal exchange takes place – His beauty for my ashes. You may ask,”What do you mean by counter?” For example: It is of no use confessing to your Pastor, or friend, and asking for prayer, if your counter for truth is with your spouse. We all have to come out from behind the trees and stop hiding. God requires transparency. Pride and shame cause us to hide. Sin, guilt and shame were dealt with at Calvary. Calvary is the bedrock foundation inheritance of every Believer in Jesus Christ. On the other hand, God requires us to do something to get rid of our pride – we have to humble ourselves before Him where He directs, under His mighty hand – His Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 5:5-6 “..all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, and he will exalt you in due time.”
Incidentally, there is another “tree” that the Lord requires me to come out from: It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (Genesis 2:17). How often do I insult Him by consulting it? We often allow our reason to dictate what is good for us, but the question is, “Is it God for us?” How good is the knowledge of good that leads me away from God? How evil is the knowledge of evil that pushes me closer to God? I can easily make the mistake of judging what is good or bad(evil) for my life without consulting the Lord, but it is just head knowledge! The knowledge of good can be the enemy of God’s best for my life!
IF I DO NOT CONSULT GOD THEN I INSULT HIM! I become a god in my own life instead of allowing Him to rule my heart choices.
Words can be cheap and so easily said but God requires reality in my life. When I get hurt about the failure of what I am, it is a sure sign I am not walking in the truth of what He is. Where there is pain (my hurt), there is pride. The Lord encourages me to come to Him and humble myself to deal with it. When I get hurt over circumstances it is an evidence that I am not believing, or walking, in the exchange policy Christ purchased for me at Calvary. God wants reality, “Come out from behind the trees”. Yes, I am a son of God, sealed in my spirit, then why am I not operating in His power and authority? Answer: because there is too much of me, living in me, and not Jesus! I am the blockage. My self will puts little signs up on certain issues, “Keep off the grass”, “Do not touch”. The Lord is after every last “little fox” of my will wanting my own way. Surrender is the key. These are the places the Lord requires me to surrender, that He may be all in all. He will change me for His glory, not to make a better me, for my glory. God is after one thing; when He looks at me He wants to see the life of His Son living in and through me. As I surrender, He can have full sway to operate through me, but it will not be me operating in my flesh, it will be the glorious life of Another, Jesus Christ, who only operates for His Father’s divine purpose and glory. From this victory ground there will be no more hiding behind trees and we will enjoy the restored fellowship of walking in the garden in the cool of the day, in the presence of the Lord.