Genesis 3:6-9: So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.8 And they heard the sound 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. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they sinned their natural reaction was to cover themselves with fig leaves. What do fig leaves represent? Fig leaves come from the earth and represent the flesh and false righteousness. Prior to this even though physically they were naked, spiritually the glory of God was their garment and their identity. When Adam and Eve ate the apple they became stripped of the glory of God and in order to compensate they used their energy to create for themselves a garment made out of leaves. This was a garment made out of human effort and human logic- A garment they were never created to wear. This physical adjustment was an outward expression of a new inward adoption of a false identity.
The enemy loves to clothe us in false identities. He loves for us to become his thoughts towards us instead of becoming Christ’s thoughts towards us. The devil has a dream you and God has the you He created you to be. Your true identity is in Christ but the devil presents a false identity and when that false identity is your garment it’s not as obvious as it seems. You might think it’s you becoming a satanist and becoming lawless but no, the devil is more crafty than that. You walking in a false identity is you simply not walking in your identity in Christ. That is satan’s dream you. Selah.
God is still searching us out beautifully enough and in this post I want to look at the processes that Adam and Eve took after the fall, how we often take similar steps and highlight that despite our shortcomings, Christ is still desiring for us to be who He’s called us to be.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings
Man was created to be clothed in the righteousness of God but when that isn’t the reality man will search for another garment to wear. Romans 13:14 says “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”. In this verse we are told to wear Christ as a garment. Interestingly enough this verse also brings a contrast between the garment of God and the flesh. What does this show? That when it comes to who you are and what your identity is based on there are no grey areas. You are either clothed in God’s righteousness or clothed in false righteousness. Have you accepted Jesus as your righteousness or are you clothed in your own? Do you see yourself through the Word of God or through your experiences and actions? Where does your identity stem from and what’s your driving force?
Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
A distorted perception of self always goes hand in hand with a distorted perception of God. Adam and Eve wouldn’t have hidden from God prior to their sin. They knew God intimately but they ran away due to no longer seeing God for who He is. They now saw a God to run from instead of a God to run to. What is even more interesting is that they ran away from the presence of the Lord God into the trees of the garden. What they ran to matched the garment that they were clothed in. When they were clothed in the righteousness of God they ran to God. Now that fig leaves (false righteousness) had become their garment they ran from the presence of God among the trees. If your identity doesn’t stem from Christ sin will soon follow. For example people who hold a belief of worthlessness within their identity can often run into the trees of self loathing, pain, meaningless relationships, rejection, sexual promiscuity, misuse from others and more.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
In all of this God asked Adam “Where are you?”. God is all knowing so we know He knew where Adam was. I believe an underlying meaning behind that question was “Where is the you I created you to be” How does this relate to you? Some of you are hiding in addiction, pornography, lust and so much more and God is asking “where are you?“. The you I desire you to be, the you that I want to meet in the cool of the day (in the spirit). The you that was made for me. God is not a far away God; He is a brooder. In Genesis 1 it describes the spirit of God “hovering over the waters”. Even you reading this is God searching you out. Yes God’s love is unconditional but there is a you that He created you to be. He sees beyond sin, he sees potentiality. Actually scrap that, your potentiality is the you He created you to be before the foundations of the World. What you have become is due to life, circumstances and sin. Whilst you’re busy trying to formulate how to come, God is saying just come. Whilst you’re busy looking at your mess God is saying “I want you”. Sometimes we think that because there are so many people on this planet that somehow lessens God’s desire for us. You know.. “Brother A prays so much so at least someone is serving God”. God however doesn’t just want Brother A or Sister B God wants YOU.
I know what it is to hide from God and adopt another identity. Years ago I got into a relationship and became entangled in lust and perversion. Now when this relationship ended because of the sins that I committed in the relationship I REALLY struggled with how I saw myself. I also had “friends” at the time who knew what happened and unfortunately added to my condemned mindset. I was around 8 months into salvation at the time and due to not knowing who I was in Christ I looked at my actions, I looked at other’s perceptions of me and all I could see is my mess and condition. Needless to say I ran away from both God and church. Even though I had asked God for forgiveness I still felt unclean and unworthy.
Things really changed when I decided to go to church a few months later. After the service ended I was on my way to leave when the choir director asked me why I wasn’t coming to church. In response I opened my mouth to speak but words just couldn’t come out. He then said to me “Christ has not condemned you”. At that moment it’s like a veil was lifted. After that I left and for the first time in months my smile was genuine; My identity was restored in just those few words. This caused me to come back to God and I then realised that I had many fleshly desires that would only be worked out in His presence not away from it. I also realised that the reason I even got into that relationship and got into sin was to fill a void. Most of all I realised that who I am is who God purposed me to be, not my feelings, not my experiences or my past; but God’s thoughts towards me.
Many of you are stuck in a condemned mindset but God desires an exchange! Later on in Genesis 3 God removed Adam and Eve’s garments of fig leaves and replaced it with animal skin (Gen 3:21). The sacrifice of the animal represents the sacrifice that Jesus would make in order for us to be redeemed. Let your imperfections draw you to Him knowing that they show how much you need him. The answer isn’t for you to hide. The answer is for you to come exactly how you are. Fig leaves were never created to be your clothing. You were never created to dwell among the trees. That is why living among the trees is not satisfying you. There is still a confusion as you are trying to make the false identity fit but you are called to walk with God just like Adam and Eve originally did.
Come out from among the trees and allow God to give you beauty for your ashes. God is searching to and fro this earth, through the hi-ways and bi-ways asking “Where are you“. Not just Brother A, not just sister B, but YOU.