The Big Picture – Part 3

The Man Who Fell to Earth

It would be impossible to measure the magnitude of damage and consequence of Adam’s choice to his son’s and daughters. Not one of us can experience the fullness of the walk that Adam had with God before the Fall for we now live in a fallen world. Sin entered the world through one man. (Rom 5:12)

All were in Adam when he sinned. There is not one of us that did not descend from Adam. If Adam had died before having a son, we too would have died in him. Adam was our representative. He is the Patriarchal Father of our household. (Yet, he was born a son of God Lk. 3:38, in Christ, who is his and therefore our Patriarchal Father, of the household into which we enter by faith).

Now Adam was an orphan, Fatherless. Not by birth, but by choice. The Father did not leave him, he chose to separate from his Father. Amazingly, this same choice is being made regularly all over the world, and the separation still comes at the point of whose will shall be done in the life of the individual — the child’s or the father’s.

You see we are each born, even conceived, in sin in Adam and did not have a choice in that. Yet, we each choose sin too. “… we have turned every one to his own way…” Isa. 53:6. When we do this, we separate from our father.

Let’s retrace some steps from childhood. Everything was going along just fine, things were always happening to me, for me and about me. I was fed, sheltered, kept warm even indulged with gifts, love and kindness. I never needed to be concerned about my provision or protection — it was provided for my by my father. In fact, it seemed like so often I was the center of the attention and the focus of everyone’s delight. From my perspective, I was the central being in the universe — or so it seemed — for a time.

Then something happened, something very tragic. In my childlike innocence I did something that met with disapproval. Something I did was brought into question. Well this was just too much for me. Someone suggested that I had done something wrong, that I needed correction (i.e. I cried at the wrong time, I threw something, I made a mess of things. etc.).

Then, a voice inside me suggested to me that they were suggesting that I was wrong. Can you imagine that? I couldn’t. Me, the center of the universe, ME …ME!!! How could I ever be wrong. Well it was more than I could take. I did not like this rejection thing one bit.

(NOTE: there is no real connection between correction and rejection. Only that, we get help from the little voice inside that turns the correction, the opportunity to lean and grow, into a sense of being personally rejected. And as the saying goes, “It’s all downhill from here.”)

Well, there are one of two paths the person who “feels” rejection takes. First, they might withdraw their own warm feelings and affections from the source of their “rejection”. It is the common tactic, “I’ll show them. I just won’t be nice to them or I’ll avoid them — I’ll reject them back! I’ll separate from them. I will treat them like my enemy.”

Second, there is the attack tactic. “I’ll show them. They can’t get away with hurting me that way, in fact nobody will ever do that to me again. I will make them pay for that! I will separate from them and make them the enemy.” And we stew in our anger toward the source of our pain and perceived rejection and make a foothold for the devil to enter.

It doesn’t matter which way we go. Somewhere, someday, by someone we are met with disapproval and even discipline and we don’t like that someone suggests that we are not the center of the universe and that they can bring to bear a consequence for our behavior or actions upon us. We were little gods and now this person comes and makes an authority figure of themselves. In our mind, they are trying to establish a right to rule over us.

We decide (again with a little help from our internal voices) that we hate this authority and authority in general. We decide that nobody has the right to treat me like that. Like what? Like they have authority over me. And we woefully continue in one of the two tracks we established. Fight of flight. We either attack, (sometimes passively, sometimes aggressively and outwardly, even physically), or retreat (sometimes by withholding affection, sometimes by leaving, and sometimes by pulling away from their attempts to be affectionate toward us).

We find a way to make them pay for trying to teach us and make us take responsibility for our behaviors and actions. We do not grow up and mature in a healthy way. We get older but we don’t become mature. We systematically refuse to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves. We play the blame game for years upon years. Some go all the way to their grave having never taken any significant responsibility for themselves and having never grown up.

As I have shared in past messages we take one of four stances when faced with the reality of correction to our behavior. We fight back or retreat with the deceptive thoughts of: Rationalization, justification, denial and blame. We just don’t take responsibility for ourselves. We don’t recognize the discipline as love and instead we reject the one who takes the risk of our rejection (most often the father or father figure) thus separating ourselves from the opportunities to grow and mature.

All these behaviors are classic patterns of the “orphan mindset” or or our self-imposed “separation anxiety”. We separated from our source of provision and protection because they suggested that we were less than perfect and hold us to a higher standard than we are willing to take. They attempt to exercise authority and correction to make us grow up. We in turn, reject them! They have not rejected us. It just “felt like it”.

The orphan mindset is so complicated, being the work of those inner voices over many years. It is the “I’ll show them attitude” that the world applauds and promotes. The “I can do this without anybodies help” attitude. And so many other “I can” and “I will” attitudes. These are phrases that establish my separation from others, especially those in authority.

Listen and understand the dynamics of separation at work in our father Adam:

Genesis 3:7: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

“they knew” somehow there was a sense of distance between themselves and God. He had told them “do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. The feelings of legitimate disobedience is legitimate guilt — they knew. The intended result is to be a gentle nudge to confess. They took a typical orphan tack to the destination:

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 amongst the trees of the garden.

Whereas the cool of the day was historically “Daddy time”, now they took the orphan position of retreat. They “hid themselves”. From Who? Their Loving Daddy. Where did they ever get the idea that they needed to hide from Him? Answer: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It’s the “and Evil” part that opened their experience to the Evil One. Now they have a new “friend” to talk to them.

Genesis 3:9: And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

God knew exactly “where” Adam was. But Adam had to make the assessment for himself. He was hiding from Good and slumming with Evil. We all need to make this assessment before we can find our way home again. (Think Prodigal Son). But our new “friend” has devious methods:

Genesis 3:10: And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Now we fear our Father as a result of the voices of our new “friend”, and ironically we readily trust the new “friend’s” voice. It sounds so “friendly”, so trustworthy, so “Me”. More classic orphan thinking. Yet, God again questions Adam to get him to discern the source of his new “afraid” feelings. Where did these feelings come from? What choice have you made that you need to take responsibility for?

Genesis 3:11: And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Now the icing on the cake: Will you take responsibility for you actions (confess), learn from them (repent) and repair the relationship (be redeemed by your Loving Father)? Here is the classic orphan reply:

Genesis 3:12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Genesis 3:13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Rationalization, Justification, Denial and Blame. The language of the orphan. Listen. You can hear it all day, everywhere. Children who refuse to grow up. Even Christians! These methods have been echoing throughout all history. When will we understand that God loves us? All He ever does is for our good. That we might grow up and be His sons. Accept correction, repair the damage you are doing and have done. Go back to your Father.

Don’t be an orphan one more day!

“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:17-20.

Though you have fallen, you will be lifted up again (i.e. restored) to your rightful place as a son.