Recently, I have been reflecting on the story of Adam and Eve’s unfortunate misstep that condemned the entire human race to the slippery slope of sin.
Questions play an important role in this story; from the Serpent’s post-modernesque ‘Has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree in the garden?’ all the way to God’s exasperated, ‘What is this you have done?’
One question stood out to me as I re-read this well known passage of scripture, and it was a question God put to Adam: ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ In trying to explain why he was hiding in the bushes, Adam mentioned that he was naked, felt exposed and needed to cover himself up.
God: Who told you that you were naked?
I believe that by asking Adam this question, God was alluding to the fact that somewhere along the line, a third party had crept in between Himself and Adam.
Adam’s consciousness had been awakened to new and false data which came from an interfering third party. A foreign voice had taken up real estate in Adam’s ears, exposing him to (corrupting) knowledge.
Somehow, during my Bible reading, I couldn’t stop staring at this question and before I knew it, I felt like the Holy Spirit had pinned me down with a stare and was asking me questions:
‘Who told you that…you are not deserving?’
‘Who told you that…you are behind?’
‘Who told you that…I have forgotten you?’
‘Who told you that…I am disappointed in you?’
‘Dammy, where have you been getting your information from?’
By simply typing these questions, I am reminded of how much bad data I have accumulated over the years and just how much work still needs to be done to reboot my system.
Where are you getting your data/information from?
Your culture? Your race? Your ethnicity? Your parents? Your past? TV? Statistics? Your manager?
Who told you that people who look like you/come from dysfunctional homes like you did/grew up in a certain postcode/have certain disabilities are destined to forever sit on the bottom shelf of life with a neon-yellow ‘EXPIRED’ label tagged on for good measure?
Who told you that… it’s over?
Who told you that… God only cares about the heart and your body is irrelevant?
Who told you that… as long as it feels good, you should do it?
Who told you that… you can’t change?
It’s time to change the channel
We are a sum total of our thoughts. It’s undeniable that thoughts precede actions.
Eating the forbidden fruit was the product of a shift in perspective. An exchange of God’s perspective for the Serpent’s.
Like Eve, instead of casting down thoughts and resisting limiting ideas, we bargain with them.
We rationalise them.
We start to say things like: ‘maybe it’s true you know. Maybe xxx is not for people like me. Maybe one day someone will figure out that I’m not supposed or deserving to be here.’
So here’s the encouragement for you and me today: change the channel.
If the thought doesn’t line up with what God has said about you in His word, simply delete it.
If the thought doesn’t line up with what God has said about you in His word, simply delete it. Don’t bargain with it. Don’t rationalise with it. Delete it.Tweet
If the thought shows up again in an hour, tomorrow, a week, a month, a year, a decade, serve it the same eviction papers and flip the channel to God’s promises.
Oh and watch out particularly for destructive thoughts that camouflage behind elements of truth but when you unwrap them, what awaits you is a deadly cocktail of misapplied truth designed to lure you in and take you captive.
The thought may seem ‘statistically’ right, but is that what God said about you?
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