Sides were drawn in a garden thousands of years ago. Two trees physically
illustrated the choice between God and his jealous opponent. Eating “Life” was the key to keeping a perfect relationship with the awesome, almighty Creator of the Universe. Eating Knowledge of Good and Evil was the alternative, providing the ability to “be your own person” without God.
The choices were represented by simple consumption, a cause and effect. You eat one, you get this result… you eat the other, you get another result. (I’d like to emphasize this as an important fact. It’s still true in much of life.)
Despite the free-will consumption option, there really wasn’t much drive to eat Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why would anyone want something different from the life and relationship they were made for? Back then, we already had every natural desire completely satisfied. In addition to living in paradise, we had a close, committed friend that read our thoughts right out of our head and loved every one of them because hanging out with us was the reason he created the world. Not to mention, there were lots of other trees and tons of fabulous food including the Tree of Life. Who’d want to eat fruit from the one tree out of hundreds that God said we shouldn’t?
Let me put it this way: if you went to a buffet full of options but only one tray that you couldn’t eat from (let’s say you have a nasty, life-threatening allergy to that food), why would you want to eat from that one?
It took a dirty, rotten cheater and a big fat lie for the other side to score with mankind. The snake not only took first base when Eve kissed the tender skin of Knowledge, he put a spin on that fruit that gave him a home run with all of us. Our bodies, minds, and souls were corrupted by the choice to go against our created purpose.
Completely stripped of purity, man’s relationship with God lost something priceless. Without innocence, mankind can’t talk to their best friend like they used to; we lost control of everything that was previously perfect and ordered. It was the beginning of chaos and competition. Our understanding of that choice in the garden and its resulting consequences have become increasingly twisted the more time goes by and, although it’s difficult for us to make any sense of our own minds to this day, we still have the same choice to make.
So… our story isn’t over yet.
The battle is still going on. One side is trying to take control and continue stripping away any trace of what we had, the other wants to buy back that perfect, beautiful relationship we’ve been missing and wanting all these years. We look at magazines, stores, television, movies, facebook, and music telling us what to consume and why we need it. We’re confronted by choices every day that want to exploit the weaknesses born in us since the garden. The arguments for why we should bite can be so convincing and, with so many outlets for mass communication these days, it seems like the voices promoting these choices are only getting louder.
The Trees of Life and Knowledge still exist in millions of forms. The enemy knows every trick in the book to keep us eating fruit from the wrong tree. He’ll even use God’s own words against us but, if you know them well enough yourself, you won’t be fooled.
The fight’s not over when we say the prayer to accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. If we think claiming to be a “Christian” is all there is to being one, we’re going to be eaten alive by our own stupidity, the same lie rotting our insides again and again. We’ve all got a history and habits that we bring to the newly rediscovered relationship with God. We’ve been eating the wrong food for a long time. It’s time to start looking at Life as a food choice again and take the opportunity we have today to prove we’ve got our foot in the snake’s mouth this time. This time, our minds and our tongues have to be sharper than the serpent’s.
We can’t win the war against our weaknesses unless we discipline ourselves to submit to the relationship commitment we made when we said, “Jesus, be my Lord and Savior.” Habits have to be broken and remade. When Jesus sacrificed himself for us He said that relationship with God is free to everyone but, disrespect it by continuing to live the way you want to and you’re spitting in the face of your best friend with the rest of the angry crowd who crucified him 2,000 years ago.
Following Jesus Christ isn’t easy. We have to walk backwards from the rest of this world and start acting like the new creations we claim to be.
The battle isn’t over yet. It’s just beginning.