The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9
There, in their midst, was the ultimate temptation and test of obedience. They could walk with God, the source of all knowledge, and hear things first hand, or eat of the tree and set a course of personal autonomy. Their disobedient choice, which is to come in Genesis, set up the fall of man. By nature now, we trade in the glory of our Creator, the thrill of walking with him, to the cheap thrill of living autonomously.
What’s frightening is when I do it as God’s child. I was made to walk with God. Intimately. I am invited, on the other side of the cross, to know the life Adam and Eve once had. I have the Spirit of God inside and I can walk with Him, enjoy His company, and hear His voice lead me through my day. Instead of nurturing that personal relationship, I choose to open His scriptures and interpret them for myself. I eat of His tree and decide that I’m smart enough to extract a meaning without taking time to ask Him how the daily manna applies to my situation.
For over forty years, this is how I read the scriptures. I never stopped to ask the Author to open my heart and talk to me as I read. I just read. I reasoned that He gave me a keen mind and I was equipped to make good decisions about my life and my future. If a scripture seemed to fit, I applied it. But mostly, scripture became something mildly inspirational on a Sunday morning. Daily, I consumed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and never showed up to walk with God in the garden. I was a renegade child.
Today, I choose to live in relationship. Nothing I could ever figure out could come close to what God has in mind for me. My knowledge of good and evil is pathetic and miniscule next to the One who is Knowledge.
Walk with me. I am not clever. I need Your voice and Your hand. Amen.