One Thing More Fearful Than Our Fear of Death

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Genesis 3:1-7,

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Fear drove this decision as much as anything else. The question is, what was it that enabled Adam and Eve to leap right over the warning of death that God had given them to eat the fruit anyway? What is the one thing that they were more afraid of than death…the thing that they so afraid of losing out on that they were willing to risk or even face death to attain it? It was the idea that they could be like God…they could have that wisdom, that ability, and that sovereignty…by not eating the fruit, they were missing out on something and that not having that something was even scarier than the threat of death. Just about anyone who has the ability to reason has this very temptation although it may express itself in different ways for different people.

What is even worse than taking our final breath is the daily death we can die to the grind of maintaining personal sovereignty due to the fear of not being in control. This is too heavy of a burden for any of us to shoulder. It must be given to the One who can. Only then will we find true freedom and joy.

Let me leave you with this question, what is it you are more afraid of than death and how does that affect the decisions you are making? That may be a hard question to answer so let me reframe it in a way that may reveal more of what drives you – what are some areas where you have bypassed your concern of death, pain, or brokenness in order to engage in something that is not in line with God’s will?

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