Published Sept. 22, 2009
"Where Are You?"
You know the story. Adam and Eve had sinned by doing what God had specifically told them not to do. But then "they heard the sound 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...." (Gen. 3:8).
Then God uttered what must be three of the saddest words in all history to the man and woman He had created and loved so dearly: "Where are you?" (Gen. 3:9.)
Adam and Eve had been accustomed to fellowshipping with God on a continual basis. He made them, in fact, for the very purpose of such fellowship. And at no time since then have any created human beings on earth had such a perfect fellowship with God. He walked with them. He talked with them. He was a Father to them, lovingly caring for His own.
But then something came between God and the man and woman He had created. That "something" was sin, which is nothing more nor less than disobedience. Sensing their grievous error, Adam and Eve "hid themselves" from God because they were "afraid." They just didn't want to face God. Their God-given consciences made them aware for the first time that something had gone terribly wrong in their relationship with their Creator and they wanted to avoid Him at all costs, fearing what He would say and do.
You can almost sense the pain and sorrow in God's voice as He poignantly called out, "Adam, where are you?"
Just like Adam, when we sin, we instinctively try to cover it up. Cain killed Abel and buried him to cover up the crime. (Gen. 4:10.) Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him to hide the crime. (Exodus 2:12.) Why the coverup? We simply don't want anyone to know what we did because, like Adam and Eve, we're ashamed. And we certainly don't want God to know. (That's pretty foolish, come to think of it, when you're talking about an omniscient God. Psalm 69:5 reminds us, "O God, You know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from You.")
"Paul, what's that have to do with me?" Well, let me ask you this question which, at first, seems unrelated: "How's your prayer life?"
The first thing that usually happens when a Christian sins or chooses a sinful lifestyle is that his or her prayer life just stops (if it had any life to begin with). Why? Because we're ashamed and, whether or not we admit it to ourselves, we feel guilty. Our God-given consciences are sounding a warning. And we're afraid that if we pray if we have communication with God if we actually listen to what He might say to us during our prayer time He just might bring conviction upon us for that sinful activity that we've chosen. So why not just avoid the hassle, right?
So, how's your prayer life?
When my precious wife gets upset with me (yes, inexplicably, it actually does happen), she'll say, "I'm not talking to you!" Could it be that we are upset with God -- because we know we're doing something that would not get His approval -- so we just don't want to talk to Him?
So, how's your prayer life? How often do you pray? And more to the point, how intensively and earnestly do you pray? Do you pray actually expecting an answer? Prayer or the lack of it is a significant indicator of your spiritual health.
How important is prayer? Scripture tells us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess 5:17). That puts it at the same level of importance for your spiritual life as breathing is for your physical life. Which is to say "It's vital!"
God is waiting to hear from you anytime, day or night. Have you talked things over with Him today? Or are you hiding, fearful of what He'll say?
Listen. Someone is calling... "Where are you?"
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