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. Genesis 3:7 (NIV)
I have a question. How did they know they were naked? How did they know what naked was? They’d never experienced it before. And why did they think that to be naked was a bad thing? I guess that’s three questions.
You know how something hits you when you are reading the Bible and you can’t get your mind around it? That is what happened to me when I read this. So I started talking to God about it. Here is what I came to….you may come to something else when you talk to God about it.
First, when we deliberately on purpose sin, God’s presence withdraws. He can’t be around sin. It is so opposite to who he is. And when God’s presence withdraws, I think evil fills in. Did Adam and Eve recognize their sin and shamefulness even though they had never experienced it before? I think when you are in a relationship with God, you are aware of the goodness of God and super aware of your lack of goodness.
Many years ago, I was in a relationship with God. It was amazing. I was so happy. Then temptation loomed its head and I gave in. I did something I knew God did not want me to do. And I remember distinctly the impact on my relationship with Jesus. I felt lost. I felt empty. I was very aware of my sin and every single sin in my life. I didn’t feel like God was there. I felt alone.
Usually, when we sin, we have taken our focus off of God and put it on ourselves. So when that spotlight is on us, we realize pretty quickly that the spotlight is in the wrong place. It illuminates all that is wrong and misguided. It illuminates our selfish nature and our compromised hearts.
As I felt this loneliness and darkness, I pleaded with God to help me. I asked him to forgive me and if we could please talk again and be close again. I told him I needed him. One day, I was sitting in my car pleading with God again and I heard “If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.” (John 8:36) And I knew. I knew the answer to my prayer was Jesus. I knew the answer was that I return my focus to him.
And I did. It made all the difference. I was forgiven. I was loved. I also knew I didn’t want to deliberately choose sin anymore. I hated not feeling connected to God. It was awful. I never again want to turn the focus of my attention on me. I want it to be on Jesus so I don’t lose my way.
I have, of course, sinned since then….we do it every day. But I try not to deliberately choose to defy what I know God wants for my life. The cost is too great. I am also not so naive to believe that I am immune to Satan’s attacks. I am not. Please pray for me. Please pray that I will stay focused on Jesus and not move that spotlight to the wrong place. I will pray that for you too!