Opportunity to Obey

“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19

Inside the Garden of Eden, God had placed several fruit trees to eat from. He created human beings to require and desire food to sustain life. God also created a tree with appetizing fruit called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam that every tree in the garden could be freely eaten from, but the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not to be eaten from. God told Adam that if he ate from that tree, he would die.

It’s interesting to me that God would put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. It seems that the only purpose for the tree is to give men and women the opportunity to submit their will to God’s will. In James 1:12-17 we are told that God would never tempt us to do evil. The purpose for the tree was not to tempt mankind to sin, but rather to be a continual opportunity to obey the God they loved and the God whose authority they honored.

God would not tempt us, and God also would not control or manipulate us. God lovingly cares for us as our Life, our Father, our Lord. He hopes that we would choose to love Him, trust Him, rely on Him, and bring ourselves under His authority. Like a healthy parent/child relationship, a parent wants their child to submit to their leadership because they want to, not because they have to. A healthy parent would not tempt their child to disobey. A healthy parent would not take pleasure in forcing their child to obedience. Opportunities to obey are also opportunities to show love.

Is there something or someone in your life that God has let you know is off limits to you? This could be your “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” When we approach a boundary, we should know that God is not attempting to dominate or tempt us, but rather giving us the opportunity to express our faith through obedience. Submission is an act of honor and love for the one in authority over us. Submission says to God, “I desire You more than anything or anyone else.” Submission says to God, “You are more than enough for me.” Submission to God will experience fulfillment in being made complete by Him. As we obey God, we allow Him to make us whole. As we yield ourselves to God in submission, we give Him all access to meet any needs, to heal any hurts, to fill any lack, and to remove any constraints. He is our everything!

Application: Today, is there any part of you that isn’t submitted? If so, choose to bring every part of yourself underneath the trusted authority of your loving Father and allow Him to bring wholeness into your life.

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