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Fear and Guilt – Effects on Relationship with God

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…

When Adam and Eve sinned, this produced a serious effect in their minds. He and Eve lost their true perception of reality. Their sin caused them to be afraid, and in futility, they tried to hide from God. Even though they knew God, their fears overpowered this knowledge and caused them to act in an irrational way. Are we much different than Adam and Eve?

Those addicted to pornography can relate. What we know of God is held at bay or suppressed by our fears and guilt. Adam and Eve’s attempt to hide from God is recorded in Genesis 3:7-8. Doesn’t that reveal a faulty understanding of who God is? How can someone hide from God? (They can’t). Adam and Eve weren’t thinking straight. When Adam and Eve sinned, their minds were robbed of the true knowledge of God. God wanted mankind to know him truly; his original design for this knowledge was based on a deep relationship with Him. Knowing someone implied an intimate personal relationship.

Adam and Eve had a personal relationship, and even had children. This suggests a level of intimacy between Adam and Eve. This intimacy between Adam and Eve is described in Genesis 4:1: “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived” (KJV). Before the fall of mankind, Adam and Eve knew God, not sexually of course, but in the intimacy of a close, personal relationship that we associate with marriage. They knew God by being with God. The fears Adam and Eve experienced from sin distorted their relationship with God and themselves. The infection of sin distorts our own relationship and perception of God as a loving God.

Our own ideas of God are rooted in our families and have been distorted because of the effect of sin in this world. Many of us came from broken homes. Homes where unconditional love is not present causes the members of that family to question what a personal relationship would be. Without knowledge of something better, the idea of a personal relationship with God may be a scary thing. Families and marriage in today’s world have suffered terrible losses because of the sin introduced in the world by Adam and Eve.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from the garden. Adam and Eve lost their relationship with God and the knowledge of God that was intrinsic to that relationship. We are descendants of Adam and Eve, and as a result we inherited their darkened mind. Before Christ, we knew something about God, but we didn’t know God because we did not have a relationship with Him.

The necessity of being in relationship to God in order to know God comes into sharp focus in John’s announcement: “The Word”–logos in the Greek–“became flesh” (John 1:14). The word logos represented the highest form of philosophical knowledge. For the Greeks, saying that the logos became flesh was the same as saying that ultimate knowledge became personal and relational.

God was announcing to the world through John: The true knowledge of God, which can only be discovered in an intimate relationship with God, is now available to the world through God in the flesh–Jesus Christ. In Christ we are able to know God personally, not just know about Him.

Quick Prayer:

Lord, I thirst for deeper intimacy in my relationship with You. I want to know You more personally today. 

God wants us to have a very deep personal relationship with Him. This is made clear in the next passages:

2 Samuel 14:14 “Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.”

2 Peter 3:9 “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Lastly, God promises we will find him if we seek him with our whole heart. What have we been seeking with all of our heart? The answer to that question might scare us if we honestly reflect and consider what we spend our time seeking for. This isn’t meant to cause anyone to feel guilty, but consider the things we search for vigorously in our lives. What if we took that energy in seeking God as he knows himself (and not the God our fears and misperceptions have caused us to run from). God makes a promise for those who seek him with all their heart:

Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Jeremiah 29:12-14 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Proverbs 6:23  For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life.