Thursday, December 29, 2005

Forbidden Fruit

I love fishing, though for many years I have not fulfilled this desire.I do know that it is possible to catch fish on a bare hook (I was there, saw it with my own eyes) but usually it’s best to put some bait on it. This reminds me of the temptation scene in the Garden of Eden. I have been musing about the baited hook dangled before Adam and Eve.

The serpent appealed to their souls (which were created for Him, the Living God), conveying to the couple that personal fulfillment was within their grasp. There was no need to wait upon the whimsical timing of God. The serpent, though not all-knowing, was aware that there was to be a new ruling, reigning monarchy on the earth. It was evident that these two would be the viceroys, and their royal descendents would be the fruit of their loins.

The serpent decided to prepare a tasty feast for them. The main dish he presented to Adam and Eve was called ‘personal self-fulfillment.’

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Hook, line and sinker, what a catch! Thank God that is not the end of His-Story. So much of salvation is regarded only in terms of forgiveness. Yes it is that, and so much more - restoration, for example.

Jesus said it best:

(Mark 8:35)
whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.
(John 12:25) 25"
He who loves his life loses it, and he who
hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

The Message of the gospel is not about personal fulfillment or the preservation of self at all costs. There are no contradictions here. If we cling to or endeavour to save our life, we lose it. It isn’t about losing our salvation, but losing out on His life, His likeness being formed and established within us, and Life is best depicted in laying it down on behalf of others.

It is so very easy to miss out on our birthright, for the momentary thrill of self-fulfillment.

I am reminded in the movie, ‘Field of Dreams’. The main character, Ray Kinsella, hears a voice which states repeatedly, “Build it and he will come”. If you haven’t seen the movie, to Ray this meant he was to build a baseball field in the middle of his cornfield. Sure enough, long-dead baseball legends eventually appear and are able to enjoy some practice sessions. Near the end of the movie, these ghostly baseball buddies invite another character, Terrance Mann to follow them into the mysterious and heavenly-looking cornfield. At this point, even though Ray has been most heroic and noble in all that he has done thus far in building the baseball field (even to be regarded as being totally selfless) his fleshly sense of personal fulfillment tries to derail him from the heart to heart reconciliation and secret dream of his heart that is about to transpire. HE wants to be the one to be invited to see what’s in his own cornfield! The star baseball player, Shoeless Joe Jackson, asks, Ray, “What are you saying, Ray? Are you saying, ‘What’s in it for me”? Ray replies “Yes!” Shoeless Joe goes on to say, “Ray, if you build it, HE will come!”
How the enemy of our soul longs with hellish hatred to take us out of the picture - to nullify our effect as bright shining lights in a dark and lost world.

‘If you build it he will come’ is at a pivotal point in the movie.


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