Picture living in the most ideal place with the most ideal person. There’s not a cloud in the sky. No awkward misunderstandings. No sin to confess in your conversations with God.
This existence was Eve’s great privilege.
But somehow a crack appeared in Eve’s soul. Discernment leaked out. Otherwise, she would’ve heard the hiss behind the serpent’s hello.
He told her perfect was not enough.
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” - Genesis 3:1 NLT
As she listened to his lies, Eve became a tool in satanic hands. She was Phase 1 in his plan. Phase 2 was her husband, Adam.
In the paradise called Eden, God’s perfect will could be seen. Heard. Felt. But Eve dismissed the danger of the serpent’s words and ate a fruit never intended for human consumption.
Ideal became scarce.
If you know the story, you know what happened next.
Intoxicated by her own reasoning, Eve shared the fruit of her disobedience with Adam. Maybe it was the crook in her smile, but Adam lost his discernment too. He abandoned God’s authority for the appeal of pleasing His wife. (Genesis 3:1-7)
It’s a sorrowful tale. I imagine the hiss became a hideous chuckle.
Adam and Eve were meant to fellowship with God. They tried to hide from Him instead. (Genesis 3:8)
Adam meticulously named each animal. Now Eve was duped by one. (Genesis 2:18-20)
The wayward couple was meant to love their oneness, instead they chose the blame game. (Genesis 3:8-13)
They were made to live in paradise, but toil and tension marked the rest of their days. (Genesis 3:16-19)
God dealt with the serpent’s treachery. He gave Adam and Eve coverings for their newfound nakedness and banished them from the Garden. (Genesis 3:14,15 and 22-24)
As they took their first steps out of Eden, their hearts may have felt this truth: When the Lord’s way is not enough, any other way leads to much less.
Hiding, being duped, blaming, and toiling are not likely to find their way onto anyone’s wish list. But since the Fall, they’ve each found their way into our existence.
There are many ways we try to exist more comfortably.
It’s tempting to define “perfect” by human standards. Our appearance, emotions or aspirations may yearn for the ideal label. But the best of human reasoning pales in comparison to soul rest.
Otherwise, I can end up striving for perfection while missing the perfect will of God.
I can rest in what He’s said. His words are found in the pages of Scripture. Unlike my appearance, emotions and aspirations, His principles and promises never change.
I can rest in what Christ has done. On the cross He paid for my sins, purchased my freedom and put the serpent on notice.
I can rest when I don’t know what to do. I don’t have to know everything; but I do need to trust God.
He is perfect in all of His ways. Sometimes His way requires my patience. Other times, it requires a sacrifice; but it always requires my obedience.
Yet, in an effort to sabotage the plan and blessing of God, the hiss continues to hint God’s ways are not enough. The hiss maker still lies.
Perfect still waits.
Even with Eden’s entrance blocked, we can walk in the will of God.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Hebrews 12:2 NLT
As it unfolds, it’s a redemptive tale. It leaves the serpent’s hiss hollow and it leaves us with an abundance of hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
As for God, his way is perfect: the Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. – Psalm 18:30 NIV