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Pursue God, not Knowledge
Why we should embrace our weakness and depend on God
All of these are things people lost in the fall and will get back when Jesus returns? But one thing I haven’t written about is knowledge. Why not?
The answer is Adam and Eve didn’t have knowledge, at least not in the conventional sense. What they did know was God and His instructions to them. As far as other kinds of knowledge are concerned, they were intelligent but not knowledgeable people. As far as the Bible records, the only thing God specifically instructed them to do was “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion” (Genesis 1:28) and “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). If God told them anything else, Genesis does not record it.
Something Better Than Knowledge
Why would God create Adam and Eve and not give them knowledge? It’s because He gave them something better: Himself. The Lord wanted to teach them through relationship. God is omniscient—He knows everything—and lived with them in the Garden of Eden as their Mentor. Can you imagine having God standing next to you any time you had a question? That is how it was for the first two humans.
Maybe you have one of those devices in your home that is part of your home’s smart technology. I’m not a fan of devices where someone or something is listening on the other side, and I won’t name the companies that control them.
But you might ask the device, “How far is it to the sun?” and it replies, “It is 93 million miles to the sun. Would you like to search the internet for ‘sun’?”
These devices are listening all the time! It’s invasive and eerie.
But here is one thing I know about those machines: they cannot tell you about your destiny. They are gathering data about you but they don’t know you. They can’t answer spiritual questions, even though they have access to billions of webpages. But imagine being able to walk up to God and ask Him face to face, “Why was I created? What’s the meaning of the sun, moon, and stars? What’s the meaning of my life? Tell me about marriage. Help me understand science and the universe.”
If you wanted to know anything, God has the answer, but that is not the way He works in this world. God could have downloaded any amount of information He wanted into Adam and Eve. In fact, He could do it for you right now. But God is not a downloader; He’s a Father. He doesn’t want to make you instantly perfect as long as you live in this world. What God wants is to father you into perfection.
At the Rapture, God will make us perfect in every way. We will finally get to rest from our sin nature and the other limitations of this world. God created us to be dependent upon Him. Your spiritual intimacy will always correspond to your spiritual dependency. You can only be intimate with God to the degree that you’re dependent on Him. Independence is how you lose intimacy.
Sheep Need a Shepherd
As humans, we have a real problem with dependence. The Bible often describes our relationship to God is that of sheep to their shepherd. King David, once a shepherd himself, beautifully describes this relationship:
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
And Jesus Said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
When God looks at us, He sees sheep. He’s the Shepherd. Sheep are cute, but they are also pathetically weak. They can’t navigate on their own. They can’t bear burdens. They can’t defend themselves. They’re completely dependent upon the shepherd. In comparison to him, they are unintelligent, weak, and defenseless. That is an apt description of us.
The prophet Isaiah said:
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
We really need to understand an important dynamic that took place in the Garden of Eden, because the same thing is happening in our lives right now. God the Father created these wonderful, perfect beings, but they were incomplete because He wanted them to depend on Him. Instead of giving them knowledge, He gave them Himself. More than any father on this earth, God loves being a Father to us and answering all our questions.
That divine identity is why there are two sides to the cross. On our side, we look up and say, “Thank You, Jesus, for the price You paid so we could be forgiven and come back into Your presence.”
But there’s another side to the cross—God’s side—and He is saying, “It was worth everything that was paid to get you back into My presence.” This heartsick Daddy sent His one and only Son so He could be back in your presence. He loves being with us more than we could possibly understand.
Trading God for Fruit
Adam and Eve were incredibly naive. When Satan showed up in the Garden of Eden in the form of a serpent, he did what he does to all of us—he offered them an exchange. He wanted them to take something as a trade for Someone. The couple exchanged God the Father and their intimate relationship with Him for a piece of fruit that offered them instant knowledge. God had wanted to mentor them in a loving relationship over eons of time. But the devil told them they didn’t need God. If they would only eat that fruit, then they would be just like God and know everything He knows.
When Adam and Eve traded God for the fruit, they fell from that relationship and died.
The devil is a liar; he always overpromises and underdelivers. He will guarantee us things he does not own or have the authority to give. He has been trying the same scheme on all of us. He wants to lure us away from our Father and give us something for Someone.
The apostle John wrote about this exchange:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.—1 John 2:15–17
When John says not to love the world, he does not mean the physical earth itself. God created the earth and called it “good.” It is a wonderful thing. If you enjoy God’s creation, it does not mean you are “worldly.” When John writes about the “world,” he means it is a system that Satan is using to try to replace God. When the apostle tells us not to love the world, which includes “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” he means those things that are used in an attempt to replace God as Father.
Before the Fall, God the Father divinely disabled Adam and Eve. He limited their knowledge because He was there to mentor them. But in pursuit of that knowledge, they traded a relationship with Him for a counterfeit. It’s the same thing the devil is trying to do to all of us today.
That Rapture and our total redemption are in our future, and I want people to get excited about where they are going. But right now, the Father wants to raise you to the point that you become a mature believer. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you. The Lord wants to hear you say, “I embrace my weakness, and I love being dependent upon You.”
We despise dependency because of our sin nature. But we have a perfect Father who will provide for us, love us, promote us and teach us—if only we will depend on Him.