All over the world, people are asking how to strengthen their relationship with God. Many have wandered from His path and become entangled in the weeds. We never plan to leave God’s path and become entangled; rather, it seems we simply take a wrong turn and then drift through small steps of compromise. How does this happen? And once we’ve drifted, how do we return and guard against drifting once again?
Man first wandered from God’s path in the Garden of Eden. The devil deceived Eve and caused her to disobey God’s command; Eve ate fruit from the forbidden tree and gave some to her willing husband. As soon as they ate the fruit, they became aware they were naked and covered themselves with leaves.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?'”
The very first sin caused the delusion that it was possible to hide from God. This delusion continues today! We sit among the weeds and think God doesn’t notice – that He doesn’t see us in the midst of our sin. But the all-knowing Creator of the Universe knew exactly where Adam was hiding. God wasn’t searching through the bushes trying to find His lost creation. No, God was speaking directly to Adam: “Adam, why are you in this condition? Do you even know where you are and how far you have drifted?”
Adam’s willful disobedience caused him to tremble as he answered: “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10). Adam was lost. Somehow, even in their garden paradise, Adam and Eve had wandered in their relationship with God. The devil had found them alone – not walking with their Father – and began his great deception. Now, sin had caused shame, fear, and separation.
ALL sin has its beginning in our wandering from the presence of God. No one “falls” into sin by a momentary slip; rather, sin is the result of a long slow drift away from intimate fellowship with God. Drifting from His presence causes us to become more susceptible to sin, which continues the cycle of even further separation. Soon, we have become entangled and completely lose sight of His path.
The way back always begins with a humble and repentant heart. We must confess we have strayed, admit our straying as sin, and ask for the strength and guidance to return. God will immediately shine His light, strengthen our steps, and ask us to simply focus on loving Him with all our heart.
Let’s return to the presence of God and be determined to never leave. Let’s continually examine our life and make sure we’re walking right by His side whenever God asks, “Where are you?”