Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings
You're consumed with trying to control your world. To slow down means you have to say this: God is control, and I
don't need to b e in control of the world. It was here before I came. It'll b e here after I leave, and I am not God, I don't
have to b e in charge - so I can stop. I can let God take care of the world, while I just connect with God.
I want to finish a series I've been doing, talking about Fig Leaves and other kinds of coverings people put up. How
many found that there's been some fig leaves around, you've discovered in the last couple of weeks? That's right, we
suddenly find we're covering up all kinds of stuff. The Holy Ghost of course, is a sign to uncover everything; but let's
just go back and pick up where we were, and then I'll just draw this to closure today. In Genesis 3 Verses 7 to 10, and
it says: then the eyes of both of them were opened. They knew they were naked, and now they made a choice at that
point. They had done wrong, they felt guilt and shame, and they were aware the ir condition was not what God
intended. They'd sinned and fallen short of what God had given to them, in other words they were aware of failure in
their life. They were aware of a mess in their life.
Now at that point they had a choice, here's the choice: run to God; run away from God. When something's gone
wrong in your life, there's a mess in your life, you have a choice: run to God; or try and control your world, run away
from God. It's always the same, it's never been any different. When you're in pain, when you're struggling, when
you've got difficulties, pressures, you'll make a choice: run to God, or run way from Him, and try and control your
world. We see of course, if they had run to God and asked for mercy, they would have been forgiven, this whole deal
wouldn't have happened like it has. Instead they covered up, they covered themselves, and drew back from being
true and authentic with one another. They then, when they heard the voice of God, they ran and they hid themselves
among the trees. Notice awareness of God caused them to run and hide.
You notice, when you begin to talk about God with people, immediately they go into hiding; or angry reaction, which is
another form of hiding? They don't always talk openly about what's going on, and this is a legacy of the fall. We would
rather control our life and our world, than surrender and acknowledge our need for God; and this is the core of what
this whole thing's about. I've counselled people in these last few weeks, where issues like this are coming up . I've
counselled over years. It's always the same. We choose to run to the Lord in our pain, brokenness and need, and
discover His way of resolving and working our way out of things; or we try and control the pain, and take control of
our own world. It always was down to that, so inevitably when it comes to facing issues in your life, whatever those
issues are, the core issue at the bottom of it will be fear and shame, and attempts to control your world.
So God wants us to be authentic. We started off we w ere looking at the Good Samaritan parable, how the man went
and entered the world of others. If we're going to enter the world of people, we need to have some awareness of our
own life, and awareness of what God is doing and has done, and we also need to b e able to enter and be aware of
where other people are at. When you've never let God work in your own life, you don't really have a lot of sensitivity,
awareness of people; and notice in Genesis 3 Verse 21, in spite of all that happened God, still made pro vision for
them. It's always in the heart of God to provide for our nakedness, lack, brokenness and pain. This is the heart of
God. God wants to help. Whatever you're going through, God wants to help; and not only that, God makes provision,
but inherently in God's provision, there is a cost.
Notice He made skins for them: something died to yield up the skin; so whenever God works in our life, inevitably
there's a cost. There's something you have to face. There's pain involved, and always there's the price o f what Jesus
paid at Calvary, to bring healing, deliverance, freedom, release for us. So that's where we've been in this last couple
of weeks, and we saw that if we wanted to get out, or make changes in our life, one of the first keys was to just
become aware of our life. You need to develop an awareness of what you feel, what you think, how you behave, how
you react. Man y people are unaware. If you're not aware, ask someone to give you feedback, and then they'll make
you aware of things that you're not aware of. You may not want to hear it, but if we want to grow, then let someone
around you talk into your life. Make them welcome, welcome their feedback, start to notice what you feel, what you're
facing, what you're experiencing.
The second thing is, we have to commit to the process of change. Change is always a process. Although God does a
miraculous part, there's the part we have to work out in changing our thinking, owning our mistakes, becoming honest
with people. Sometimes there's confession, we need to come free and talk to someone about what we've done.
Sometimes we need to put a relationship right, and always we need to change how we think. But then the third
aspect of this process of change is, we need to develop intimacy with the Holy Spirit, and th at's where I want to go
today. God made a covering. His covering for us is found in a relationship. What Adam lost was relationship and
dominion; what Jesus came to restore to us was relationship and dominion. Notice what Jesus said in John, Chapter
14. We want to just look, in this one session, on developing intimacy with the Holy Spirit. We need to do more on that
next year, but right now we'll just do one, just to get you started.