I have always had the spirit of independence dwelling within me. Something is different from the status quo you say? Then sign me up. I often find contentment accomplishing things on my own. Growing up I would never ask for help while doing my homework, even when I needed it. For reasons beyond my own explanations, I found it more enjoyable to figure out myself, even if I were wrong.
It is good to be independent. Not relying on what the world tells me to do allows for the crazy adventure of God’s calling in my life. It is good to know your dreams and goals without the approval needed from others. Being content following your own thing is spectacular.
However, even though there is some evidence that provides valid reasons why independence is a marvelous characteristic, it has not always been good to me when it comes to my relationship with God. The idea of someone or something else being in charge of my life has been repeated difficult for me. It is like having a parent. They provide support, comfort, and love. Yet, they also have strict rules to follow, opinions about things you don’t agree with, and worst of all control over you and your life. All things that make me squirm in my seat. (Though don’t get me wrong I adore my parents).
Though the more I think about it. I realize that I am not the first human to struggle with this idea of desired freedom and absence of authority. In fact, not only was I not the first but the first humans were the first.
Confused? Let me explain.
It was Adam and Eve who craved independence from God. A choice that cost them the ability to walk with God and the beauty of the garden was no longer at their fingertips. Life suddenly became harder, more painful, and full of sorrow. God was still present after their bold declaration of independence, but not in the same way he was before.
3 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.8 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. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked;so I hid.”11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[i] and hers;
he will crush[j] your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
20 Adam[k] named his wife Eve,[l] because she would become the mother of all the living.21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[m] of the Garden of Eden cherubimand a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life”.
WOW! That is pretty intense. While I have heard the story of the desolation of the first man and woman I never thought about what they were seeking when they disobeyed God. They were searching for a life with the absence of God. A life of independence.
Evil is the absence of God. Without God there is darkness. When we are independent we are distant from God. Therefore, darkness and destruction will inevitability enter our lives.God is life. The opposite of life is death. With the absence of God there is an absence of life resulting in death.
Wander freely. Live abundantly, but never wander or live distantly from the creator. He is here ready for you to invite him into your independent lifestyle. God wants to go on this journey with you.
Be independent in your individualism, but dependent on God.