So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:23-24 NLT
Sometimes the best help we can offer someone is to let them fall.
Yes, our heart wants to help, to lift up, to serve and meet the needs of those around us – but being an effective servant of the Lord requires discipline and discernment in addition to sacrifice.
Many lessons are taught best in the fiery trials of life experience. Telling someone what is best just doesn’t seem to prove as effective of a teacher as letting someone encounter the consequences of their poor choices.
We can’t be afraid of our children being mad at us over our making good patenting decisions that are in opposition to their “wants” but are in line with what they actually “need” – and we can do more harm to them if we protect them from the consequences before they have the opportunity to learn the correct lesson.
God is not an enabler of sin. Jesus Christ didn’t come to forgive us so we could just keep on sinning with no consequences. No, the Bible teaches us that the church will be judged first, and that teachers will be held to an even higher standard. Biblically speaking, Jesus is not the way to avoid facing judgement – He is the way to prepare us for the judgement that lies ahead. He is not our “get out of hell free card”, He is our “prepare us for righteous living” guide and comforter.
His rod and His staff, His correction, is meant to comfort us and teach us those hard lessons that are quite contrary to our carnal, worldly, selfish nature. He doesn’t say come step into an easy, leisurely, prosperous life – He bids us to come, bear our cross, bear the burdens of others, lay down our lives, and follow Him.
It sounds scary. It sounds painful. It sounds like foolish sacrifice. But its rewards are unexplainable and immeasurable – when we aren’t seeking the rewards with our eyes but we are willing to seek Him with our hearts and lives. He is actually revealing Himself to us through these fiery trials and challenges and temptations – and we choose either spirit or flesh truly is the desire of our heart by what we choose to cling to.
Yes, He let us fall. So that He could raise us back up. So that we like Christ can be raised to life. Have you been raised to life? Is your faith being tried and tested so it can be proven trustworthy? Will your life today serve and honor God in grattitude for the new life you are given? Will your light shine brightly against the darkness?
Or are you still outside the gate, feeling separated from the Lord? He hasn’t left you abandoned. Cry out to Him and listen for His quiet, peaceful voice. Search Him out in the Word of God. Seek His face in prayer and He will reveal Himself to you, friend. And be prepared for the lessons, the change, the trials that put you in opposition to the normal flow of the world.