Radical Obedience: Portrait of Eve, Part 3
What does this mean?
AHHH!!! What if I’m not married? What if I don’t feel called to be married? What if I don’t have children? What if I don’t want children?
Don’t panic! I’m not going to write today about why you should or shouldn’t be married or why you should or shouldn’t have children. I am going to right about Biblical fruitfulness and how this applies to today’s unique Christian woman.
Dictionary.com defines fruitfulness (n.) 1. producing good results; beneficial; productiveness, 2) abounding in fruit, as in trees or plants, bearing fruit abundantly, and 3) producing abundant growth
The original Hebrew term here for fruit, fruit-producing, or fruitfulness is peri - “to bear fruit and to be fruitful.” The Greek equivalent is karpos or karpov, meaning “literally of fruit, offspring, and figuratively of the…” good or bad “consequence of physical, mental, or spiritual action.” See Source
God’s words to Adam and Eve are commanding and authoritative, but they are meant as a blessing. Consider how a parent might say to a child, “Maintain good grades in school and help out with chores around the house and you’ll get a weekly allowance.” Does this parent hate the child? Is this parent being mean or unreasonable? No! The allowance is a blessing of following the parent’s rules. The allowance is a blessing of working hard in school and serving the parents. God exercises His authority with us, giving us commands and expecting us to follow them, but our obedience is met with His blessing. Deuteronomy 5:33; Psalm 128:1;
TO BE FRUITFUL REQUIRES RADICAL OBEDIENCE
In Deuteronomy 10:12-14, the Lord is speaking to Moses and giving him and the people of Israel a call to commitment to the Lord. He says,
“ And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.”
What insight do these verses help us gain? I’ll be breaking this down over the next couple weeks.
Point 1 : God calls us to fear the Lord.
Eve gives us a bad example of fear when she and Adam sin and then hide from God, trembling, in the garden. Biblical fear of the Lord is giving God the awe and reverence due His name and each member of His Personhood in the Trinity. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology argues that:
“Fear as a response to God and his deeds is so important an aspect of biblical faith and life… the fear of the Lord is an inducement to obedience and service: to fear God is to do his will… The Lord as King demands and deserves the awesome respect of his people, a respect that issues in obedient service.”
The Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10). To fear God …
>allows us to enjoy the benefits and blessings of being in Him (Deuteronomy 11 – talks about the blessings upon Israel if they obey God which is applicable to us; 2 Samuel 22:25-27;Psalm 24:4-6; Psalm 34:9; Psalm 103:11, 13, 17 )
However, the Bible warns us of the flip-side of this fear – fear of God’s wrath and judgment on those who don’t know Him and refuse to walk in obedience according to His Word. This is what causes Adam and Eve to run away and hide from God in the Garden. In their cowardice, they were unable to face God and the consequences directly, refused to take responsibility for their actions, and were afraid of God’s judgment.
There is also false fear of God as mentioned in Isaiah 29:13-14 – this kind of fear is not God-honoring and is false flattery of God. God requires true heart worship!
As a redeemed Eve, you can claim the benefits and blessings of a healthy relationship of fear, awe, and respect with God the Father because of the completely finished redemptive work through His Son, Jesus Christ on the cross!
We don’t have to run away from God in fear of the consequences because we know and can claim these truth in our hearts: “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death,” and “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.“
The Gospel Message
Can you imagine a God who loves you so much and knows you so intimately…
…who sends His One and Only Son to live on this earth over 2000 years ago, to live a perfect life and lead by example, who was fully God and fully human and experienced all the temptations that you or I might have…
…and this Son, He dies on your behalf, a sinner’s death, a criminal’s death, crucified on a Roman cross, rejected by His own people, who demanded He be put to death because they thought Him a blasphemer and a pretender, betrayed by one of His own disciples…
… this Son, He lay in the grave for three days -dead… gone…
…and then rose again from the grave on the third day, victorious, not only over physical death, but eternal death…
…by His death we have been redeemed and healed…
…we have a right relationship with the Father…
we’ve been justified – we owe nothing – zip zilch nada nothing – because He paid the price for us?
And the story doesn’t end there!
This Son of God rose victorious to heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father, reigning on High, the King of all the universe…
…and yet He chooses to live within our hearts today, guiding us in His ways and leading us in righteousness so that one day we might be reunited with Him and live together forever into eternity!
But eternity starts right now – it’s not just some far off distant future – it’s not just someday – it’s RIGHT NOW!
We can live in God and enjoy His benefits and blessings now on this sinful fallen earth when we choose to obey Him out of love and serve Him with gladness in our hearts.
There’s no other god who does this in all of history, nor will there ever be! Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, our Savior, our Friend, and our Lover, and God the Father loves us with an everlasting, purifying, radical, life-changing, earth-shattering love!
Doesn’t that make you want to be a woman of God? Doesn’t that make you want to dance for joy and praise Him forever?
1) To be fruitful means we obey God. 2) Obeying God requires a healthy fear of Him. 3) When we obey God, we receive benefits and blessings. 4) When we disobey God, we need to face the negative consequences of our actions. 5) But for those of us in Christ Jesus, we don’t need to fear God or run away because He is faithful to forgive us our sins and continually purify us, molding us into a person more and more like Him.
Bottom Line: God calls us to radical obedience – giving up everything to follow Him; radical obedience produces fruitfulness; and radical obedience promises us a radical gift – everlasting life!
If something I wrote today really stirs your heart, please feel free to share it below….
If you are not in the Lord and you do not follow His ways, you are in danger of eternal judgment. There’s no formula for salvation, but there are some basic principles to follow.
1) Believe in the authority of God’s Word and the power of Jesus Christ’s redemptive work on the cross and claim it to be true in your heart,
2) Confess your sinfulness to God and ask Him to replace the fruit of sin in your life with the fruit of righteousness – a life worthy of being called His daughter, and
3) and Seek out someone today – a Christian pastor, mentor, or friend – and ask them to help guide you through the beginning steps of a redeemed Eve.
I’d be more than happy and would be honored to answer any of your questions to the best of my God-given ability and knowledge, to personally pray for you and with you, and to help you on your way in the early stages of growing in the Lord and sanctification – but I do believe in the critical importance of having a Christian mentor physically present who can get you going, work with you and guide you through what it means to have a life in Christ.
What does fearing God look like in your own life? Do you understand what it means to fear the Lord? How are you actively living a life of passion, joy, and love for your God and King, the Love of your life?
1. What We Were Designed For A Portrait of Eve introduction – the woman you were created to be.
2. Under the Arm and Near the Heart Part 1 – A position of honor and glory and a look at what it means to be a help-meet
3. The Scary “S” Word Part 2 – Did submission exist prior to the Fall? And what does it mean to be submissive in marriage?