People want things to go well for the most part. There is something about having some health of body, mind and spirit that is appealing. And there is something that appeals to people about having a little bad. You have probably heard of the good girl who wants the bad boy. It is as if the “bad” includes adventure and excitement and the “good” is boring and uninteresting.
May I start at the beginning? OK, good. In the beginning God. Yes, that is the beginning. God. Amazing, creative, exciting, brilliant, resourceful, energetic and sold on the idea that a special being could be made who would be a precious prize. A being not unlike God in many ways was made both male and female. In the world made for them a beautiful garden filled with the most wondrous plants and creatures was their home. Discovery and adventure and innovation awaited them every day. And in this place God would meet with them. There was a relationship to the very Creator who loved them dearly. But the idea of “bad” seemed better than “good.” They tossed the relationship with their God aside wanting to taste the forbidden fruit. As a result Paradise was closed to them. The walks with God in the cool of the evening in the Garden ended. They chose to turn away from God and were sent East of Eden away from the glories they had known.
What awaited them there? One son murdered another as the bad was trying to destroy the good. God still manifested Himself and invited those who would hear Him. But the tyranny of evil continued until a handful of those right with God boarded a boat filled with God’s creatures and sailed into a new sunrise on the other side of the rainbow.
God was offering an opportunity for his human masterpieces to come close and enjoy His company. Some did. Some chose another path. And so it continues to this day.
The enemy who is called Satan or the Devil desires to steal the good life from people, to destroy them now and for eternity and to keep them from getting close to God. The lie which is so easily accepted is that life with the enemy is better than life with God. The people who don’t know God are of course blind enough to think the enemy is an angel of light and of stellar intellectual ability and so much more tolerant and fun than what the God of the Bible could be. And, so, as we say, they swallow the enemy’s lie hook, line and sinker. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to set people free.
But to choose. Oh, to choose. That is the burden. To turn down the forbidden fruit and enjoy closeness to God is a choice given to the first of all humans as it is to you today.
Modern language includes the idea of edginess. Being edgy is to challenge societal norms and reveal the dark side. It is cutting edge. Hmm…is there the scent of forbidden fruit in that kind of edginess?
Is it possible that those who name the name of Jesus instead of drawing close to Him choose to be edgy Christians?
Jesus lets us know in order to enjoy the best life, the most incredible adventure, the most dynamic and meaningful life He is the way. He reminds us to reset all our priorities to seek first God’s kingdom, to love God with everything we have and to let love flow from us to others. It would seem with His insight it would be enough to put aside everything else and walk…no, run His way. But to go His way is to choose. It is to acknowledge that He has told the truth and is trustworthy. For the edgy Christian Jesus is nice, but not all that edgy…no “bad boy” you know.
Imagine the edgy “bad boy” Christian trying to accomplish this encouraging word from Paul: never get tired of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NLT) Or imagine the Christian bad boy or girl trying to do God’s will: God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NLT) Serial sexual relationships or living together is the sign of Christian tolerance to many, but it is far from God’s will and leads to being East of Eden. What of self-seeking, attention getting, attraction baiting? For many an edgy Christian it is in decorating their body to be seen. What are hair styles, clothing, tattoos and piercings but decorations. Decorations of the body can be used to honor the God who made the body or to be edgy and let others know it. It isn’t a new issue Peter addressed this in the first century. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within…1 Peter 3:3-4 (NLT) God has more for His people than they can imagine, but often they don’t “wait upon the Lord to renew their strength” so they can mount up with wings as eagles. The enemy’s song calls the unwary Christian into accepting the lies and they miss God’s best and go East of Eden with the rest.
If you have stumbled, struggled, or dragged your feet it is time to choose. What will it be? Close to God or East of Eden? How will you use your time? Close to God or East of Eden? With what will you fill your mind? Close to God or East of Eden? Will you immerse yourself with God or with the world? What is your priority to love God with all you are or to be seen as edgy? This is the day of decision. God is aware of where you are and where you have been. He is inviting you to come close. What will it be close to God or East of Eden?
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NLT)