Recently a friend shared, “We love it whenever we hear you’re going to come talk… because we never know what you’re going to do next!” I think my latest staff training workshop just took that to a whole new level!
I was asked to share on Trusting God With Who He Says I Am. As I was preparing for this, the Lord laid it on my heart to get modeling clay and ask each person as we read Genesis 2 to hand fashion Adam… anatomically correct! That most certainly raised some eyebrows!
But we truly were walking through Genesis 2 in a hands on way and the Bible says he was naked. We should never be ashamed of anything the Lord was not ashamed to create! Especially after He declared it good!
Twice while preparing to film purity videos for Christian organizations I’ve been asked to eliminate anatomically correct terms. Can I just say it seems the whole world is talking about sex – it’s on TV, pictured on billboards, there are detailed articles in magazines, it’s even featured on bumper stickers! It’s so vitally important believers can talk about this!
God is the one who made us sexual beings – whether you’re married or not, or involved with someone else or not, this is part of how you have wonderfully been created by the Lord! Satan loves it when we think everything sexual comes from him! But that’s not true!
Years ago NavPress published an incredible series by Stan and Brenna Jones entitled, “How and When To Tell Your Kids About Sex: A Lifelong Approach To Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Character.” One key premise in this book is to not wait for “the talk” until your children hit puberty, but to learn to be conversant about sexuality as they grow – and it starts with using anatomically correct terms for the body parts the Lord has created and given to us even when they are babies!
So amidst giggles (yes, we discussed whether they had belly buttons!)…
each person started hand fashioning their Adam – it’s amazing how something so simple can really make scripture come alive! Does it ever hit home as you’re doing this how close and personal and involved the Lord was in this process!
Want to give it a try? You can get a bunch of modeling clay for a dollar at Dollar Tree! I encourage people to use one stick of modeling clay for fashioning one person! It doesn’t take a lot of material, but does it ever require time, attention, detail, your hands getting messy… and we were just fashioning the outside of a person! This is one of the best ways I know to meditate! Where you are actively pondering and experiencing scripture in a hands on way!
So then I had them take their Adam and breathe into him the way the Lord did to make him come alive. (oh how I wish I could figure out a way to use balloons and straws inside the modeling clay to re-enact at least part of this! ;0) But even in this limited way, you get the idea of the closeness of the Lord. Have you ever thought as God breathes in to Adam and he becomes a living being – man’s very first memories, the first thing he sees, his first awareness is of God in close proximity to him!
Do you realize with every breath you take, you’ve been given a reminder you need something outside of yourself to live? This is also true regarding the food we eat! In the Lord’s first words recorded after Adam is formed, He is providing for the man – food for life as well as boundaries so he can keep the life God’s just blessed him with.
Then the Lord makes a fascinating statement, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” Even before the Fall, no one was ever created to be enough on their own! We need God! And just like we need oxygen and food to live, we need others! So the Lord says He will make a helper fit for him. Note God doesn’t immediately meet this need. First he takes time to show Adam what helpers aren’t fit for him.
Picture the last time you went to a zoo. What would it be like to name all the animals in there? Especially if you keep hoping each one might be that helper…! (And can I just share for my single friends, even before the Fall Adam knew what it was like to check out potential helpers and keep discovering, “Nope, not that one…” God had a purpose in this!) Instead, Adam is seeing how each animal has a helper that is suitable for it. The wisdom of God in designing each pair is paraded before him.
Then the Lord causes a deep sleep to fall upon the man. Here we lay down our modeling clay “Adams” so they can sleep and then take a portion – a rib – from his side and fashion the woman – and yes since we can’t make something out of nothing like God can, we take a second stick of modeling clay to add to the “rib” and then fashion her.
Now God could’ve made the woman and left her in the garden for the man to find when he woke up – but he didn’t, did he? God brought her to the man. Why?
Do you realize the man didn’t have to accept her. He could’ve requested revisions or a whole different person! Check your Bible – how much time elapsed between God bringing her to the man and the man’s response?
“This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.”
Walt Kaiser says this is one of the most animated portions of Scripture!!!
The man is off the charts elated! But he hasn’t had time yet to get to know her, to learn her personality, talents, abilities, intelligence, to see if they are “compatible”… No! Immediately the man receives her with joy, not on the basis of who she is, but on the basis of who created her!!! This is totally an act of faith – God said He’d make a helper suitable for him and Adam fully trusted that’s what God did!
Do you realize we were created to be received as a gift from God? As His masterpiece! Not on the basis of what we do or don’t do, our personality, or our looks but on the basis of who He is!
Have you ever experienced acceptance like this? Do you long for this? I know I sure do!
So here’s an important thing – when people reject you, it’s not about you – but a lack of faith on the part of other people! They aren’t trusting God that His works, including you, really are wonderful!
Saddest of all, when we reject ourselves, wishing we were different, it’s not about us… but really about God, the One who created us! This is such a key reason why the enemy goes all out to attack our identity as well as our view of others in the first place. It’s not just us he’s attacking, but God! …and our view of God! For the Lord is the one who made us and made every other person around us.
Just as life comes from God, so our identity comes from Him! We are each masterpieces in process, hand fashioned by the All Wise God who has created each of us to be enough with Him and others, for all He’s created us to be and do.
Though that’s not what the enemy wants us to believe…
(To be continued…)