It’s easy to resist God
Had Adam and Eve existed in the health and safety culture of the 21st century UK there would have been dayglow signs around the tree warning of the dangers and security cameras everywhere. Any approach would be immediately detected and a fast car with flashing blue lights dispatched. As she reached for the fruit she would have been tasered and the fall of man and creation would have been averted…phew! What a risk to put such a powerful tree in such an accessible unmonitored and un- controlled place.
Have you ever wondered how Jacob wrestled with God and prevailed? Surely the almighty could have squished a million Jacobs with a flick of His eyelid, what’s with the wrestling all night deal. Surely every bookie lost money on that fight?
In Exodus 19 God offers the whole house of Israel the opportunity to be ‘a kingdom of priests’ (vs 6) but when they saw the burning mountain they said to Moses ‘speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die’ (Ex 20;19). They backed off and they ended up with a priesthood rather than being a nation of priests.
You can fight God and win. You can hear God and he won’t make you do it. He can offer you blessing and if you back away he won’t push it on you. He can be quenched and resisted, yet He is omnipotent and sovereign.
Where then do we get the idea of sovereignty that says basically ‘if it’s God’s will it will just happen; it will happen to me or around me then I will change’. God isn’t going to make us do anything. He wants our hearts. We change through co-operation not observation. Although he is the most powerful being he is possibly the least forceful, for He is looking for responsiveness. He is looking for relationship he is looking for partnership. Such is his commitment to this that at times he will let us win the wrestling match and still bless us.
I would suggest that we can shape our level of relationship with Him through our responses. He will offer us things, and if we refuse, over time he will bless us and love us, but our relationship will be poorer than it could have been. However, as we respond to His invitations, however subtle we enter whole new spheres of revelation, because in the Father’s house are many rooms.