Satan does not tempt us to be evil like him but to be like God.
In this story, we see…
THE 3 BASIC FEARS THAT RUIN RELATIONSHIPS
How Our Fears Ruin Relationships
1. MY FEAR OF EXPOSURE MAKES ME DISTANT
Why can’t I get close to people? To get intimate?
Intimacy-into me see!
Truth: There’s a lot you don’t like about you and since you don’t accept it, you don’t
want others to see it because they might reject it too!
GEN. 3:9-10 “God called to Adam, ‘Why are you hiding?’ Adam said, ‘I was
afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'”
God always knows the answer to Qs he asks you He just wants YOU to admit it.
– own up
In denial there is no recovery and no transformation.
– Fear always causes us to hide!
– I wonder what you are hiding from today?
– What are you pretending not to know? That is not a problem? Because you are afraid of facing the truth?
With fear, God always wants me to FACE it, not fake it.
Circle “naked” = exposed, uncovered, vulnerable,out in the open, unprotected! Scary!
You are never more open than when you are naked.
One of your deepest: fears of being seen for what you really are
Note the damage fear does to relationship happens in 3 stages:
Phase 1: SHAME
VS. 7A “They suddenly felt shame at their nakedness” NLT
Fear is often based in shame.
When you carry shame you are easily embarrassed
Shame makes you more self-conscious… nervous …fearful of humiliation… easily mortified
Phase 2: THE COVER UP – we try to conceal our true selves
VS. 7B “So they sewed fig leaves to cover up themselves.”
Today we have more ways sophisticated ways to cover up!
But we ALL still do it.
What ways do you use to cover up your fears?
– Humor? (funny, but dont let people get close)
– Present an image of being put-together?
– way you dress.. car … words you use..
– A lot of people hide behind an online image
PHASE 3: DISTANCE FROM GOD
VS. 8 “Then they hid from God among the trees.”
God doesn’t expect perfect, he expects honesty.
Why am I afraid to tell you who I really am?
2. MY FEAR OF DISAPPROVAL MAKES ME DEFENSIVE
We move from hiding to hurling, from excusing to accusing…
We start blaming, attacking, pointing fingers “But you did..”
The more critical the person is the more they fear disapproval!
FACT: The more I fear disapproval, the more I’ll point at others.
GEN. 3:12 “God asked, ‘Did you eat … what I told you not to eat?’ Adam answered, ‘YOU gave me this woman and SHE gave me the fruit!’
Adam took it like a man and blamed God and Eve!
Blame is spelled B-Lame
Eve wasn’t any more willing to accept responsibility!
GEN. 3:13 “Then Eve said, ‘The SNAKE tricked me into eating!” (TEV)
My fear of disapproval makes me defensive! You explain, excuse, blame etc.
3. MY FEAR OF LOSING CONTROL MAKES ME DEMANDING
The result of sin- Adam & Eve lost control over their future.
They got kicked out of paradise. They lost their advantage.
The more out-of-control you feel- the more controlling you become. (Bullies)
Defending, demanding, demeaning, dominating, becoming passive aggressive.
Secure people do not have to have their way all the time.
The more insecure you are- the greater your need to get your way!
VS. 16 “… You’ll have yearning for your husband, but he will lord it over you…” (NJB) … he will dominate you …” (Ber)
This is where the war between the sexes began… all the misunderstanding, confusion and conflict started! All the tit for tat, the jockeying for power .
Competing and not complementing or cooperating.
What’s the antidote? LOVE!
LEARN TO LIVE IN GOD’S LOVE
1 JN 4:18A “Wherever God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out all fear.” (NCV)
Do you want fear out of your work, home, sports, school you must get God’s love in!
Love is the opposite of fear!
Let love in the front door and fear goes out the back door!
1 JN 4:18B “It is the thought of punishment (negative consequences) that makes a person fearful.” (NCV)
– afraid to be yourself
– afraid to tell the truth
– afraid to share the last 10% that will make the difference
How do I learn to LIVE in God’s love? 3 daily choices
1. EVERYDAY SURRENDER MY HEART TO GOD
God is love. The closer I get to God , the more loving I’ll be.
The further… more fearful…
JOB 11:13-18 “Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins— even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. Then you’ll rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry! (CEV)
3 COMMANDS & 8 PROMISES!
1. Surrender your heart
2. Turn to God in Prayer
3. Give up your sins
1. No Shame
4. Troubles wash away
5. Darkness turns to lIght
6. Rest safe & Secure
7. Filled with Hope
8. Emptied of worry
2. EVERYDAY REMEMBER THE WAYS GOD LOVES ME
A. I’M COMPLETELY ACCEPTED
The deepest wounds are often aused by rejection
So we spend much of our lives trying to earn acceptance:
from parents…peers…those we respect… those we envy even total strangers
MYTH: “If I could be perfect, then everyone will like me!”
Well- Jesus was perfect- yet rejected!
No matter who you are or what you do. There will be people who do not like you
or what you do or the way you do it!
Don’t always be worried about your approval rating!
Bible: This issue is already settled!
TITUS 3:7 “Jesus made us acceptable to God.” (CEV)
B. I’M UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED
2 characteristics of God’s love
IT’S CONSISTENT – not fickle/unpredictable
Inconsistent parents create insecure children
IT’S UNCONDITIONAL. Not “I love you if… because..”
Never need to ask: Will God love me today? (did I pray enough?)
We always get into trouble when we doubt God’s love!
ISA. 54:10 “My love for you will never end says the Lord”
C. I’M TOTALLY FORGIVEN
Before God made you…He already knew-worst things you would do and He
still loves you!
ROM. 8:1″There is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus
Sins wiped out!
God Doesn’t rehearse it – he releases it!
D. I’M CONSIDERED EXTREMELY VALUABLE
How much do you think you’re worth?
What makes something valuable?
1st, Value depends on who owns it
At auctions- things owned by celebrities cost more
Car owned by someone famous be worth more than yours?
The owner often adds value to common things!
Who do you belong to? to God!
2nd, Value depends on what someone is willing to pay for it
How much is your house worth?- whatever…
I COR. 7:23 You’ve been bought and paid for by Christ’s death
3. EVERYDAY OFFER THAT SAME LOVE TO OTHERS
JN. 13:34 “I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you.” (GW)
ROM. 15:7 “Accept one another JUST AS Christ accepted you.”
What does this mean?
Accept others like Jesus accepts me!
Love others like Jesus loves me!
Forgive others like Jesus forgives me!
Value others like Jesus values me!
Would that transform your relationships?
Book: How to Make People Really Feel Loved.
Best advice is…
If you want to become a great lover:
1 COR. 13:7 “Love never stops being patient, Love never stops believing, Love never stops hoping, Love never
gives up!” (GW)
This is how God loves you! He never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up!
REAL LOVE DOES 4 THINGS
– extends grace…
– expresses faith…
– expects the best …
– endures the worst…
When I say this say God I agree with this.
Dear God, I admit that I have made a mess in my relationships. They’re complicated, they’re broken, they’re not the best. I’ve often settled for less than the best and they need a transformation. I’d like you to begin by changing me. Deliver me from these three fears that I’ve learned about today. I can see how they make me distant and defensive and even demanding. So today and each day from now on I want to surrender my heart to you. I’m doing this right now. I surrender my heart to you. Just say that “God, I surrender my heart to you.” I want to learn to live my life in your love. Filled with your love. Please replace my shame with your love. When I’m afraid to let others see the real me remind me of how you see me. Say this. Thank you that you accept me completely. Say, thank you that you love me unconditionally. Say, thank you that you forgive me totally. Say, thank you that you paid such a high price to save me. Dear God, help me to accept others just as you’ve accepted me. Help me to love others unconditionally just as you have loved me. And help me to forgive others totally just as you’ve forgiven me. And help me to value others as much as you value me. Say, dear God I want to be known as a loving person. I want to be a great lover. So help me to extend grace to the people around me. And help me to express faith in the people around me. And help me to expect the best in the people around me. And help me to endure the worst when it happens. I want to live my life in love and I humbly ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.