Trust in Divine Power
OUR national mental status appears to be shaky. Depression, despair,
stress, anxiety, anger, revenge, prolonged grief, jealousy, and apathy abound.
Many others could be listed. These can be powerful disease triggers. The results
of a national survey by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
indicated that 25 percent of the population admitted to being under a major
degree of stress. One source estimated that perhaps one-third of Americans could
be considered men-tally healthy.
If a partial list were to be composed of physical diseases with apparent
psychological components, it would look something like this: allergies, asthma,
angina, arthritis, back pain, cancer, hair and scalp problems, headaches, heart
disease, hypertension, insomnia, impotence, irritable bowel syndrome, skin
problems, and ulcers. It has been estimated that 75 percent of all complaints
that patients present are stress related.
How does our mind contribute to disease? Negative emotions trigger the
release of certain hormones and stimulate the nervous system in such a way as to
put stress on the various organs in the body. As these organs are subjected to
this stress over long periods of time they become weakened. Once weakened they
are more susceptible to disease processes invading from without or being
triggered from within. Which organs are affected first, and to what degree,
depends upon the person's heredity, constitution, environment, and lifestyle. By
the lime symptoms of disease occur it is often difficult to trace them from
cause to effect and to know for sure which risk factors played the primary role
in the disease process.
The third chapter of Genesis in the Bible tells us the origin of mankind's
problems and God's remedy for our situation. Genesis, chapter 3, begins with Eve
being led into disobedience. She was deceived, yet the decision was hers to go
against what God had said. She then proceeded to involve Adam in disobeying God.
Adam was not deceived, yet he, too, chose to join his wife in disobeying his
Immediately they sensed a change in themselves. It was not the change for the
better that their deceiver had promised. Instead, it was a change for the worse.
For the first time they felt shame and guilt. They tried to cover themselves by
making aprons out of fig leaves. They hid themselves from God and were afraid.
When God found them and started questioning them, they began shifting the blame.
They would not admit any personal responsibility. Does this little scenario
sound familiar? It should. Feelings of guilt, fear, and inadequacy accurately
portray the sad condition of humanity. These feelings lead us to 'want to
escape. We blame others, all the while seeking to cover up our own deficiencies.
Our futile attempts at escapism and coping do not always degenerate to the
lowest levels of physical combat, tongue lashings, promiscuity, or criminal
behavior. They may assume an air of respectfulness--a little pride, a little
self-indulgence, a white lie, a cutting remark that we really didn't mean to be
taken seriously. Just like Adam and Eve, our disobedience to God's will has
broken our peace with Him. Unless we are at peace with God we can never be at
peace with ourselves or with our fellow human beings. The worst deception that
could befall a person then, would be to think he is at peace with God when he is
not, to think he has the solution to life's problems when he really doesn't.
Many do not recognize it, but they themselves, along with the whole human
family, have repeated our first parents' failure and are terminally ill. The
Bible defines this illness as sin, but many seem not to be interested in the
But for those who do recognize that they have a need and who desire the
remedy, God has just the solution. The solution is contained in a promise. In
Genesis, chapter 3, God said that He would plant within us a hatred of evil, and
that one day good would win over evil. He appointed toil and suffering as a
means of developing self-discipline in us so that the evil results of sin
already set in motion might be curtailed to some extent. And finally God did an
interesting thing. Out of animal skins He made Adam and Eve a suit of clothes
and dressed them Himself.
Wouldn't fig leaves work just as well as animal skins for clothes? Not too
many people would think so today. God wanted them (and us) to realize that what
they (we) had lost could not be replaced by anything of their (our) own design
or devising. They (we) needed a covering crafted by God Himself. In sinning they
had lost their righteousness. They had sold out their integrity. A divine plan,
rather than a human plan, was needed to resolve the problems.
Now, recall that it was God who created Adam and Eve in the beginning.
Therefore everything they had originally came from God, including their
righteousness or goodness--pure, untainted, heaven-inclined mind with no gap
between knowing what should be done and doing it. Since what they had lost had
been put in them by God, it is clear that only God could put it back. They could
no more recreate their minds than they could call a world into existence. They
were totally helpless and dependent upon God to restore them. And God did
restore them on the spot. No sooner was there an emergency than God was there
with the remedy. However, this restoration was conditional upon two things.
First, faith in a Redeemer that was to come, and second, their own willingness
to render continuing obedience in the future. Every person ever born would have
to meet these same two conditions laid down for Adam and Eve in order to be
restored. This restoration cannot be inherited; it must be accepted by each
This beautiful truth about God's rescue efforts in our behalf is recorded all
through the Bible. Prophets have seen it in vision and poets have written about
"And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of
the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the lord said
unto Satan, the Lord rebuke thee, 0 Satan; even the lord that hath chosen
Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua
was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered
and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, take away the filthy
garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to
pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment. And I said, Let
them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and
clothed him with garments. And the angel of the lord stood by." Zechariah
"I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was a robe and a
diadem." Job 29:14
This same truth, that God restores us to moral uprightness, is illustrated in
the New Testament Scriptures as well. In the Gospel of Matthew there is recorded
a parable Jesus told about a king who sent his servants Out to invite
everyone they could find to come to his son's marriage.
"And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which
had not on a wedding garment: And he said unto him, Friend, how comest thou in
hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless." Matthew
The parable may seem absurd until one realizes the reason for the king's
displeasure. There was no excuse for the guest not to have a wedding garment on
because the king himself had provided wedding garments for all the guests. The
only thing they had to do was to put them On. There was no excuse to neglect the
"Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take
him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing
of teeth." Matthew 22:13. Just as the ungrateful guest was excluded from
the king's wedding, so all those who neglect to put on Christ's righteousness,
and instead depend upon their own fig-leaf garments, their good deeds, will meet
with similar tragic consequences.
All of the human inventions to make us better people are insufficient to
remake one soul into the image of God, much less save an entire planet. Only
Christ's righteousness, the covering crafted for us by God Himself, is able to
heal the wounds caused by sin and to change the course of our life.
There is one other aspect of God's act in clothing Adam and Eve with skins
that must be mentioned. It is the crux of the whole transaction. In fact, it is
the center and focus of the whole Bible. You see, in order for God to obtain
those skins, some animal must die. An innocent creature had to give its life so
that Adam and Eve could be clothed. What did it mean? The lamb was a symbol of
God's Son, Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul describes it simply:
"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
In order to be able to forgive our sins, to clothe us in His righteousness
and to provide us the grace necessary to keep God's law, Christ had to become a
man, live a perfect life of obedience on this earth and then suffer the
punishment for our sins. Christ succeeded in His mission, just as the Old
Testament prophecies said that He would. Christ's victorious life means that we
also can have victory over sin by exercising faith in Him. Christ's resurrection
is the Christian's assurance of receiving immortality and a perfectly whole body
at the resurrection of the just when Jesus returns in the near future. Anciently
these truths were taught by means of a system of sacrificial types and symbols.
These "shadows" pointed forward to Christ's incarnation, life, death,
resurrection, and heavenly minis-try. Now our faith can be based on the reality
of an accomplished fact, not just a shadow of something to look forward to.
There are many questions that come to mind, such as "Why?" The
answer them all here would not be possible. If you have questions, write to us.
We'd love to hear from you. The answers are in the Bible. What we have dealt
with here, in a small way, is the issue of trust. misting God enough to
surrender your life to Him. misting Him with your fig-leaf, Band-Aid,
do-it-yourself, patchwork of human inventions and self-help theories, and
letting Him place upon you His perfect royal robe of His own righteousness.
Being thus clothed means we have His mind in us. We have His power to overcome
sin, and all the problems that sin causes. The gap between knowing and doing is
bridged. We can carry Out our good intentions. Positive thoughts and emotions
replace the negative.
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I
have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against
such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with
the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the
Spirit." Galatians 5:19-25
God's Son suffered intensely, more than we can know, so that He could have
the joy of seeing us clothed in His righteousness. His entire life was one of
self-sacrifice. Finally, He was tortured and crucified on a cruel cross. What
reward does He want for this sacrifice? All He ever desired was the joy of
providing a way for us to live new lives now and at last to be reunited with Him
on that brighter shore of eternity. Then God's original plan in creating Adam
and Eve will be realized. We with them will enjoy the heavenly reward unhindered
and uninterrupted forever.
Perhaps some will think it is too late for them, or that their problems are
too complicated, or that they could never be Christians. Away with such
thinking. Rust Him all the way and see the salvation of your God. "Let Him
take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make
peace with me." Isaiah 27:5
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me
shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never ......... All that
the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me will in no wise
cast out." John 6:35,37
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say,
Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the
water of life freely." Revelation 22:17