Joy · Life Issues

God Says “No” for Your Joy

The only time God gives us restrictions or prohibitions is for our joy. He never says “no” to us unless “no” will make us ultimately happier.

Back in Eden, before the horrible fall, the only prohibition God placed on Adam was this:

“You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16–17)
Adam, you have complete freedom to eat of every single tree in the entire garden except for the one tree that will kill your joy.

A Liberating Prohibition

This prohibition was a profound expression of God’s love for Adam in warning him against terrible harm. It was also an opportunity for Adam to express his love for God through trusting and obeying him. It was a liberating prohibition. As long as Adam believed it was an expression of God’s love, it would guard Adam from becoming a slave of sin (John 8:34) and of the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15). It was an expansive restriction, keeping all the best options for Adam’s enjoyment available to him, as he refrained from the one tree.

But he didn’t. Adam and Eve believed the seductive lie and ate from the one restricted tree. They transgressed the one gracious law and did not heed the one loving “no.” They (and all of us in them) lost the garden, Read More…


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