Last week I finished reading a 20-day book titled “Soul Food” by Havilah Cunnington. The book is a spiritual guide to a satisfied soul. As a side note, if you’re not familiar with Havilah, I encourage you to look her up – you will not be disappointed.
Soul Food is a Bible study journal through four meals in the Bible and how they reveal the four different soul ‘hungers’ we each have. Apples & Trees are our hunger pains for love and worthiness. Bread & Wine are our hunger pains for acceptance and belonging. Milk & Honey are our hunger pains to grow and become. Fish & Loaves are our hunger pains to contribute and to bless.
To me, the meal of Apples & Trees is the number one thing that keeps us from going deeper with our Father. Directly put, many of us struggle with SHAME.
We read in Genesis that God provided Adam and Eve with everything that they needed. He communed with them! We were and still are the ultimate object of His love! Our destiny was to live in close fellowship with God forever!
In the Garden, before the apple, there was nothing that was hidden from them and God. No shame and no questioning His love for them. Then along comes the enemy. Isn’t it just like him to come in and twist the truth to try and impart doubt? Even with Eve having everything, she chose to give into those lies and that is when everything changed. Immediately shame entered their hearts.
Then just like every day, God walked into the garden calling and searching for them, but they hid in shame, afraid that God would see them as they were in that moment. My favorite part in this passage is that even though you know the Father was hurt by their actions and knew there would be consequences, he didn’t leave them in their nakedness! It says in verse 21 (Genesis 3) that he made them garments and clothed them! Wow!
How many times do we give into the lies that the enemy lays before us and then feel the weight of shame which, at times feels too much to bare. This can leave us running away from God instead of towards Him. Verse 21 is such an awesome picture that even on our worst days, we can run to God and he will pick us up and clothe us! Clothe us with love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness! I know in my personal life when shame entered I ran away from God instead of to Him. This only resulted in more shame. This is one way the enemy uses to deceive. He says, “Look what you done! - No one will want you now! - God is so angry with you!” But those are FAR from the truth!
We were created out of love for love! If you are dealing with shame today, I encourage you to run straight into our Father’s arms! He is waiting with them open to pick you up and restore you! You are not defined by a moment! The wooing you feel from the Holy Spirit is not to be brought in for harsh punishment, but an invitation for our Father to lavish His love on you! Stop letting shame keep you from communing with your creator!