Gen 2:25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Adam and Eve in the garden, walking with God, who is Spirit. They could see Him, hear Him, as He could see and hear them. They had a spiritual relationship with them. Their spirit was alive at that time, and that is how they communicated with God, by their spirit connecting and communicating with His.
They were naked all the time in the Garden, but didn’t know it. Why? What does that mean?
When they disobeyed God and decided they wanted a life apart from God, their spirits died within them. They would no longer live forever with God and communicate freely with Him. Their eyes were “opened”, but opened to what? What made them all of a sudden see their own nakedness and try to cover it up?
I believe that Adam and Eve were spirit beings that lived inside bodies, as you and I do. While their spirit was alive inside of them and they enjoyed uninterrupted communion with God, I believe they saw things as God’s Spirit sees them. I believe they did not see God as a man walking around the Garden, but in His natural form, as Spirit. And I believe that they saw each other in the same way as God saw them, as spirit beings with souls housed in flesh bodies.
God says that He does not look at the outside of man, but at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). The heart is part of the soul of man (the mind, will and emotions). But how can you see into someone’s soul? By the Spirit of God. When Adam and Eve looked at each other, they saw into each other’s souls by the spirit, as God sees our soul through His Spirit.
But then they disobeyed. Their spirit died, and now, they were no longer able to see spiritually, see what was inside of themselves, each other, or God. They could only see on the outside, they could no longer understand the intention of the other person’s thoughts or words, only the face value that they would now have to try to figure out what it meant.
They no longer had communication with God, so they no longer “knew” Him, felt and experienced intuitively His character, His goodness, His faithfulness – all they knew was that He was powerful and they had disobeyed, and that there would be negative consequences to fear. Worst of all, they felt disconnected from Him, they couldn’t feel how He felt or see things as He saw them. All they had were their bodily senses and what they could see and feel and hear in the world. They were truly on their own, even disconnected from each other.
Think about how God communicates within the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They don’t communicate through words or actions, but simultaneously share thoughts and emotions. That’s why the Holy Spirit can remind you of Jesus’ words, because they are the Holy Spirit’s words. That is how Jesus can say that everything He says is from the Father. It is too great a mystery to be limited to words in a sermon, but that’s how it is nonetheless.
The Spirit does not see as we do in the natural. He is not restrained by physical substances that block our human view. He sees straight to the essence of a man or woman. It makes me think that the body is somehow transparent to God, that He bypasses it when He looks at us. He sees His design, perfectly created just as He intended it to be. He can see the flesh whenever He wants to, but I believe He chooses to see through that into our souls, our most important part, through our spirit.
How was Jesus able to see Nathaniel under the tree? How was Jesus able to see erratic Simon and call him rock solid Peter? How was Jesus able to know that the Samaritan woman was on her fifth relationship? Because He saw it by the Spirit. Obviously, seeing and hearing through spirit is not limited by proximity, how close or how far away someone is. By the spirit you can know what is going on in another person’s heart who is in another room, another state, another country even.
The Word is the expression of the mind of God, whether logos, the written word, or rhema, the word spoken directly to a person. It is empowered by God’s Spirit. That is why Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is alive and active, a two edged sword able to divide between the soul and the spirit, the bone and the marrow, discerning the thoughts, attitudes, even the intentions of your heart. That would mean that Adam and Eve could tell the intentions of each other’s hearts, without using any words.
When they could no longer see and hear by the spirit, it was like they were shut out from each other, and no longer knew the intentions of each other’s hearts. That’s why they started blaming one another when they got in trouble. Very possibly, they really believed that the other person meant to do them harm. It is the only way to explain why they would now no longer understand and even fear the God who made them and walked with them and loved them.
Imagine driving down the highway and someone comes speeding up and cuts you off. What is your response? What a jerk! They don’t care about anyone. I would never do that to anyone else.
But you have absolutely no idea what that person intended to do or why. You are completely cut off from what they were thinking and feeling, and you never will. All you can do is look from the outside and see what it reminds you of from your past.
If you were a stupid kid and a daredevil, you might think they were doing it just for excitement. If you have a habit of being late to work, you might think that’s why they did it. Maybe you figure they are on drugs. You can only judge what they were doing by what you have experienced yourself, because you are in no way connected with them. You are separate.
But what if you were suddenly connected to their innermost thoughts, emotions and desires? What if that person had a sick animal or child in the car and was rushing it to get medical care? What if they were late for a meeting that was mandatory, or they would lose their job? What if they were filled with fear and panic and dread that they might lose everything they have, wondering how they will feed their children if they lose their job? Or maybe they really just are a jerk. We’ll never know, because we are completely cut off from them and can only judge them by what we have experienced.
The reason I bring all of this up is because I have been continuing working on my self-esteem, discovering a lot of self-hatred I had buried because of how I have been told I look for my entire life. People made fun of me, people rejected me, people hurt me because of how I looked. Once you see the same thing happen over and over again, you kind of get the picture. Not being pretty or beautiful, being ugly or just not pretty enough or overweight or underweight – whatever it is will cause people to discard you as worthless or not good enough.
I have been trying to see myself as God sees me, which is hard, since I’ve only always seen myself the way others have negatively seen me. So I’ve had to spend time alone with God, listening for what He has to say about me and how He sees me. He tells me that He is my Father, my Papa, and he loves me. I am beautiful to Him, accepted, loved, and according to the design He purposely created.
But, I tell Him, I didn’t not turn out perfectly according to His design, so isn’t He ashamed of me, or disappointed in how I turned out? And surprisingly, He tells me, “No. I not only designed and formed you, I also saw all of the days of your life before you were created. I knew full well what would happen to you, what choices you would make and how you would be today. And knowing all of that, I STILL chose to create you this way. That is why you are STILL according to my design, and therefore my dream come true. I dreamed you, and you came true.”
Then I ask Him about what I look like. I know that He doesn’t judge man by his outside looks, but what do You see? He says, “I see you in the Spirit. That means I see you as you will be in Heaven, a glorified body, a complete and whole soul. I don’t pay attention to your earthly body except in regard to any needs it has, and how it can help accomplish my Kingdom purpose here on earth. But you are My Spirit daughter, so I see how you are when perfected in my Kingdom, and perfection has nothing to do with outward beauty, but wholeness and completeness.”
When Peter saw Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, how did he know who those figures were who appeared? There were no pictures of these men by which to recognize them. Peter had never seen them before. So how did he know who they were? Because He was seeing them via the Spirit, as they are in heaven, and in heaven, you know people by the spirit, not by their appearance. The essence of who they are is in their soul (mind, will, emotions), and the Spirit could reveal who they were to Peter’s mind.
I talked with God about some of the symptoms of my eating disorder, like being ashamed of eating anything fattening, believing that fat people aren’t allowed to eat treats or good tasting foods. I believed that people would see me getting a dessert, or some type of food that is only for skinny people, and that they would judge me. I wanted Him to tell me that it wasn’t true. But He couldn’t.
He took me back to a big plate of spaghetti on the kitchen table at my house growing up. It was overflowing with pasta, pretty much like any other time I ate pasta. At my house, we had ice cream in soup bowls, you spread peanut butter or cream cheese half-an inch thick on bread or bagel. The same went for pasta.
But this time, I was singled out by one or both of my parents. “That’s more spaghetti than a grown man would eat. It’s covering the entire dinner plate.” They were apparently horrified by the amount of food on my plate. And I felt shame for eating, deep, abiding shame for eating food. I was wrong, I was bad, they were ashamed and I should be, too. But I was the only one being told I was wrong for eating that much. They could eat however much they wanted, but me, because I guess they thought I was overweight, was not allowed to eat those foods. Ice cream would be the next thing they could eat but I could not.
That’s when I learned that people DO look at what you eat. They DO judge you for what you eat when you are overweight. And that’s when I learned to eat in secret, hide my food. Of course, that doesn’t make me feel any less ashamed. I take that shame that was heaped on me like a huge helping of pasta on a dinner size plate, into whatever dark corner I sneak my food.
Judgment had been pronounced. Fat people are bad, they do not have the right to eat yummy foods, only skinny people do. Pleasure foods, which were up until this point rewards for doing good and being good, were now forbidden. No more rewards for anything good I would do, because I was fat and embarrassing.
So part of me rebelled. “We’ll just see about that! Take my food away from me to punish me for being fat and ugly, huh? I don’t think so. I’ll just steal it from the refrigerator or freezer while you are asleep, or buy it for myself away from your eyes. I’ll eat whatever I want.” But I still drag the shame of what they said to me, about me, with me, like a ball and chain.
As God revealed to me the origin of my eating in secret and shame about being seen eating foods, He said that the reason I was having so much trouble getting past what other people think about what or how much I eat was simply because…. It was true. People had been watching me, and some people still are, still making comments that shame you about being who and how you are.
“So, you are going to have to make a choice. Which truth are you going to believe?”
I asked what that meant, and He asked me what society thinks about overweight people. They are bad and ugly and wrong and worthless. He said, “That’s right. Society will always shame you and judge you if you are not whatever is fashionable at the moment. Therefore, it is true that society is watching and will call you worthless.”
“What about individuals, then?” He asked me. “Most will be brainwashed by society, but others will not. Still, everyone will have their own idea of what beauty and acceptability are. Some will like redheads and hate brunettes. Some will like full figured women and some will like straight sticks. Some will like strong women and some will like weak. But for everyone who likes a kind, there will be someone else who doesn’t like it. So if you look to individuals, sometimes it will be true that they think you are worthless because of what you look like, sometimes they won’t. You can never be assured of the answer you want with individuals.”
“And then there is Me. The truth with Me is that I see and know You better than everyone else. I designed You for myself. I knew what you would look like in your physical body and still made you. But more importantly, I don’t see you in the natural, I see you through the Spirit, in your glorified body, like Elijah and Moses in front of Peter. I see you as I designed you, perfect and without flaw. And I love you because you are Mine. You are my child. Unlike earthly, broken parents, I love you unconditionally. I don’t need anything from you, I just want to give to you, and I have plenty to give.”
“So, again, which truth are you going to believe? Society, which will condemn you? Individuals who may or may not accept or discard you? Or Me, the One who knows you better than anyone else and loves you completely and without reservation? You are the only one who can make that choice, so why not choose the truth that makes you happy?”
“If you choose My truth, then start speaking the things I say to you over yourself. You are beautiful. You are wonderful. You are loved and accepted. Your design is perfect and without flaw, and I see you complete and whole, and adore you, mostly because you are My child, and I love my children.”