• Kerri Kenyon Dern

Is God Withholding From You?



MONDAYS WITH KERRI


We have looked at Genesis chapter three repeatedly because it recounts the entrance of deception, shame, and fear into our world. It also paints a clear picture of what happens when we as women are not covered in the way God intended. We are not only tempted in the same way The Betrayer tempted Adam and Eve, we are also suffering from the same manifestations of sin every time we eat the forbidden fruit in our lives. When Eve was tempted by the serpent, she was vulnerable because she had not heard directly from God as Adam did. So, when the enemy lied to her, doubt entered her mind for the first time. Suddenly, the question, “If God loves me why does He not want me to have this apple?” flashed through her head. She believed God was withholding something good from her; therefore, she justified her sin.


Eve chose to respond to temptation in her flesh; so instead of heeding God’s warning and receiving His covering and protection, she took what she wanted. Verse six says, “The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too.” The enemy offered Eve the one thing that we as women want most–control. And in our fear–in a place of not feeling safe-we choose to manipulate our circumstances. We attempt to control our lives instead of allowing ourselves to be covered by The One who created us. In our flesh we seek to take control that does not belong to us, but men will do just the opposite. A man’s flesh will reveal itself in not taking the responsibility that is his. Just as Adam stood by and did nothing (even though he had heard directly from God), men today will not cover a woman if they are operating in deception. When women are willing to give up control and men are willing to take responsibility; it is the manifestation and expression of love through the Holy Spirit. Fear is kept at bay and we as women can feel safe to receive, respond, and reciprocate in our relationships.


God’s plan for Adam to watch over and care for Eve was not adhered to that day when they were tempted in the garden. Adam had heard directly from God; therefore, he should have stepped in to “cover her” as she engaged the serpent. However, he stepped out from under God’s covering and, as a result; he was unable to protect Eve the moment the enemy came slithering up. The brokenness that occurred in their relationship was twofold. Eve attempted to take and exert control that was not hers to take, and Adam failed to take the responsibility that did belong to him. Both actions manifested in the severance of their mutual trust and protection. They failed to cover each other the moment they operated outside of their created design. In this way they were both responsible.


Our enemy seeks to sabotage us in the same way today. He knows if he perverts twists or distorts the Truth of God’s Word in any way, it is not truth at all. He offers his lies to us and we are rendered easy prey if we attempt to operate under his deception. When we step out from under the protection of our Heavenly Father, we can neither give nor receive the covering He designed His body to operate in. Adam and Eve ran in fear to cover their shame the moment they realized they were naked. In their sin they chose to walk out from under the Father’s covering and attempted to create their own.


You and I are faced with the same challenge. Often, we take control of our circumstances instead of submitting to The Father’s love and the truth that He will protect, provide, and cover us. Our Heavenly Father knew we would always be tempted to take control of our lives, so He sent His son Jesus to cover our sin and guilt. Our enemy knows this truth, so to keep us from our covering, he convinces us to run from it. Just like Adam and Eve, we step out from under our Father’s protection when we choose to hide from Him in shame.


Our relationships here on earth always mirror our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we refuse to allow Him to cover us, we will experience brokenness in all our relationships. Without Him we are separated from our source of power and love. True covering will always come from The One who created us. Psalm 91:1-4 says:


Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.


In this passage the psalmist is pleading to be covered and protected from the storms of his life. He is claiming the protection we have all been promised.


This Psalm is physically illustrated through the weather in Portland, Oregon. The skies dump water relentlessly most of the winter. Jokes about not seeing the sun for months are partially humorous, but mostly true. Before moving to California last year, I remember weeks without a break in the torrents of rainfall. Many residents opt to wait out the incessant rain indoors. It is our natural instinct to seek shelter in a storm.


Like the Psalmist, we can look up to the skies and ask for the faith we need to see beyond the clouds of fear and hopelessness that roll into our lives. We have been promised that we will not be destroyed; The One who created us is our safety and protection. His word promises us that He will keep us in a protected place; He is our refuge. We only need to claim Him as our shield. We are called to trust Him in circumstances we don’t understand and when we cannot see the pathway ahead of us. The storms of life will roll in time after time and when they do, we will either attempt to control the chaos or allow ourselves to be covered until it passes. We must claim and choose to walk in His peace each day. The opposite is choosing to walk in fear and live as The Betrayed.


//QUESTIONS//

Our best attempts to provide, protect, or care for anyone else will eventually fall flat. Will you choose to accept and embrace the spiritual and emotional covering you need? Have you ever felt like the attacks against you emotionally or spiritually are pounding down like a never-ending rain? How often have you cried out, “Where are you Lord? Do you hear my cries? Will you avenge me? Will you save me?


//ACTION STEP//

We are released into the fullness of enjoying our Heavenly Father and the love of those He has placed in our lives when we give control over to God and surrender to “His covering.” Write down areas of your life you are willing to place under His covering. Then commit those areas to the one and only true God who cares deeply for you and longs to cover you.

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Kerri Kenyon Dern

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