While eating an apple this afternoon, I had a thought. Did Adam blame the apple for what happened in the garden of Eden? The bible's pretty clear that the eating of the apple was the turning point for him and Eve and started the chain of the events that saw them having to leave the garden. To leave God's presence as he'd made them to enjoy it.
Was it the apple's fault? It's pretty easy to blame the things near to us for things that happen - They made me angry! That image just came into my head! I just got distracted! I can hear myself saying all three of these things and a hundred more. But are these things to blame? Do they have power over me to bend my will?
They don't. It was my choice. My heart wanted to. I chose it. It always does. What was the same for Adam in the garden is the same for me today. I wanted it. It was my decision. The situations I am in each day - those which notably challenge me, and those I don't realise do - serve to show me my heart. I am innately selfish - it goes down to the bone. Part of me feels I need or should have these things which erode me. But there again is that smack of selfishness. Someone once said there is no 'I' in team, though another points out there is a 'me', though you wouldn't notice it on first glance. This is the way of things that tempt us, push us, challenge us, threaten. Things the enemy loves to use. The chinks in our armour.
We need to recognise the chinks in our armour. And harder than this, because our selfish hearts hate to do this, is to ask, to plead with God to show them to us. Romans 8v37 says we can't be separated from God's love. However my heart can choose to ignore it. And it often does.
So is it just an apple? No. It's a signpost to the state of my heart. It's a reminder that I am a sinner (rebel) and will continue to sin (rebel) until the day I die. But that Jesus says there is a better way. Knowing him is just so much better than the 'apples' I come across in my life. The true fruit of the garden was knowing and walking with God. Do I really want it? Yes. And I am amazingly thankful that God not only can help me change my mind and heart on that one, he also wants to. All I need to is turn to Him, and ask.