In the Garden of Eden, the enemy told Eve that if she and Adam would partake of the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil,” they would gain the right to be “as gods.” That is, they would receive the right to do as they pleased (Genesis 3:3-5). They partook and died spiritually, losing their relationship of total dependence upon the Lord (The Tree of Life).
The right that was gained in the Garden of Eden to choose for ourselves, remains with us, even after our sins are forgiven and cleansed through the blood of Jesus. Therefore, we function on the lower level of the “knowledge of good and evil,” doing what we feel to be right and best.
Many times, we fall short of true understanding, and we hurt the spiritual walk of others through our sincere, but faulty counsel.
The Lord recognizes this “right” that we gained in the Garden of Eden through Adam’s transgression, to choose for ourselves between good or evil. However, we can give up the right to do as we please by taking up our cross and submitting ourselves to the Lord’s will.
The “if” tells us that we ourselves must choose to submit our will to Jesus, and die to our right to ourselves. Otherwise, we will continue in our own ways. When I began to understand this, I turned aside and prayerfully gave back to the Lord the right to do as I choose - judging for myself what is good or evil (right or wrong). Then, I unconditionally submitted my life to His Lordship, and I began to look to Him to make these choices for me.
When I made Jesus the “Lord” of my life, I gave Him the right to deal with me as He chooses for whatever purpose He may have. Over the years that I have known the Lord, I have learned that many times He has used this submission of my life to Him in order to prepare me to minister to another.
The circumstances that He takes us through for this purpose are usually apart from, and completely different than any need that we may have within our own life experience. However, these experiences will “qualify” us to become an instrument in His hand to help and encourage others.