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April 4, 2019, 2:07 PM

April Letter from Pastor Jon


We all have heard the word synergy. The definition of the word is literally “to work with”. Positive synergy happens with the whole is more valuable than the sum of its parts. When the parts work well together they can accomplish more than the sum of the individual parts. People who work together in positive synergy bless others and are blessed in a way that makes them all better.

God is the Lord of positive synergy. God built intimacy of relationship and positive synergy into the garden of paradise. God gathered the dust and made man and filled him with His spirit. Adam was the synergy between dust and God. Adam and Eve were intimately and synergistically united; Eve was bone of Adams bone flesh of his flesh. Adam and Eve were naked before each other and with God in paradise. They were fruitful and they multiplied which gives evidence to their positive synergy. Think of how wonderful it was, Adam and Eve working with God, having children who would learn to walk in faithful synergy with their parents and with God. Together they would expand the paradise of God over all the earth. Positive synergy is the domain of God. If you look you will see again and again in the Scriptures that God works to create positive synergy between man and God.

In contrast, Satan works to destroy positive synergy and replace it with negative synergy. In negative synergy instead of working together the parts work against each other canceling out their individual effectiveness. Satan works to turn positive synergy of God into negative synergy. He stresses and tries to break the bond of positive synergy between God and humanity and between people.

 

Gen. 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 

The serpent does not seem special and seems to ask a harmless questions….But it is not, the serpent attacks positive synergy by accusing God of an unreasonable law that says the they may not eat from any tree in the garden. Eve is under attack. At first, Eve responded out of positive synergy with God. She knew the truth but she is under pressure because she must defend the truth and defend God.

The serpent challenged God’s word and caused Eve to feel alone. She did not stand on God’s Word, she did not appeal to Adam for support. Adam was with her but he did not intervene so he left her alone. God said it is not good for man to be alone, and it is not good for woman to be alone.

 

Being or feeling alone is a bad problem, and even a crisis for anyone. Loneliness is a painful emotion that demands an antidote. The serpent presented the fruit of the forbidden tree as way to stop the pain. Eve finds demonstrated why it is not good to be alone. Instead of seeking the help of God or Adam, she acted alone and caused shame and death to enter paradise.

 

Gen. 3:6 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.

 

A fig leaf is something used figuratively to convey the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or distasteful. A fig leaf is anything we grab to protect ourselves from others. A fig leaf is a flimsy self acquired covering for shame. We usually think of Adam and Eve as using one type of fig leaf, but in reality they had a number of them. But all their fig leaves were silly and in effective.

First, the trees of the garden served fig leaves for Adam and Eve. Can you imagine anything so silly and ineffective as hiding from the all powerful creator in the bushes. When God found them, Adam and Eve tried to hide behind fig leaves of blaming another for their shame; Adam tried the fig leaves of blaming God and eve, Eve tried the fig leaf of blaming the serpent.

Anything we use to deflect blame and shame away from ourselves onto anyone else is a fig leaf. We all grasp for fig leaves to cover our shame when our relationship are broken and we feel the pain of shame loneliness. You and I live in loneliness reality every day, in our families, and every place we go. The intimacy and positive synergy we need to defeat loneliness are very hard to come by.

Is there any way for humanity to find positive synergy again return to paradise in which there was no loneliness? It is impossible by human effort, it is only possible with God. The only way to regain positive synergy is to regain trust. Building positive synergy requires that trust be rebuilt. The first place that positive synergy was lost was between God and mankind, so this is the first place that trust must be regained.

 

Jesus trusted the father completely. He was naked and unashamed before God. Jesus became man so that positive synergy between God and man could be resurrected. On the cross, Jesus was stripped naked of clothing reputation, beauty and worth of any kind, yet he trusted God through it all. He died in shame but was resurrected to glory because of his faith. With the resurrection positive synergy between God and mankind returned to the world.

Without faith in God everyone is lonely….worthless to ourselves others…we are terrified to be exposed, terrified to trust, even more we are totally self absorbed. Negative synergy reigns in our experience. We rely on fig leaves of many kinds to protect ourselves and assert our worth at the expense of others.

But God loves you so much he allowed himself to be stripped of all honor so that you could be saved. On the cross He was focused on you and the father and not himself. The positive synergy he had with the father makes it possible for you to be saved and return the paradise of a synergistic relationship with the father like Adam eve enjoyed before the fall.

It is by faith in He that gave himself for you that you forsake your fig leaves and enter into this positive synergistic relationship with God. By working with God in positive synergy, you no longer need to care for yourself because he cares for you and provides for you. Because he cares for you you can care for others as he commands. The Christian life is lived in positive synergy with God. The synergy grows as our faith grows. As we live in faith and faithfulness our synergy grows with others as it grows with God.

Positive Synergy is the desire of your heart for every situation and every context of your life. The great thing is that it is the desire of God’s heart too. Our calling is to work with him to achieve positive synergy. What better time is there to start seeking synergy with God than at Easter!

 

In His Love,

 

Jon

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