Tag: Genesis

The Comparison Struggle

Comparison Blog

Comparison is something that has plagued humanity since before the world began.  The lie that we must compare ourselves to others in order to feel significant is from Satan himself and not God.  God created every person on this planet different for a reason.  We’re unique and those imperfections are what make us beautiful.  It’s in our moments of weakness that God’s glory becomes even more radiant!

I wanted to look at three realities in Scripture that deal with the comparison struggle:

  • Adam and Eve
  • Abram and Sarai
  • Satan wanting to be better than God

Adam and Eve was the first people to ever face the comparison struggle. We watch as she is the first to fall victim to the the lies from Satan. (Genesis 3:1-24)  In verses 4 through 6, she becomes convinced by Satan to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  She thinks she will be like God by eating the fruit in verse six.

4You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

6The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

Genesis 3:4-6 NLT


Can you identify with the comparison struggle?

It’s no coincidence that the comparison struggle can be traced all the way back to Genesis. God put it there to remind us that He knows what a battle comparison can be in our lives.  Since I’m being brutally honest with you here, there have been times where I have faced the very same struggle with comparing myself to those around me.  It can start out so subtly until I feel God speaking to my heart saying, “Andrea, stop comparing yourself to her.  I created you to be yourself and no one else.  If I would’ve wanted everyone to be the same, you would be that way.”

In those moments that I stop and fall to my knees.  I’ve read the story of Adam and Eve a thousand times, but not until recently did I realize that both of them were facing the comparison struggle long before you and I existed.  They bought into Satan’s lie that by eating that piece of fruit, they could be like God. (v. 6)


I’ve always learned so much from Abram and Sarai. (who later becomes Sarah in Genesis 17) They loved God and wanted to follow Him, yet they had a tendency to get very impatient with God.  Ever been there? It’s a REAL battle.

The lives of Abram and Sarai is a prime example of comparison leading to pride. Sarai knew that God would be faithful to His promise of numerous descendants. (Genesis 15:1-6) However, she was growing impatient with God again. How do we know this? Sarah started comparing herself to Hagar because she was jealous of her.

We see this coming to fruition Genesis 16 through “The Birth of Ishmael” as it’s entitled in my Bible. Looking back on Abram and Sarai’s story along with Adam and Eve, it shouldn’t be surprising that comparison will always lead to jealousy in our hearts.  I think what I love most about Abram and Sarai’s story is that despite all their mistakes, God kept His word and remained faithful to the promises He had made. We need to be reminded of that very truth on a daily basis.

The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 NLT


I had always heard that Satan had been thrown out of Heaven because he wanted to be greater than God. However, I’ve recently realized that Satan not only wanted to be like God, but he wanted to be greater than God himself! This conclusion astounds me.  No wonder Satan uses the comparison trap on us because he’s just hoping we’ll bite the bait of being jealous of others.

  
12 
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O shining star, son of the morning!
You have been thrown down to the earth,
you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13 For you said to yourself,
‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.
I will preside on the mountain of the gods
far away in the north.[e]
14 I will climb to the highest heavens
and be like the Most High.’

Isaiah 14:12-14 NLT

These words in Isaiah are evidence that comparison and jealousy always come as a package deal. Make no mistake that comparing ourselves to others is a sin, whether we realize it at the time or not.

Although comparison may appear subtle at first, we’re essentially telling God that we aren’t content with the way He created us. Talk about a fresh perspective on the struggle of comparison! I felt such a deep desire from the Spirit to write about comparison this week because it’s something that He has really been convicting me of and speaking to me about.


The good news is that with Jesus we have HOPE. He knows we are going to struggle and sin while in the flesh.  Of this we can be sure: God loves us through it all, just as He did for the people in Scripture.  His love for us never changes and He is always faithful.

© Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

He is a God of Restoration

Noah

From the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation God uses people.  Ordinary people such as you and I to carry out His will on Earth.  I know there have been times where I’ve forgotten, in a sense, that the people God used were just like us.  Flawed by human nature, yet saved by grace alone as Romans 3:23-24 reminds us.  “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” New Living Translation

God is always making things new even through destruction. 

In my Bible Genesis 6 is entitled “A World Gone Wrong” which clearly tells me that things aren’t looking so great namely because sin (see Genesis 3:1-19) was running rampant in the midst of God’s perfect creation that was created by Him for our pleasure.  By the time we get to this place in Scripture, it’s evident that God’s patience with His people is running scarcely thin. How do we know?  Look at what Genesis 6:3 says “Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.”

We Meet Noah (in the second half of Genesis 6:11-22) There are many things I love about Noah.  Here are the three (among many) qualities I take away from his example:

  1. Noah was an ordinary man who was married with a family.   In fact, we are told in verse nine that “Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.”
  2. Though it is unclear in Scripture, I often wonder if Noah or his family ever questioned what God had told them to do. If I were in their position, I probably would’ve been curious.
  3. Noah truly understood first time obedience. He knew what God was asking of him and he was ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work.  It’s a little embarrassing to write, but I can’t say I would be that obedient at first without pacing back and forth a little bit.

I like to look at this part of Noah’s Story like the warm-up, so to speak.

For Noah, it was getting all the materials to build the Ark.

  What might it be for you?

Going back to school?  Changing jobs?  Stepping out in faith to a new God-given opportunity?  Sometimes God causes us to walk through spiritual warm-ups to get us ready prepared for the next big step in our adventure of faith.  We see this applied in the sports world all the time.  No team ever makes it to the SuperBowl without practicing.  God works the same way-He doesn’t put us in the “game” until we’ve had some practice; it’s often found in the faith building experiences that mold and shape our faith in Christ.

After practice it’s time for the game.

That’s exactly what happens in Genesis 7:11-24.  After Noah had diligently prepared for the flood, God knew it was time. Because Noah obeyed the Lord by building the Ark, God blessed him by protecting Noah and his family. They were the only people who didn’t get wiped out by the flood!  How incredible!  I think it’s also imperative to mention that God honors our obedience to Him.  When we do our best to completely trust and listen to what He says, our blessings are beyond absolutely anything we could ever imagine.

The constant theme of restoration that only comes from Jesus remains evident throughout the entirety of Noah’s story, just as it it with ours.  (Genesis 5:32-10:1)

God is always faithful. He keeps every promise.  He never leaves us even the midst of a raging flood.  He is so merciful.  The story of Noah has always intrigued me and the older I get, the more I am UNDONE by God’s grace!  After the flood began to calm down, God realized how much He truly loves and adores the people and the planet the he created. So much so that in verses 8-17 of Genesis nine, God in his sovereignty promises His covenant with humanity by sending a rainbow and a dove as a sign that He will never destroy the earth in that way again.

God always restores.  He will always be restoring His people to make us NEW.  There’s nothing too broken, damaged, or scarred that He can’t restore. (Do you hear me?) God can restore absolutely anything!

 

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

New Living Translation

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.


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