By Eddie Hedges

I think it is interesting that when God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, that He told him in Genesis 2:16 (NIV), “And the Lord commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” This was God’s first command to man. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is forbidden fruit. So, the question is why did God command this to Adam? Or the greater question is are the commandments, that God stated in the Bible, given to restrict our lives or enhance them?

Consider the Ten Commandments and the consequences we suffer when we violate any of them. Yes, there are consequences and, so often, they affect not only us, individually, but also our spouse and children, extended family, friends and relationships, our work, and numerous other areas of our life. God is warning us that if we violate these principles there will be negative consequences. He is trying to protect us.

This is why God commanded Adam to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He was trying to protect Adam from the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit. God’s intended purpose was to enhance Adam’s life, not to place restrictions on Adam. Whatever in our life that is the “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” we are to stay away from it, avoid it, run from it. Don’t even look at the temptation.

But let’s not miss an important and vital part of what God stated in Genesis 2:16. Look at the first part of the verse where is says “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden.” This is the part we often overlook. We concentrate on what God says we cannot do or have instead of truly seeing what God says we can do and have! God gave Adam all the trees in the Garden of Eden to eat, except one. And only one. Think of how our lives would be enhanced if we concentrated on what God says we can do instead of what He commands we are not to do. God has given us an abundance of things to enjoy. And, in His wisdom, warns us of the things we are to avoid.

Consider what Jesus says in John 10:10 (NASB), “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The thief, Satan, says to eat of the forbidden fruit and the result is to steal, kill and destroy our life. But Jesus gives life more abundantly. Abundant life comes if we eat fruit from of any of the trees in which God gives us permission.
Psalms 34:8 (NIV) reads, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” It is good for us when we “taste” and get nourishment from the things God gives for us to enjoy. When you taste something, you get it inside you. That is when you receive the benefit and, in this case, God’s blessings.

So the next time Satan places “Forbidden Fruit” before you, take a step back and look at all the acceptable fruit God has given you to enjoy. Then consider the consequences or rewards of your decision. Let God abundantly bless and enhance your life by choosing what He says is best for you.

Philippians 4:19 (KJV), “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”