Summary: This sermon talks about our potentials and how Satan wants to rob us with his lies.
A pastor went out visiting his church members on a Saturday afternoon. At one house, it was obvious that someone was home, but nobody came to the door even though the preacher knocked several times. Finally, the minister took out his church business card and wrote out "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door: The verse says, "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me."
The next day at church, surprisingly, the pastor’s card turned up in the offering plate. Below the preacher’s message was written the following quote from Genesis 3:10: "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself."
Genesis chapter 2 tells the story of the perfect place. We know this place as the Garden of Eden. It was a place of contentment and joy. Mankind was created to care for and enjoy this place. When God created man we are told in Genesis 2:25
“Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” The word for “naked” was an adjective. It meant stripped of clothing. It described the condition in which God had made them.
Then the serpent came into the picture and tempted them to sin against God. He enticed them to doubt God’s word. He convinced them that God’s word did not apply to them. So they sinned. Then things changed. They felt shame for their nakedness and hid from God. When God sought them Adam confessed to his nakedness.
God replied in Genesis 3:11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
Who are you listening to?
I want to dwell on that first question God asked man. “Who told you were you naked?” From what we have read it would seem that they discovered their nakedness on their own. But God’s statement suggests someone had told them they were naked. The reason is the change in the word “naked.” Before it was an adjective. Now the word is a noun. Before it meant stripped of clothing. Now it meant exposed. Before it was a description. Now it is who they are. They are exposed, broken. And God asked “Who told you that you were broken?”
God created man to have fellowship with him. Satan had designed a plan to destroy that creation. However, God knew man still had the potential to live out the design of his creation. God knew man had the potential to continue in fellowship with him. God realized He would need to make a means for that fellowship to be repaired and He did so through animal sacrifices and finally through Jesus. But man’s potential for fellowship never wavered.
God recognizes your potential. How people have treated you or what they have said about you does not change your potential. Disappointments and set backs does not change your potential. All of us are filled with potential to be more, to do more, and to achieve more.
Satan still whispers in our ears that we are broken. When Satan whispers “All you do goes unnoticed and unappreciated” God asks “Who told you that? I say I reward you for doing right.” When Satan whispers “If you try you will fail.” God asks “Who told you that? I say those who delight in my word will prosper in all they do.” When Satan whispers “You are getting ready to lose all you have.” God asks “Who told you that? I say those who trust in me will lack no good thing.” When Satan whispers “You are nothing but a failure.” God asks “Who told you that? I say those who follow my instructions will never stumble.”
God says “You can do all things through Christ Jesus” We are not broken. We are his people filled with potential that need to stop listening to our enemy. The enemy does not want you to know your potential.
Finding your potential
John 4 tells us this story. “Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.