I don’t know about you, but I get a little sad every time I read the opening of Genesis. As a middle child, I’ve never been a fan of conflict. Knowing the impending doom of Adam and Eve’s decision makes me want to fast-forward to the end of the script, when Jesus swoops in to make all things right again.
However, I believe it’s important that we pause here because we can all learn an important lesson. In chapter three we meet the enemy of our souls, Satan. If there’s one thing I know to be true about him it’s that thousands of years later he’s still using the same tactics. When we know our enemy, we can know how to fight him.
Let’s jump in at verse one.
One day [the serpent] asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “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.”
The 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..." (Genesis 3:1-6 NLT)
Let’s rewind and walk through what just happened. The first time Satan questions Eve, she responds by repeating God’s words back to Him.
But Satan counters back a second time, and plants a seed of distrust. Is God really looking out for your best interest, or is He holding out? He appeals to Eve’s thoughts, desires, and feelings. This time we see a vast difference in Eve’s response— she becomes convinced.
Oh, how often I’ve seen this play out in my own life. Here’s just one example:
“Did God really say you have to go to church every Sunday?”
“Not exactly. He did say not to neglect meeting together.” (Heb. 10:25)
“You read your Bible every day and listen to online sermons. Times have changed since that verse was written. God doesn’t understand how busy you are.”
Satan’s calling card has always been deception. He knows better than to feed us blatant lies, so He takes the truth and taints it. Then he serves it up with a side of distrust. Naively, we fall for his off-color bait.
Friend, is there an off-white lie you’ve accepted as truth? To our own eyes, everything looks “right white” (good).
In the same way I had to hold up my “white” samples next to Ultra Pure White to see that they weren’t true, so we must hold up every thought that enters our minds to the purity of God’s Character and Word. When we fix our minds on Who God is and what He says, we will become quicker to recognize anything contrary.
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