“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6)
Eve considers, ponders, stares at the apple, and takes her mind off of all GOD had given her.
We’re not any different. We look into the offer of the enemy and wonder...is it worth it? We’ve been told to flee (James 4:7) from conversation with the enemy. Yet, something draws us in, lures us to consider the devil’s propositions. A friend and I spent time in 2015 working to memorize Scriptures from Ronnie Smith’s The History of Redemption. My time in those passages in Genesis along with Will’s message this past Sunday on The Beginning of Temptation (listen here) has caused me to think about why we wander from the goodness of GOD.
When Celia and I lived in San Antonio, we led 5th & 6th graders on Sunday mornings. I enjoyed starting one year with these little guys, then seeing them grow over a couple of years until our “big” 6th graders graduated to the youth group. As they left, I felt compelled to share this advice:
Real wisdom knows the difference between what GOD offers you, and what the devil offers. John 10:10 says Jesus came to offer full, abundant life and the enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy. Beware of what looks good today…if you’re not sure, think about the results of doing what is being offered. Are they good results or bad results?
Please know I think of myself as a fellow traveler, on the journey with those boys and with you. I know I know a lot less than I do know. When I speak or write, my desire is to share the good things Christ has shown me. I want you to know JESUS is Good News for you and me. I’ve come to know this through His Word and time in His Presence, which I didn’t earn or accomplish, but found by accepting what He’s offered in His Word. This process has left me sure about some things. John 10:10 is true. I’ve seen it play out. What the enemy has offered me has looked good, but turned out bad. And what The LORD has offered me may have required surrender to things of this world, but it always yields more life, joy, peace and hope than I had before.
It is a struggle to pursue His abundant life. The path is clouded by our own selfish desires, the lure of pleasure, recognition and possessions. We all struggle with this. Yet, if we comprehend the goodness of what GOD offers, the lure of this world begins to fade. If I understand and experience intimacy with my wife, as GOD designed it and gave it in Genesis 2 to Adam and Eve, offers from the enemy seem less desirable. If I give up my life for the sake of CHRIST and lean in to the things I sense He asks of me, I see Him at work and it is beautiful. The shine on the selfish offers of the enemy seem much less attractive.
“May you experience the love of CHRIST, thought it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from GOD.” (Ephesians 3:19)