|Now the serpent was more crafty that any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?” –Genesis 3:1
During a discussion with a co-worker who is a believer, the topic of sexual abstinence came up, and she said to me, “The Bible is not really cut and dry on the issue of abstinence before marriage, so you have to make the call for yourself and see what you are comfortable with. What if you have once been married before? What if you are going to marry the person you choose to engage in sexual relations with?” I happened to believe that the Bible was in fact cut and dry on the issue, but the discussion didn’t really go anywhere, so we agreed to disagree.
As I walked away from the discussion with my co-worker, Genesis 3:1 came to mind and it dawned on me that Satan caused Eve to doubt the Lord’s clear instructions with one simple, yet destructive, question that altered the whole course of human history, “Did God really say…?” Eve indulged Satan, and soon she began to doubt God’s word and actually became convinced that God was withholding good from her. Satan’s subtle deception worked, and Eve stumbled and convinced Adam to do the same. When God confronted them, saying, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Adam blamed Eve, and Eve said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.” Why didn’t she recognize the deception earlier?
Fast forward to Genesis 4 where Satan once again tries to cast doubt on God’s word in someone else’s mind. Satan went after Jesus while He was fasting for forty days and night in the desert. We are told in Matthew 4:2 that Jesus was hungry, so Satan’s first statement to Jesus was, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus responded with the truth of Scripture, “For it is written…” Satan turned things up a notch and challenged Jesus with scripture, and Jesus responded, “For it is also written…” This dialogue continued for some time and eventually, Jesus said, “Away from me Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Then Satan left.
Do you notice the difference between both interactions with Satan? Luke 2:46 After three days they found Him (Jesus at twelve years old) in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions. How are you equipping yourself to be better prepared for the crafty ploys of Satan? WHEN Satan comes to you with the “Did God really say…” question, how will you respond? Will you fall prey to him because you are not really sure of what God said? Or are you going to begin to study the word and sit under sound teaching of Scripture, so that you also may boldly say, “For it is written?”
Society through various "postmodernism" theories in books, television, magazines, etc is constantly challenging sound doctrine and casting doubt in God’s Word in the hearts of believers, and it behooves us to ensure that we are firmly grounded in the Word so that through our knowledge of the word and the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us, we do not get tossed around by every wind or the craftiness of the enemy like Paul describes in Ephesians 4:14. Will you prepare? Will you commit to literally living in the word on a daily basis like Jesus did? It will make all the difference in the world!
Grace and peace be with you.
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