Read His Words Before Ours!
Scripture tells us Adam and Eve were the first people God created. He placed them in the Garden of Eden, where He provided them with everything they needed, but there was one particular tree God commanded them not to eat from. God said the tree was for the knowledge of good and evil and would bring death if they ate its fruit. Deceptive Satan, in the form of a serpent, deceived Adam and Eve and they ate from the tree. This rebellion resulted in the fall of humanity; the sweet fellowship that once existed between God and humankind came to an end. (Genesis 3)
One may ask why this ugly scenario is in the midst of such beautiful creation?
Why the deception and the disobedience?
The Bible explains, “God is love” (1 John 4:16b), and true love does not force One’s will. He gave humankind free will; we can choose to obey Him or not. Like Adam and Eve, our choices always, always have consequences, whether for life or death.
While we might blame them for choosing disobedience and wrecking, well, everything, we are guilty of the same sins. We easily fall victim to Satan’s deception in our minds and hearts. As Jesus revealed,
“For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander.” (Matthew 15:19)
It may not be our delight to sin against God, but we easily fall victim to temptation. As Apostle Paul said, “For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.” (Romans 7:18-19)
At the fall of humankind, sin became inherent in humans; we inherited the nature of sin from our ancestors, Adam and Eve. The urge to sin is dominant in us, because we are naturally sinful. Though we are born again in Christ, we are still living in bodies susceptible to sin, as we live in a world temporarily ruled by Satan. (John 16:11)
We are faced with two options: do God’s will, or our will.
Though God’s Spirit lives in us, He does not control us as robots; He allows us to make our own choices.
Aware of this freedom of choice, Satan uses many temptation tactics against us. Some of his tactics include lies (John 8:44), masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15), and blinding people’s minds (2 Corinthians 4:4). We saw his manipulation at work when he deceived Eve, telling her God was withholding something good from her, and her disobedience would certainly not lead to death, but to becoming God-like.
Throughout Scripture, as time passed, his tactics didn’t change. Satan manipulated and deceived men like King David, Achan, and Moses, and they each chose to sin against God.
One evening, King David was on the roof of his palace and saw a woman bathing. Satan enticed him with lust, and David committed rape, adultery, and murder. (2 Samuel 11)
In the same way, Achan, a military leader, coveted and stole the spoils of war, despite being warned against such greed. (Joshua 7:20-21) Satan enticed Achan with lust for the riches before him.
Similarly, Moses struck a rock to get water for the Israelites instead of speaking to it as God instructed. (Numbers 20:6-13) He was enticed by pride, acting as if the power to provide for the people belonged to him.
Sisters, though we may not be kings, military leaders, or deliverers for a people through the wilderness, we can also fall victim to any of those tactics. Knowing our susceptibility to sin, Apostle Paul urges us to put on the full armor of God so we can stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Likewise, Apostle Peter calls us to be sober-minded and alert because our adversary prowls around like a roaring lion seeking prey. (1 Peter 5:8) Jesus instructed us to watch and pray lest we fall into temptation. (Matthew 26:41) Proverbs 4:23 exhorts us to guard our hearts above all else because they are the source of life.
Diligently studying Scripture equips us to discern the activities of Satan. Once we understand his moves, we can resist him as Apostle James instructs us, overcoming Satan’s temptation tactics as we grow closer to God:
“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:7-8)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!