We all have before us a beginning pivotal to the history of mankind; and yet, its contents unlock a pattern in the devil’s scheme. Exactly how was Satan able to deceive Eve? And how can we identify these same devices at work in our own lives? Let’s examine these tactics to be better equipped at defending God’s word while using His word to defend ourselves.
Satan plants doubt in the validity of God’s word with a lie. He does this by twisting God’s word and focusing on the don’t. His suggestion: “Did God really say don’t eat any tree in the garden?”
By posing this as a question, he’s targeting your belief. Can we really trust God’s word as truth?
By highlighting the don’t, he’s conspiring to turn your position against God’s. He wants your mind filled with questions. Why would God create before you a restriction? (God could have chosen not to create the tree or even made the tree unreachable. But if the tree was as ordinary as the rest, then its significance rested upon the statute and not the fruit.) Be it as it may, because of that directive, now Eve is presented with an option to do something about it other than just to trust it.
By emphasizing all trees and not the specific one God commanded, Satan hopes to confuse Eve about God’s word.
Did God tell Adam and Eve they could not eat any of the trees from the garden? We know, most certainly, the answer is no. So what was Satan’s aim? It was to have Eve focused on the don’t.
Doesn’t God want you to enjoy all of the trees in the garden? Why wouldn't He? He created it for you. It bears fruit like any other tree. Fruit that looks good and satisfying. The implication here is that God may have created this for you to enjoy, but for some reason unknown to you, He doesn’t want you to enjoy it.
Sound familiar? How many times have we been sold to the lies about sex, drugs, relationships, careers, life pursuits? Lies that we’re missing out on something. That God in his prohibition has somehow limited our ability to be happy, satisfied, and successful. We buy into the lies. We pursue our desires for joy, love, and success, and we work hard to maintain them.
So why would God who is good, create all these good things but then tell us we can’t have them? Or tell us in what manner we should obtain them?
This line of thinking fuels the lie. For instance, sex. The enemy whispers, “Didn’t God create sex? Didn’t he create you with a natural urge for sex? Did God really say you can’t have it?
Or ambition? The enemy hints, “Didn’t God create you with dreams, goals, and desires? Didn’t He put those things in your heart? Did God really say you can’t pursue them?
The error in this is that just like God did not keep Adam and Eve from enjoying the all the other trees in the garden, God’s also not keeping us from enjoying all of sex. The forbiddance of sex relates to those outside of marriage. Additionally, our ambitions are only discouraged when they are put in place of God: first.
Access Not Denied - Just Curbed
We know that Adam and Eve had access to all trees except one. But the fact that their access contained a limitation — not some limitations — one, was enough for the enemy to present it as a hindrance. Had there been no command, Satan would not have had anything to challenge. But the word was out there. It was clear. It was direct. It was understood. And it was the precise ammo needed to establish his arsenal.
Among his weaponry laid the very source of doubt; an implication that something about God’s word is wrong? Somehow God was mistaken. Otherwise, how could God with the ability to create a whole universe with the man as its pinnacle decide after giving him authority over everything, that now He was going to limit that authority over… a piece of fruit?
Ever notice how when we’re set to do something our own way, our rationale behind it almost assuredly rests on what we believe is “best” for us? We’re convinced that doing it our way will yield our results regardless of the advice or opinion of others. This is the kind thinking the enemy wants to ignite. One that questions the standard and in turn purposes to act in its own accord. Why? Because he wants us to believe our ways are better. But what will “better” cost us?
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