“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:4-6
These verses remind us how cunning Satan is with how he tempts us. We often think that we will know when we are being tempted by Satan and therefore be able to resist this temptation. But, Satan often disguises himself as something we think God would be calling us to do. He offers us airtight excuses for why God would want us to go ahead and sin anyway. He makes sin seem small and insignificant enough that sometimes it doesn’t even seem like a sin. In these verse, Satan rationalized to Eve why God really didn’t want her and Adam to eat of the tree. Satan made her think it wasn’t really a sin, just something that was a preference of God’s. He even said that God was just simply withholding something from us because He wanted to keep us from our full potential. Being the first sin, I think this is why God says he hates the sin of pride. Why as God’s creation do we honestly feel like we can be equal to our Creator and quickly take the credit for things we didn’t do? We do we use legalism to distort passages of the Bible instead of recognizing their spirit and abiding by that?
There’s two things we can do to make sure we guard against falling into the trap of giving into Satan’s leading. The first is insuring we are in regular prayer and asking for God’s guidance on a regular basis. We know God often speaks to us in a still, small voice, but I have often realized God’s will when I have prayed about what to do and instantly knew what God wanted me to do in a situation. Sometimes we receive a sign from God to lead us in the right direction. Sometimes we don’t have the ability to ask the person to wait for a decision to spend time in prayer before making a decision. We should be asking God to guide our choices on a regular basis. IF we are walking in the spirit this way, we can be more confident in the choices we make because we are more cognizant of what direction God is leading us in.
The other thing that will help us to make decisions in line with the will of God is to assess whether or not what we are agreeing to is Biblical. Sometimes that can be difficult…we need to understand how we might be twisting words or looking for loopholes when God is really just trying to protect us. If choosing yes would go against what the Bible tells us to do, we can know that choosing yes is a sin and we shouldn’t do it. In these verses, God clearly told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree. The serpent questioned God’s motive to the point of justifying going against God. In fact, it doesn’t matter why God told us to do or not do something. We are far from being worthy enough to question God’s motives. This is a way Satan tricks us into sin. Recently, I thought I met a good Christian guy to start dating, but he kept doing some things while not doing other things that are not in line with what God tells us we should do in our dating relationships. (I admit my own guilt of doing the same in the relationship too.) I kept praying for our relationship to work without realizing God can never bless something that went against His will and because we were outside it, God would never bless what we were doing as long as we continued to not do it His way. When we resolve to walk in God’s Word, Satan can not do the damage he so desperately wants to do. It is why studying the Word daily is so important to prepare us for this battle.
What are you studying to prepare yourself for this temptations today?