"Now the serpent was more crafty than 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'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." Genesis 3:1-6
Most of my posts during the New Year I have been talking about the destructive nature of sin. Today I want to examine the topic of temptation since temptation is what leads to sin. This historic encounter between the Serpent and Adam is instructive in understanding temptation.
Temptation often begins with doubt. The Tempter asked, "Did God really say?". When Satan wants to trip you up he will begin by underminding the character of God. He knows that if you don't trust God and if you don't believe God it will be difficult for you to resist temptation.
Where you to study the decline of our American culture you can clearly see this same tactic at work. For the past 150 years or so, the so-called "progressives" or "liberal" thinkers began a systematic attack on the Bible as God's Word. They have attacked its integrity, its authenticity, its authority and the intelligence of those who read it. Now, as we begin the second decade of this new century, the Bible has been widely discredited. The result? Rampant social decay and moral failure.
It is interesting to note that the same system of thought that underminded the Scriptures has also attacked the Constitution of the United States. They are not just anti-God, they are anti-absolute authority. They understood that if they could cast doubt on the absolute authority of the Bible it would be much easier to undermind the authority of the Constitution.
The first attack against God is doubt. Doubt in itself is not a bad thing. Doubt actually has a place in strengthening faith when it causes you to search for proof of why you believe. But the doubt that Satan used against Adam is doubting a direct command of God. If God makes His will clear to us and we doubt it - that is sin!
Are you being tempted to doubt? Are you struggling to obey a clearly stated command of God? If so, learn from Adam and submit to God. Confess your doubt and ask Him to strengthen your faith. The Psalmist promised that if you will "hide God's Word in your heart" you will be able to resist temptation.
Have you been in His Word today? Have you heard His voice?