Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

"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
Since temptation is something we deal with on a daily basis, I thought I would spend a few days dealing with it.
Thus far we have established that temptation involves doubt. The Tempter caused Eve to question the character and authority of God. And the second step was delay. Eve stood and gave the Serpent a second thought rather than dismissing him and fleeing.
That brings us to the third step of temptation - deceit. If the Tempter would just tell outright lies, it would be easy to resist temptation. You would hear it and say, "That's ridiculous!" and laugh it off!
But the Evil One is far more cunning than that. Temptation always involves a version of the truth or the truth applied to a wrong conclusion. After he gets you to doubt and after you give it a second thought, then your mind becomes fertile ground for seeds of deceit. When you doubt the truth you will believe the lie.
Our situation is now more complicated than Adam and Eve's. Remember how I said that sin complicates? Here's an example. Because of Adam's sin, you and I now inherit a sinful nature. What that means is that our nature is deceived. What that means is we believe lies easier than we believe truth. So, if Satan could get Adam and Eve to sin when they had a perfect nature, guess what your chances are.
You need to take your cues from the Second Adam, Jesus. When He was tempted He did not delay to respond with the truth. He immediately confronted the deceit with truth - the Truth from God's Word.
The first thing you must do is give your heart to Jesus and receive Him as your Savior. That will connect you with Truth, since He IS the Truth. Also, His Holy Spirit will become active in your life and He is the Spirit of Truth. When you are a Christian you will more readily distinguish truth from lies.
Secondly, saturate your mind with the Scriptures. Hide the truth in your heart and it will transform your mind.
Thirdly, if you are a believer, surrender to the Holy Spirit to fill you and He will take away your old nature and give you the heart and mind of God.
Doubt, delay, and deceit. Its a deadly combo. You had better be prepared to defeat it or, like Adam and Eve, it will damn you.