December 21st, 2018
Genesis 2:15; 3:1-24
So let’s go back to the beginning.
Adam and Eve were God’s first human creations. God had given them life, favor, authority, and a paradise to live in. He only gave them one small restriction. He (basically) told them, “You can eat from any tree of this huge, beautiful garden. But you see that one little tree over there? That’s the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I know it looks really pretty, but trust me you don’t want to get close to that. Because if you eat from it, you will die.”
So they couldn’t eat from one tree. No big deal, right? They had everything they could ever want and more. One forbidden tree shouldn’t have even been noticed. But it’s crazy how we tend to obsess over something as soon as someone tells us we can’t have it. Like when you go to the ice cream shop and as soon as you walk in they tell you they’re out of pistachio ice cream. You probably don’t even like pistachio ice cream, but as soon as they tell you that you can’t have it, all of a sudden all you want is some pistachio ice cream, am I right? Ok silly example, but you get the gist.
So Eve became so consumed by this thing that she could not have. She couldn’t keep herself away from it. So she started hanging around the tree. You know, just checking things out. And then when Satan started whispering lies in her ears, it wasn’t long before she started questioning who God was. And then the more she looked at the fruit and saw how nice it looked on the outside, the more she believed that this fruit was more valuable than obeying her Creator. So she ate the fruit and convinced Adam to eat it, too. And the Bible says their eyes were opened and they began feeling things like shame, fear, guilt, and sadness – things God had been trying to protect them from all along.
Adam and Eve failed and fell into sin because they allowed themselves to become so consumed by what they couldn’t have that they were blind to what they did have. Because they didn’t understand God’s design, they convinced themselves they didn’t have to follow it. They figured God must have made a mistake. Or maybe He doesn’t love us as much as we thought, and He’s keeping something good from us. But in all reality, God was not refusing something good from them. He was protecting them from something that He knew would hurt them.
Here’s the thing: Eve’s first mistake was not taking the fruit. It was coming close to the tree in the first place. It’s a lot easier to resist temptation if you stay out of tempting situations. It’s normal to feel temptation. The goal is not to learn how to not feel temptation – it’s to learn to resist it.
You see, the enemy has a way of telling us lies and twisting things around. He wants to make you forget that God loves you and gave you life and a purpose. He wants you to feel isolated and neglected from God. He wants you to make you forget everything God has done for you and everything He has brought you out of. And so then when the enemy puts sin in front of your eyes, you’re going feel more drawn to the sin than you are to the truth.
Don’t ever believe that the forbidden fruit in your life is more valuable than God’s law. In the moments that you feel like the world is offering you something you can’t resist, think of Adam and Eve’s story. Think of how momentary satisfaction turned into a life of regret. And of how the promises of the enemy were only lies that distracted from the true purpose and joy God had for them. It’s so important for us the remember that God only withholds something from us if He knows it’s going to harm us.
Pray: “Lord, I know that all that You are is greater than anything else I could ever know or possess. Guard my mind and my heart as temptations try to convince me otherwise. Help me to remember that Your laws are never a hindrance, but always a shield.”