The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had mad. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It is only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ’You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. Genesis 3:1-7
The devil is no different today than he was that day in the garden. Just like he made eating the fruit so appealing to Eve he makes sin in our lives appealing. I can hear him now making a joke of God’s command not to eat the fruit. Making Eve feel silly for ever believing it would cause her death. Quite the opposite he tells her, “You will be like God.” Placing the tiniest bit of doubt in her mind was his goal and he succeeds. Just enough doubt to make her eat the forbidden fruit. He is so slick. He didn’t appear mean and devious. He came to Eve as though he was there to help her. Satan comes to us in the same way. He makes us justify our sins. He places just enough doubt in our minds that we make all sorts of excuses for all kinds of sin. We put caveats on our sins to make them acceptable and tempting. Sin is never acceptable and deep down in our hearts we know that. The Holy Spirit tells us deep down in our souls that there is no acceptable sin. Satan is the Great Deceiver and he loves what he does. We are deceived into thinking that God tells us no because he wants keep joy from us. It is quite the opposite. Our loving God, the God of heaven and earth, gives us boundaries because he loves us and wants to keep us safe so that we can live a full and abundant life. Sin keeps us from that life.
Thankfully, God loves us so much that He sent His one and only son to die on a cross for us so that in all of our brokenness and sin we can have the Holy Spirit fight for us and in us. We don’t have to do it alone. In a broken world, that truth brings me such peace. Thinking of our sinful nature and the sinful world we are a part of can be daunting. I pray every day that we choose God’s wisdom, grace, and love over sin. We won’t always get it right, but when we don’t we have the cross to take our sins to and then leave them there. God did that because He so loved the world. He didn’t just love the world, He SO loved the world.
Gracious and Loving God, thank You for Your love. Thank You for wisdom and courage to resist sin when it comes knocking. Please help us each day to live for You, not for the world. In Jesus Name, Amen.