Here is the devotional:
Before any battle, in warfare or athletics, it is advantageous to scout the opposition.
Before a college soccer game, my coach told us that the other team had a player who could throw the ball 45 yards, which turned a routine out-of-bounds play into a dangerous scoring opportunity. Instead of being caught on our heels, we were well positioned to defend their attacks and well prepared to avoid turnovers in the first place.
The Bible forewarns us of a powerful enemy and reveals his tactics. In Genesis 3, we are introduced to a crafty serpent; a fallen angel hell-bent on defying God and destroying us.
The snake appears to Eve and begins his attack by asking a simple question, “Did God actually say…?” Then he follows with a quick lie, “You will not surely die.” And finishes her off with a tempting promise, “When you eat…you will be like God.”
Satan has scouted us as well—he knows where we’re weak and what our souls desire.
He capitalizes on that intel to have us question God’s truthfulness, “God would never say anything like that, would he?” And he pushes us to doubt God’s love, “God is withholding something good from you, isn’t he?” Finally, he offers an alternative, “This will make you happy…” It’s common to give in to these temptations.
They are subtle and strategic lies to destroy us and defy God.
If we knew God’s word and believed it was true and trusted that God has our best interest in mind, we would not fall prey to the schemes of the devil.
The gospel is our greatest weapon against temptation.
At the cross, we see the solemn truth of God toward sin, that the wages of sin are death. At the same time, we see the depth of God’s love for us, who did not withhold his son from us.
Jesus is our snake-stomping savior who battled Satan, sin, and death, and won where we could not. We have no reason to doubt God’s truth, love, or power! We can trust him.
Here are the scriptures referenced:
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Genesis 3:1-7 KJV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:12-21 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
Biblical though first…
Have you ever noticed that Eve did not know the name of the Tree. God told Adam. Eve had not been created yet.
Why didn’t Adam tell Eve after he woke from his sleep?
Another thing that most seem to miss is the serpent. They know the story. But how did the serpent know the name of Tree. God never said, Hey Satan I just named this Tree the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
But the devil was there when God told Adam despite not being mentioned.
It was then he devised his plan to turn Adam & Eve away from their relationship with God.
When he teased Eve with the fruit he was correct in saying ye shall surely not die. I doubt Eve thought she would drop dead from eating a fruit yet she didn’t understand the death. It was a spiritual death. A separation from the giver of Life….God
And the devil has been playing that mind trip ever since with the help of his fallen angel friends the demons.
God is not withholding anything from anyone but the devil wants us to believe that sex would be better now than waiting for marriage.
He wants us to believe that having that drink will calm our nerves faster than God can.
He wants us to believe that a synthetic high is more fun than being high in God.
Have you ever been on a Godly high? Pretty freaking awesome, isn’t it?
The devil is a liar yet speaks the truth as well. And he knows us very well and he plays on our weaknesses.
Trust me when I say this…the devil is not lurking around the corner waiting on you he’s right beside biding his time for the right moment.
Then you get a little whisper, maybe from a friend (peer pressure), a relative or even your spouse.
At that moment we make the choice to give in to the temptation or “run”
The sin that entered the world through Adam has been with us all. For all have sinned and fallen short.
But through Jesus sin was paid for.
Jesus was tempted by the devil. Guess what Jesus did? He quoted from the Word of God?
Have you tried that when tempted? And I don’t the get the behind me Satan jargon.
I mean scriptures that refer to the very temptation being thrown at you!
It works for us just like it worked with Jesus!
So when the devil starts whispering, through whomever or even whatever, you need to be speaking aloud the Word of God!
Give it a try. I dare you.