Thursday, August 16, 2018

Stronghold Starter #7: Doubt & Confusion: "Did God Really Say..." (Gen. 3:1)

“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”?’” (Gen. 3:1) [my emphasis] 

Can you hear it?  A subtle whisper, an insinuating comment, a moment when, surrounded by God’s good creation and loving provision, Eve heard evil…  She had never seen it, heard it or experienced its potent sting.  But there it was, coming from a fascinating creature, slithering in the dappled sunlight around a branch.  Or perhaps he was moving smoothly along the ground, in control and mesmerizing to watch.

Isn’t that sin at its “best”?  Fascinating, potent, acting in control and smooth.  

Isn’t that Satan at his “best”? 

Confusion was the result of this encounter.  Because Eve has not hid the words of God in her heart so she might not sin against God  (Ps. 119:11), she opened herself to another gospel, if you will.  Look what Paul says and apply them to Eve (with my commentary):

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (Why are you listening to this creature?  How could his words have any merit?  He is a creature, not the Creator.)  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Unless the words fall from the Creator’s lips, they are suspect.  Anything other God’s very words are to be avoided.)  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Even if Adam gets it wrong or a lovely snake entices you to ponder his seemingly innocent words, God is not to be doubted.  Look around you Eve:  All you see is the result of God’s love for you.  Why would God then speak falsely?)  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Run, Eve, run!)  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (You can’t be in fellowship with anyone or anything that mocks or insinuates that God is not truthful.  Light and dark were separated at creation; God wants it to stay that way, whether in the heavens or in your heart.)  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (You have direct access to God, Eve, in this Garden. Go to Him to clarify and understand His words.)
 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Adam was taught by God Himself and you have God Himself for fellowship as well.  I say it again, Eve:  RUN!) (Gal. 1:6-12)

We have God’s Word as well.  We have the fellowship of God in our hearts, because of His Son’s sacrifice.  The Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s truth. Satan loves to still sow the seed of doubt, which leads to confusion. 

Have you eve watch a squirrel cross a busy road?  From the curb, the road looked safe.  Or that tree on the other side is so enticing that a confidence in speed will overcome fear.  So, out it goes.  The reality of cars strike doubt into the squirrel, and now with its heart racing, it is confused as to whether to continue crossing or run back to its starting point. 

Now, if it makes it back to the curb, it will be emboldened to try this again, at a later date.  Nothing happened to dissuade the squirrel from its quest this time.

If it doesn’t, the magpies gratefully come down and dine on its carcass. 

We are squirrels in this fallen world.  But Jesus promises us His presence to navigate this world: “ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  (John 14:18).  

So, with Jesus’ presence, we have the very Truth of God.  So, when Satan insinuates to us about God’s capacity to lie, counter that with:

“God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4)

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” (2 Peter 2:1)

There’s the progression of the satanic quest to disparage God’s character:

1.  Claim God lies or misrepresents truth.

2.  Deceive people to serve another “god” whom appears more reliable.

3.  Seek out those teachers who think now like you do, who are in fact perpetuating the lie.

Away we go down an ever-darkening road.  We trade the light for darkness, the truth for a lie and pride for peace.  

But, we are children of the Light.  Flee from the darkness and cling, without reservation, to the Light, to His Word and the to hope that is within you.    

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