Tuesday, June 23, 2015
For several posts, we're looking at temptation. Here's our next topic: temptation changes God’s message. And we're looking at how Satan tempted Eve, because he continues to do the very kind of things as then.
In verses 2 and 3, we're told that Eve responded to Satan, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" (italics added).
Eve cooperates with Satan by adding to God’s command, (Tweet that!) and adding to the strength of the temptation. She said they were not to touch the forbidden fruit. Did God say not to touch it? No. As a result, when Eve overstated God’s directions, His comments seemed silly and extreme and thus easier to disobey.
In our first post, I talked about my temptation to become angry and bitter. So, when I'm tempted, I try to change God's message. My thoughts about my temptation to become angry and bitter become, “Oh, but everyone gets angry! That’s unrealistic for God to think I'll never become angry or that it’ll never become bitterness.”
We mentioned also in the first post, that the way to resist temptation is to STAND (based on “stand your ground” --Ephesians 6:13):
S: See Satan’s schemes
T: Tell yourself the truth
A: Analyze your thinking
N: Name the advantages of resisting
D: Determine the godly response
In this second part of the temptation, we need to apply the “T” of STAND: “Tell yourself the truth.” God’s commands are never ridiculous or unrealistic. I need to tell myself the truth: Ephesians 4:26 doesn’t say to never become angry because even God becomes angry. But it says to deal with anger quickly so that it doesn't become bitterness.
In our third installment we'll see how temptation questions God’s command.
(graphic by Stuart Miles at www.digitalphotos.net)