Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. -Philippians 4:8
God gave Adam and Eve every blessing under the sun. The Lord walked with them in the garden daily. Every one of their needs were met. Can you imagine not having to wonder what you were going to do for supper each day?
There was no sin. Can you imagine a life without any regrets?
They were naked and they knew no shame. That’s right ladies we can quit blaming our husbands and children for those endless piles of laundry – that curse came from Eve. Yet, even though Eve had everything she could ever want or need she found herself discontent.
Have you been there?
When my parents were first married they were madly in love but just like most newlyweds they didn’t have two dimes to rub together. They had a home to live in, a car to drive, food on the table and each other. They had everything two, happily in-love, newlyweds should ever want. However, while they were out one day they came across a stereo. Now this wasn’t any regular stereo this was the stereo. They thought this was the only thing that was missing from their lives. It had everything a fully-equipped stereo should have in 1979: record player, 8-track tape deck, cassette player, large speakers and AM/FM radio. This stereo was top of the line and loaded! It even had a beautiful wooden cabinet for storage. They were in love! They desperately wanted this stereo, they daydreamed about it and talked about it. They even went to visit it together on their days off work. Seriously.
It sounds ridiculous, right, but I am sure you can relate to this as well as I can. The enemy knows that one of the easiest ways he can distract our eyes from following God is by sowing a tiny seed of discontentment into our hearts.
The problem was that the stereo was $600. The equivalent of $600 in 1979 would be approximately $2000 in our day. Not that the average newlywed can afford $600 in today’s money, but $2000 is a large chunk of change when your income barely covers your month’s expenses.
My parents realized very quickly that it would take years for them to be able to save up enough money to afford this stereo. So what did they do? After a year of daydreaming and silly visits, they were finally able to build up enough credit to take it home with them. They excitedly brought home their very first, top of the line stereo. They opened the box, plugged it in and enjoyed their favorite records on large, expensive speakers. But by morning the excitement had faded. They awoke and realized the fulfillment they were expecting was not there. They were not only feeling emotionally empty, they did not receive the joy they were so sure they would have after a year of waiting and now they were $600, plus interest, in debt.
The same seed of discontentment that my parents battled was the same seed planted by the enemy into the heart of Eve. Can you imagine the grief that swept over Eve, after being lured into making this brash decision? She fell for it. She bought the enemy’s lies of empty promises. God warned, “Don’t even touch the tree.” But instead of choosing to believe and trust His word she had to explore the why. My friend Laura Krokos put it this way “If Eve wasn’t content in the Garden, what makes me think I will be content if only my circumstances were different? Contentment doesn’t come from perfect circumstances but from fixing our eyes on Jesus and what’s eternal, not on what’s temporary.”
Did you pay attention to the form in which Satan appeared to Eve? It was a serpent. I think it’s interesting that the enemy never pops up with temptation saying, “Hey, it’s me Satan. Follow me and watch your life crumble before your eyes.” Remember at this time the world was sinless. The animals lived in unity with one another and the humans. There wasn’t death. Although, this is hard to imagine, at this time the woman did not look upon the serpent with disgust and fear. From experience and knowing how Satan usually draws us into sin, it’s likely that Eve was very close to the serpent. I cannot say that with certainty but it wouldn’t surprise me. Especially with how much hatred is now between the woman and a serpent – sin destroys unity.
Did you also notice how the serpent spoke to Eve? The enemy is very crafty in his deception (Genesis 3:1-5). He posed his deception in the form of a question. Think about it, have you heard this question before?
Satan is not omniscient. He is not all knowing, but he sure knows how to come after us. If you want to destroy a person’s confidence, plant a seed of doubt in their mind in the form of a question. For instance, imagine that someone came up to you and said, “Did you really think about that outfit before you put it on today?” If I was asked that question you can bet your bottom dollar I would be rushing to the nearest full length mirror. I would be checking to see if there were any unknown holes in my pants, if my shirt was see-through in that horrible florescent lighting or if my cellulite was showing?
This question Satan poses here infuriates me - because of all the many times I have heard this lie and how often I have believed it. We must take note of this lie, pray that the Lord will put our minds on high alert to recognize when Satan’s deception begins to trickle into our thinking.
The only way we can guard ourselves against the deception of Satan is to relentlessly pursue a relationship with Christ. Learn His voice and believe Him when He says, “No”! Not only do we need to believe it, we must train our hearts to run. Run with urgency away from the sin that is trying to lure us. We can’t even allow our minds to tiptoe around the enemy’s lies.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Take a minute to reflect:
If you find that the enemy has been playing the comparison game in your mind, if you find that you are living in the land of “if only”. If only I had this, if only my life was more like, if only…– catch it, catch that lie friend! Hold it up to the light – you have been deceived!
Look over your life right now, are you believing or wrestling with lies of justification? “Did God really say…?”
If you are discontent right now – a change in circumstances will not fix it. We can find contentment only when our lives are aligning with the goodness and guidance of our Savior.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. – 1 Timothy 6:6-11 (NIV)
Melissa Bradley is married with two small children. She is a co-founder of a City-Wide Women’s Ministry, The Well. She currently serves and assists in various churches around her community. The burden of her heart is to see the churches in her city come together to be the hands and feet of Christ. She is passionate to live every day missionally. You can also find Melissa at www.Melissa-Bradley.com.
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