I’ve been reading Sharon Jaynes’ two-part devotion on “I’d be happy if…” over the past week, so it was no surprise when I looked at today’s topic on the GEM calendar about temptation. God is so cool that way!
Sharon, a member of the Girlfriends in God daily blog team, wrote about Eve listening to the lies of Satan when she chose to eat a piece of fruit from the forbidden tree. That one act of disobedience banished the human race from the Garden of Eden and gave way to our constant struggle with temptation and sin.
Satan is most definitely the king of temptation and he’s really good at his job.
Moreover, Satan plants the seeds of doubt, expands on the “I’d be happy if…” scenarios, and accuses us loudly of our failures and limitations. His agenda is to take God’s joy, hope and peace from our lives to keep us in a state of dissatisfaction. He’s brilliant, devious, gorgeous and evil to the core. Additionally, Satan’s aim is take us away from God and into the perpetual hell he lives in forever. Yikes.
As ugly and evil as Satan is – God is the one who often gets the bad wrap! In fact, many times we think God doesn’t care about us or that He is the King Fun-sucker when what we want to do is something He asks us not to do.
An good example is covetousness.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. Exodus 20:17
God doesn’t ask us not to covet because He doesn’t want to give us joy or fun…He asks us not to covet because coveting makes us:
- Feel miserable when we want something we can’t have.
- Do stupid things when we are consumed with greed and jealousy.
- Follow a path that was not made for US.
But noooooo, we frequently think God’s being unfair, mean or flat out doesn’t love us because we aren’t getting what we want. We whine, gripe and complain that we are getting a raw deal. Worse, we tend to ignore God and try it our own way. How does that work out for you?
Do you see the spiral affect that happens when we don’t listen to God’s directions?
In fact, my answers to the following questions clearly explain to me why I shouldn’t try to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ (My answers are in italic.)
- How content are you when you are breaking your back to make as much money as you can? Not at all. I’m tired, grouchy and never satisfied because there is always something else to want.
- How free do you feel when you are buried under a pile of debt? Scared and fearful. I become consumed with worry that I won’t have enough money to pay my debts, much less put food on the table.
- How happy are you spending more time trying to make money instead of enjoying your life? I feel cheated that I’m having to work, guilty because I’m not spending enough time with family and friends, and depressed that I’m not doing a good job for anyone.
Acting on temptation is the first step towards our own destruction.
No wonder God tells us what we should and should not do. He’d be a bad parent if He DIDN’T!!!
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
God wants the very best for His children. We would be saving ourselves a heap of trouble if we would actually LISTEN to Him. The best way to start is to open His Word and just talk to Him. God really wants to help each and every one of us live in the hope, joy and peace that only He can give.
Do you believe that or do you believe the lies of Satan?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 12:20 – Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.