I've had friends who eagerly follow the latest craze: Amway, Mona V, Shaklee, True Vision, South Beach, Paleo, Young Living. And they have success. Pounds lost. Improved health. Mental well-being. They are believers, touting the benefits of each product with enough fervor to rival Ron Popeil's infomercials. But no matter how valid the results, no matter how amazing the product, something better always came along to replace what has been tried and true.
That's what happened with Adam and Eve and what continues to plague God-fearing, God-loving believers. Satan comes along with his sales pitch, and we throw out the tried and true, transferring our faith from what we know to be right and good to heed his latest scheme. Unlike my friends' harmless pursuit of the new and improved, when we take the trade, we are sure to lose out.
What we have in God is already the best. It cannot be improved upon. Satan shows up with something different and whispers the lie that DIFFERENT=BETTER. Transferring our faith in God's Word to Satan's lie results in any number of catastrophes: gluttony, disease, adultery, materialism, extreme make-overs, anxiety and depression... The shift reduces fulfillment, diverts purpose, weakens relationships, and taints self-image.
If we look at Adam and Eve's transferred faith, we see that moving our faith away from God to believe what the enemy says modifies the truth in our eyes. What we once saw as God's loving care looks like deprivation, lack, rigidity, and rules. Our peace and contentment are exchanged for disillusion and perpetual pursuit of the allusive. Relationship with God is overtaken by self-will, self-indulgence, and self-sufficiency. Guilt, blame, hurt, and consequences Satan never warned us about become part of the bargain.
But we can keep our faith intact. We do so by continuing to shut out the voices that go against God's Word and silencing the temptation that begins in our heads. Negative thoughts that lead to self-pity or depression can be countered with the reminder that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Worry that elevates our heart rate and squeezes our carotid arteries in panic can be settled with the reminder that God is in control, that He can be trusted, that we don't have to figure things out, that God's got us... Gluttony and unhealthy eating a temptation? "He satisfies our mouths with good things." Or "Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content." Lust calling, "Just look"? Remember we seldom touch what we've not looked at. Remember that your spouse is made by the same God Who made you, and you are not superior to your mate; rather, you each have value. Your covenant to one another is to God AND the mate made in His image. Do you really want to do to JESUS what you are willing to envision doing against your spouse or future spouse?
Notice that God's voice always states the truth and withholds nothing. His instructions to Adam and Eve included the blessing of what they could have as well as the definition of the forbidden and the consequences of tasting the forbidden. Satan's voice does not tell the full story. His temptation is always about instant gratification, no negative consequences, living in the emotions of right now. That's how suicide can look good, words can spiral into slander, anger can erupt into a shooting match, a disagreement can turn into divorce, or a verbal correction can evolve into a screaming fit.
Believing the liar always sets our actions against God. Since He is peace and order and life, moving away from Him empties our lives of these blessings.
Hold on to your faith in God today. Your continued trust in Him is a blessing that will enrich your life and the lives of generations to come. Adam and Eve can attest to that.
Tip/Tidbit: Evaluate your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, they are good indicators of who you are believing.
To read more along these lines, check out my book, Truth or Lie.