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The Manipulative Snake

January 13, 2018

Genesis 3:4 - "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman.

When I read this verse it's made clear to me how manipulative Satan can be. Deceit is the basis of his character. Genesis 3:1 in the Amplified Bible says "the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field.." Subtle and Crafty. Satan is strategic. He develops blue prints on how to take us out, on how to make us feel less powerful. If we are not careful or even acknowledge that Satan is working against us, his whispers can sneak into our lives.

I googled the word "Subtle" and the one definition that stood out to me states: "making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something". Clever and indirect methods.  Satan uses clever methods to steer us off the path we're walking on with God. Because Satan uses clever methods we have to stay aware of him. Now, that doesn’t mean we have to live in fear of being the prey of one of his schemes, but it does mean we need to stay in constant relationship with God through prayer and His Word. When we know God's Word we are more tuned in to truth and able to distinguish Satan's lies.

Eve was probably minding her own business. Maybe she was thinking about which fruit she wanted to eat when all of a sudden a serpent starts bugging her. He starts asking her: "Did God really say?" Maybe she had politely replied to him: "We can eat from any tree except for this one or we'll die". Then Satan begins to deceive her by telling her she won't die if she eats the forbidden fruit, but will become like God in His knowledge of good and evil. In verse 6 of the Amplified Bible it says she found "the tree was good (suitable and pleasant)". Verse 6 is where Eve probably began to reason with the idea of "Hmm.. It looks good. It seems suitable for food. The snake over here says it'll make me wise. I mean, yeah, God said I'll die if I eat it, but… well.. hmm.. What the heck!? I think I'll take that chance." So after she eats it she decides to share it with Adam (when we operate in the flesh don't we like to bring others down with us? That's a whole other topic.) and instead of gaining wisdom to be like God they suffered the consequences of being disobedient. Sure they knew the difference between good and evil, but it wasn't worth being estranged from God and being sent to the outskirts of Eden to then be forced to toil the land for your own food when if you had just been obedient God would have given it all to you.

I believe this example of Adam and Eve falling under Satan's temptation is very valuable and relates to our lives. Like I mentioned before we have to stay aware of Satan's schemes. 1 Peter 5:8 instructs us to "Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour." (Amp. Bible) According to this verse Satan means business and we should too. With every attack and whisper we're going into a battle to which our greatest weapon is God's Word. When Satan tries to deceive us we can reply with "But God said" which I think is how Eve could have handled the situation. But let's be honest with ourselves once we begin reasoning like Eve did it can become a dangerous situation. I'll give you a personal example.

My mom passed away in September of 2015 so well into 2016 I was still hurting and still had some anger towards God because He didn't heal my mom and such. So anyways, in June  of 2016 I was home by myself for the first time since my mom passed away. At first I was fine. I put on Netflix and ordered a pizza. I thought it was going to be okay. Then, I'm not too sure what happened, but I felt so lonely and then I began to talk to God about my mom. That's when the tears came. That's when I felt the pain and anger. It felt very dangerous to be alone with my thoughts because that's when I felt the anger, fear, and anxiety. That was the night I became aware of Satan's tactics and decided "Satan, you cannot have my mind. It is mine. Only God has the authority to influence my mind." Yes, at this time I still hurt and didn’t understand why which started all the hurt and anger this evening, but I knew that I still wanted to serve God with my life. {I told God if you heal her I'll give my whole life to serving you, but lo and behold she's in heaven and my purpose and passion is still to serve Him through ministry.} I had begun to reason with God and ask Him the "Why" and "What if" questions which paved the way for Satan to use fear and deceit to try to cripple my mind. Reasoning is dangerous and why we must always hold onto God's truth as the final answer and ultimate authority. The "Why didn't you heal her?" "What would life be like if she was still here?" "Sure life wouldn’t be easy, but I'd have my mom." created a danger zone. Once I hit this danger zone I have realized the importance of keeping my mind set on God's truth. Claiming God's Word over your life is a very powerful thing. Since that evening one of the first things I did was purchase Joyce Meyer's book, Battlefield of the Mind which I hope to revisit soon. I also read her book titled Power Thoughts as well which I found to be beneficial.

Satan studies us to find our weakness. He knew that losing my mom turned my world upside down, became my weakness, and the basis of my insecurity. I still struggle with moving forward in life, but by the grace of God I've taken some steps, I've made some progress, and God has been using everything that has occurred in my life for His good and I know I'm going to do great things for the Lord. Satan wanted to use the passing of my mom to break me, but God is using it as the very basis of my ministry.

Remember that Satan is a manipulative snake. He will try to get you to reason with God and within yourself. He will try to ask you: "Did God really say?" "You don't think you'll really did, do you?" You may not die, but you will be sinning if you go against what God says to you through His Word and through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Adam and Eve didn't die, but they made life harder than it needs to be. Listening to Satan's lies and deception makes life way harder than it needs to be. That is one lesson I've learned over these past 2 years.

When Satan whispers in your ear you can reply with "But God said all things work for good for those who love God and I love God which is why I'm not listening to you, Satan." (See Romans 8:28.) You have authority in the name of Jesus by the blood of Jesus. That manipulative snake has no power over you. Rebuke him and he will flee. (See James 4:7.)

God bless you!

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