“Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the LORD God had made. The snake asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1 GNT)
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It’s one of the most famous scenes in the Bible: the woman being tempted by the snake in Genesis 3:1.
God had made a perfect world, a perfect couple. he had placed them in the garden with one instruction: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die (Genesis 2:16-17)”. Simple, right?
They could eat anything that they wanted except for one of the trees in the middle of the garden. Fine. So how did we get from having an “all-we-can-eat” buffet to being on a starvation diet?
It boiled down to a matter of presentation and who they chose to trust. God gave mankind a feast and a license to eat. The devil flipped the imagery and made it seem as though there was a lack.
Related: Adam & Eve: Riches to Rags
God said, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. (emphasis added).”
The devil said, “Did God really say, ‘You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden’? (emphasis mine)”
How It Applies to Us
Did you notice the difference? One focuses on all that was available, the other exaggerated what could not be done.
Isn’t that how it still works? God tells us all the wonderful things He plans for us and shows us all that’s available. It’s true that there are restrictions, but they are clearly stated and given at the time of the promise. So we’re aware of them ahead of time.
Related: God Is Faithful
The enemy, on the other hand, shows us the things we cannot or should not do but he puts it in a light that makes it attractive. He knows that if he gets us to start focusing on it he can distract us from all the things we have. Let me give an example:
Your neighbor gets a new car. Instantly the enemy shows up with the thought: ‘I wish I could get a new car like that.’ He shifts your focus from all the things that you have like a happy marriage, healthy children, your health, a good-paying job, supportive friends.
We sometimes allow that one thing that we do not have put us in jeopardy of forgetting to be grateful for all the things that we do have.
Consider the story of Eve and the serpent. Is there an area in your life where you are focusing on a single point of lack instead of the bounty that God has given you?
Pray and ask God to forgive you and to help you make a fresh start.
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