Are there strategies and tactics the enemy uses when he attempts to deceive us? Are there ways in which we open ourselves to deceit? If so, are there ways that we can recognize those strategies and seal off those spiritual leaks?
Genesis 3:1-7 recounts the story of the temptation in the Garden of Eden. The serpent carefully and cunningly weaves his way into Eve’s imagination and opens her mind to a view of her world that is different than the one God had taught them.
The Bible tells us that the snake was more cunning than any other creatures that God made. Using his craftiness, the snake began his manipulation with a question which he knew, full-well, was opposite of the truth. He asked Eve”,” Did God really say, ‘you shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden ‘?” By asking this question the enemy was clearly testing Eve’s knowledge. While her answer was mostly accurate, it had a few error cracks.
Eve correctly responded that they were allowed to eat of the fruit of all of the trees in the garden except one. She said that it was only the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden from which they were forbidden. She missed it slightly. God had called the tree, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” Eve called it, “the tree in the middle of the garden.” She also added to the directive that they were not even allowed to touch the fruit from that tree.
While it might be argued that the command not to touch the tree was simply not recorded, let us assume that the written account is comprehensive. That being the case, Eve violated an important rule of God’s Word. That rule, which would later be inscribed twice in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament, is that we are not to add or take away from what God says. (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, Revelation 22:18). Obviously accurate knowledge is an important element in the kingdom of God.
When the enemy saw that Eve did not have a solid understanding of what God had said, he moved quickly to exploit the errors in her theology (understanding of God) and to shift her thinking. He had her off balance and it was time to take it to the next level.
Ironically, the snake used the very thing that Eve had left out of her answer to plant the seeds of doubt about God in Eve’s mind, “He knows that you will attain the knowledge of good and evil.” The enemy says this as if God was not the one that originally called it, “the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” But then the slimy serpent goes further and makes it sound like this knowledge is better than the perfect peace she was already enjoying.
In one way or another, sin is always the result of doubting God. Perhaps we disobey because we do not believe there will really be a penalty. Perhaps we sin because we doubt that he truly loves us and therefore it doesn’t matter anyway. Perhaps we doubt He has our best in mind. Perhaps we begin to doubt that God is protecting us and instead we believe that He is limiting us. The enemy told Eve, “You won’t die (no penalty), you will be like the gods (God is trying to limit you). Make no mistake, the enemy of your soul will always use doubt to cause you to stumble.
These are just three strategies and tactics that the enemy uses when he attempts to deceive us. Next time we will learn three more ways we could be deceived.
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, “Now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) all you have to do is “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Certainly, that is just the beginning, but the Holy Spirit and the Church is here to help you on your journey.
If you accepted Christ into your life today, please write and share your great news with me. I would love to rejoice with you, and share a gift that I trust will help you on your journey.