Friday, January 6, 2017

Sense and Sensibility

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. - Genesis 3:1-6

Any leader in any branch of the armed forces will tell you that the best way to win a battle is to know your enemy.  As Christians, we have an enemy.  His name is Satan, and according to the above passage, he's subtle.  That's why it's so important for us to learn and recognize his tactics.  Otherwise, we'll fall for them every time.  Take, for example, this episode with Eve.  

The first thing Satan did was to appeal to Eve's sensibilities.  "Hath God said?"  Not only does Satan want to access what you know, but he desires to twist it to suit his own purpose, just like he did with Eve.  Watch how masterfully he intertwined truth and lie:

Ye shall not surely die. - No, Eve didn't die immediately.  The fruit was not a fast-acting poison.  So from Eve's perspective, she could eat the fruit, and when nothing happened, she would assume that God's words had not been true.  She didn't die right then; however, Satan neglected to mention that her disobedience would indeed result in death.

Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. - Again, partly true.  Yes, her eyes were opened and she did know good and evil, but her "godlikeness" stopped there.  No powers.  No omniscience.  Nothing.  Not quite the way Satan made it sound, is it?

Interestingly enough, a half truth is much more convincing than a whole lie, and Satan knows it.  He relishes in twisting the truth to where we're no longer sure what we believe or why we believe it.  And then, when we're good and confused, he implements step two:  appeal to the senses.

Way back in school, we all learned about the five senses:  sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  Notice how Satan tempted Eve's senses:

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food - First off, she saw the fruit, and it looked good.  Second, things that are good for food generally smell and taste good.

And that it was pleasant to the eyes - Again, it looked splendid.

And a tree to be desired to make one wise - Desire and wisdom can make a body feel pretty good.

She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat - Why not?  Everything Satan had told her sounded rewarding.

And so, in the blink of an eye, Eve's senses overcame her sensibilities, and she made a bad choice.  It's so easy to throw blame at her, but we do the same thing.  Bad decisions.  Unhealthy habits.  Day after day, we allow our senses to overcome our sensibilities.  We put much more stock in how we feel and/or what we want than we do the truth of God's Word.  The result is ineffective Christians with no joy or peace but plenty of stress.

As I wrap up this post, I leave you with one warning--KNOW YOUR ENEMY.  Learn to recognize his tactics.  Be on guard for his attacks on both your senses and your sensibilities.  And when the attacks do come (and they will), grab your sword (the Word of God) and be prepared to fight for your life. And whatever you do, don't eat the fruit!

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