The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3: 2-6 NIV)
I imagine that it wouldn’t have been so easy to tempt Eve if the fruit on that tree was dull, bruised and rotten. Notice, I didn’t say apple. The Bible doesn’t specify what type of fruit it was, but I digress. If the fruit wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, she probably would’ve given the serpent the “yuck face” and went on about her merry way. But that’s not how the enemy tempted her. The scripture tells us that this fruit was “pleasing to the eye.” With our sight the enemy tempts us to disobey God. He tempts us with that “thing” that we know we don’t need, but it looks so good to us. As a matter of fact, many times that “thing” appears when you are vulnerable. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have the same value. It wouldn’t look soooo good.
Recently, I had the opportunity to make some extra money doing something that is almost second nature to me. Although I knew what I would be doing was unethical, the large sum of money that I could make appealed to me. All I could think of was using the money to get some items I wanted for my house and my closet. I had already gone window shopping in my mind. I would also be helping someone and in turn they would be “helping” me. Since I knew I probably couldn’t do the task alone, I solicited one of my close friends to help. I figured she could use the extra money too. That’s when that still small voice spoke to me and said with great clarity, “But, why? Why are you doing this? Do you not trust me? Have I not supplied all of your needs? If you take this, you will miss out on the greater that I have in store for you.” I wrestled with this all day. Was it really God? Wasn’t this an opportunity? I knew better. I knew that God would never support dishonesty and disobedience to His will. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (James 1:13-14 KJV)
What was this “greater” that God was speaking of? Was I willing to risk what God had in store for me for something that in comparison would be so miniscule? I decided it wasn’t worth the risk, but I didn’t fully release it.
She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. …The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:6,12 NIV) Less than a week later, the opportunity was withdrawn and I felt such a heavy weight lifted. I decided not to partake; however I was still involving my friend in something that we both knew was wrong. I rationalized in my own head that if God didn’t want her to do it, surely He would talk to her. I ended up telling her how God spoke to me and she compared my action of passing the assignment to her to a child who gets admonished for doing something or being told no, so they tell their sibling to do it instead. She was right. When God told me to let it go, I was supposed to completely let it go. However, I am glad that I serve a merciful God because in the short time since this happened I can see how God is blessing me with that “greater.”
Money isn’t always the subject of temptation. Many of you may face temptation in a variety of ways. You made a commitment to take care of your temple (body); yet, everywhere you turn there are the most delectable desserts and scrumptious entrees. You’ve been single for quite some time or maybe your husband isn’t showing you the right attention, but now that conversation with that smooth talking brother makes you tempted to engage in behavior that you know is unpleasing to God. That food has never looked and smelled sooo good. That brother that you met was your “ideal” man. He smelled good, talked a good game, made you laugh, comforted you, and was quite handsome too. Remember, if it didn’t look good, it wouldn’t be tempting. Don’t miss out on what God has in store for you because you choose to temporarily satisfy your flesh or “help” God supply your needs.
Forgive me for inserting my nose where it did not belong. You have told me that You would supply my needs and give me the desires of my heart. In James 4:7, You told me to resist the devil and he will flee… Help me to resist temptation as I put all of my trust in You. Lord, I trust You completely. Daddy, I know that even Your Son, Jesus, was tempted of the devil and He said, “Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God.” If we are Your children and are following Your commandments, we have the power to speak that to the enemy too. Thank You for being such a gracious and merciful God, willing to forgive us even when we falter. Daddy, I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today I EMPOWER you to resist temptation. If you are engaged in anything that you know is not pleasing to God or is in direct conflict with the instruction that He left for your life, let it go. Do not miss out on the abundance God has for you because you have decided that “it looks so good,” and just this one time won’t hurt.
Have you found yourself struggling with temptation? How do you deal with it?
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Sensory Trickery
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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”