Saturday, February 18, 2012

Confrontation with Satan

Did God say...?" (Genesis 3:1).

The serpent engaged Eve in a conversation that was a confrontation. He didn't ask Eve about the Garden and what she was allowed to do there; instead, he homed in on the one tree God had forbidden to Adam and Eve.

Human nature hasn't changed much through the ages since. We still question God about our restrictions and overlook our liberties. The moment we question God about His right and our rights, we engage in a controversy with Satan. When Jesus was led into the wilderness, He refused to enter into a controversy with Satan. His reply was "It is written" to every suggestion made by the great machinator of mankind.

When Satan slips up on us and makes us discontent because of what we don't have, let us show him the beauty that lines our garden and that is available to us for the praying. When we give it much thought, the restrictions of life are few and basic and necessary to our salvation, and they touch the core of our being for our own good, if we but allow God the wisdom to know what is best for us.

Satan's goal during our life is to make us question God's goodness; indeed, His very character. Augustine is reported to have said, "Love, and do what you like." Augustine understood that, when we love what is good, we understand the character of the person we love and we want to do what is right because we love. We have the liberty to do what we like because we love, and we won't betray who we love.

Eve momentarily "forgot the God who gave [her] birth" (Deuteronomy 32:18) and thus began the controversy of the ages. It began with a question that laid an ax at the very root of humanity. God's Word answers Satan's questions. When doubts assail and we find ourselves listening to these doubts, our cure begins in God's Word.

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