The first thing you should know about Satan’s great work is that he is an enemy of God. He is a friend to those who will follow him and if you do follow him, he will lead you straight to hell. We are born into sin because Satan tempted Eve and seduced her to eat from the very tree God had instructed Adam and Eve not to eat from. Satan was the most cunning beast of the field and he is still the same today.
Now let us look at how he seduced Eve into doing his will. “And he said to the woman, has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Therefore, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:1-6). Now we can clearly see whom it is that is tempting God’s people to do wrong and just how sin was first introduced into the life of the human. You see, Satan’s strategy mirrors our vulnerability to temptation. Satan misrepresented God’s word in verse one, then in verse 4 he completely denied it. Then when we look at verse 5 Satan even had the nerve to question God’s motives. How much bolder can he really get?
In this situation, Eve showed us how we are today. Instead of relying on God for directions, she evaluated the option of eating the fruit based on its potential for providing sensory pleasure, and chose what seemed to be desirable in verse 6. Today, we need to remember even when others say such things as “But it feels so good, it must be right.” “How can you, know unless you try it? Or but, you can do so much good by telling just a little lie.”
Remember, Satan is there going to and fro in the earth. His job is to tempt us to join his band of angels and he is good at what he does. He is the implacable enemy of God, driven by pride, jealousy and hatred. Human beings are mere pawns in the endless warfare he wages against the Lord. Because God loves human beings, Satan seeks to harm us in his futile attempts to thwart God. Satan’s basic attitude toward human beings is revealed in the gospel reports of diseases and suffering attributed to demonic beings. Satan is our enemy and we better become more aware of who he is and is methods of operation. God has given us a choice to either follow Him or follow Satan. This choice is present in our lives each time we awaken from our sleep.
Yield not to temptation:
The Bible instructs us to yield not to temptation, and as a Christian we must learn to be obedient to God’s word. He never tells us that temptation will never confront us. He instructs us not to yield to it. This I do realize can be very difficult to overcome but it can be done.
Let us look at it through the eyes of one of our children who is home alone as they are so often. One of the kids opens the cupboard and finds a box of sweets. They know that they are not supposed to eat the sweets. However, they are tempted to do so. They are likely to have chosen any of the two things; either they might yield to the temptation and steal the sweets without our knowledge which is a sin; or they may resist the temptation and not steal the sweets which is a good act. Look at the huge difference between temptation and sin. Temptation is just an urge towards sin. If we yield to that urge, we wind up committing sin. On the other hand, if we resist it, we do a good act. A bad thought comes to your mind. Thinking of an immoral action, you are induced to take pleasure in that. This is temptation. Now you might do any of the two things. Either you may willingly give room for such evil thoughts. That is, you like such thoughts. And crave to retain it in your mind. You are inducing yourself into thinking more and more of it and seek to find pleasure in that. If you do so you are committing sin. On the other hand, you may resist such immoral thought. That is, you do not like to keep that thought in your mind, but try your best to remove it. If that is the case, you have resisted the temptation, thereby doing a commendable act. However, what happens often is even when you try to erase a bad thought from your mind, it stays in your mind and however hard you try, it doesn’t go away. Therefore, you think that you have committed a sin. Not at all, it is only when you decide wholeheartedly to retain the bad thought in your mind and to think more and more of it, that you really commit sin.
There was a virtuous woman, once an immoral thought came to her mind. However hard she tried, it did not leave her mind, but kept returning. It stayed in her mind for a very long time. Finally, when it left her mind, she beseeched our God and asked, Oh! Jesus where have you been all alone? Our Lord replied calmly, “I have been in your heart only.” Then why did such bad thoughts come to my mind? Our Lord replied, “Calm down, though you were continually tormented by temptation, you did not yield to it and you have not committed sin.” She again asked, “Still my Lord, what were you doing in my heart?” Our Lord said, “I watched you struggling against those bad thoughts. I was very glad to find you not yielding to them. It was I who gave you the strength to resist them”.
Therefore, even if bad thoughts linger in your mind for a long time, if you do not yield to them, you are not committing sin. On the other hand, you have pleased Jesus by doing the virtuous acts of resisting such bad thoughts. However, though you do not give room for bad thoughts that come to your mind on many occasions. You are slightly lethargic in dismissing them. You are not making adequate efforts. On such occasions you should not confess, I have harbored bad thoughts, but it is sufficient to say, I was slightly negligent in removing bad thoughts from your mind. Moreover, on certain occasions, doubts may rise in your mind about taking part in the Holy Communion. As you might have given room for such bad thoughts or because of some other sins. On such occasions, you should cleanse yourself and you can take part in the Holy Communion with fear of God. Therefore, with complete placidity and gladness you may take part in the bread, which unifies with the body of Christ and drink in His cup, which unifies with His Blood. It is good to do so the Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen you.
Now let me close with this final thought for each one of you who have taken the time to read this entire lesson and the many lessons we teach here daily, “Think globally, and work locally. Looking beyond ourselves in the real and on line world, to reach out to others who might be in need, for we all are truly our Brothers Keeper, salvation is FREE for the asking. Take a moment wherever you may be, and ask the Lord to come into your heart. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and if you have spoken these few simple words in truth, you are saved, and now have eternal life.
May God continue to bless each one of you? Today I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity in Jesus name. I remain Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.