When we find ourselves weighed down with tough life battles – say for instance, worry, fear, anxiety, depression, food addictions, cravings, temptations of various kinds, yo-yo weight losses/gains or low self-esteem issues, etc., etc., etc., Oh wait a minute … These are MY battles! Does everyone do battle with these same issues on a regular basis or is it just me?
Some weeks are tougher than others and it feels as though periodically my issues want to circle the wagons together to create one giant super-struggle. When that happens, I feel beat down, overwhelmed and left out in the wilderness completely on my own, asking where are you God?
Last week resembled a wagon-circling-super-struggle situation. When I have a week like the past one, God in His goodness gently reminds me that even though I may feel abandoned, alone, fearful, anxious, depressed and all of the other things my brain (or more likely – the devil) has convinced me I am – I am never without God’s Holy Spirit. His constant presence in my life is always there; this He has promised. (Hebrews 13:5)
Personally, I’m of the opinion that all of the aforementioned problems can be traced back to one original source. It started with an apple. But the true blame, the root of the root, the very core of the core – ALL of life’s trials can be traced back to the original sin. The sin of all sins. The BIG sin no one can ever forget, perpetrated upon the one person, gullible enough to fall for those perpetrated lies … Eve (no last name).
Yes, that Eve. The woman God gave to Adam in the Garden of Eden who ruined everything by eating that single piece of forbidden fruit.. Eve had ONE job – don’t eat the fruit from that ONE tree. Eve and the hubs had free rein and access to EVERYTHING else in the garden. Sadly, and to all of mankind’s detriment, Eve chose to believe the lies of the enemy rather than what God specifically said DON’T DO!
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6 (ESV)
If only … if only – If only Eve would have trusted her woman’s intuition (because I’m convinced God created all women with that little bit of extra intuitive knowledge) rather than listening to that lying snake! Is it any wonder that so many of us struggle with obesity, eating disorders and food addictions? The very first temptation the devil lobbed at womankind was food related! It was this very temptation that has caused the rest of us to spend our lives paying for Eve’s poor judgment and colossal stupid mistake.
If you read the text in Genesis 3:1-5, the devil immediately tried to get Eve to doubt God and even doubt herself. The devil wanted her to question what God really said and what she heard.
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
Satan’s agenda included not only tempting Eve with food, he convinced her she hadn’t heard God correctly. Satan persuaded Eve by basically calling out God as a liar. “You won’t die! God knows your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat…”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the devil had Eve believing that God really didn’t want what was best for her. Why else would God withhold something so desirable from her and Adam? If God really loved and cared for them, why wouldn’t He want their eyes opened so they could distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong?
The devil masterfully makes these same suggestions to us on a regular, sometimes daily basis. That first initial food temptation is the root cause of obesity and food related addictions. Our senses are assaulted with the delicious smells of amazing looking food. Heck, we don’t even have to smell the food. Those Burger King and Dairy Queen commercials are proof of that!
All of these forbidden foods – the cookies, cakes, candies, chips, burgers, pizza, ice cream – it all calls to us, begging to be sampled. Yet, we know these things are unbelievably bad for us and will destroy our health if eaten with regularity. Once we succumb to our desires to partake of that which we know we shouldn’t – we immediately hate and despise ourselves. Our weaknesses, our lack of self-control torment us to the point of self-hatred so deep and all-consuming we want to crawl into the nearest pit and hide from the world – too ashamed to let our real selves be seen. Oh wait – is that just me?
Unbelievers question the existence of God, even while nature screams of a supernatural, masterfully artistic creator. As Christians, we doubt that God cares for us as individuals because there are so many other worthy people on the planet. We struggle with fear, worry, doubt and anxiety because we are never fully 100% convinced that the same benevolent God who separated the light and the dark, designed planets and solar systems, animals and people would really be interested in every aspect of our lives. Who am I that the highest King would take notice of me?
We struggle with self-esteem, doubting that God created us in His image because those simple words Satan spoke to Eve, God KNOWS … Yes, God knows everything, and Satan hates that. The devil is fully aware that his only chance to make our lives miserable is for him to twist God’s truths just enough to cause us to doubt God’s Holy Word. The enemy is such a masterful manipulator. If he wasn’t, how else would he have been able to install enough doubt to push Adam and Eve into such a tragic lapse of judgment? Adam and Eve were privy to a one-on-one relationship with God that has never been paralleled. Why would they ever want to jeopardize that? The devil and his carefully worded taunts filled the original twosome with so many doubts, it seemed almost easy for them to sample the forbidden fruit.
Satan continues his masterful mind manipulation with us:
IF God REALLY cares about me and made me in His image …
Why do I struggle with food cravings?
Why doesn’t God make weight loss easier?
Why do I feel so ugly and awkward?
Why am I still depressed?
Why do I still worry and live with anxiety and fear?
Why doesn’t God step in and fix all of these problems in my life?
Why do I hate myself so much?
And on … and on … and on … Seriously … am I the ONLY person who hears these taunts (and more) on a regular basis?
The thing is, Satan can only make suggestions to us. It is up to us to make these suggested lies our truth or reject them completely. God gave us free will so we are the only one who can decide what we will believe. I love to read – not just God’s Word, but I love a great fiction novel – especially murder mysteries. Whenever I’m in the middle of a story and I start getting worried about the main character, I confess – I flip to the last chapter of the book and read the ending to assuage my concerns. Whenever Satan’s attacks become so concentrated and intense, I admit to doing the same thing with the Bible. I flip to the last couple of chapters in the Word of God and sneak a peak at the ending of the book, so I can put my fears to rest. The harder the devil digs in and fires his slings and arrows at me … I know the end to his story!
Satan may have begun his attack on mankind with something as simple as an apple – but God is bigger and more powerful than the devil. As children of the Most High King, we are his beloved. He tells us we are the apple of His eye.
I am a daughter of the King. I am the apple of His eye and so are you if you call Jesus, Lord. God said it. I believe it. That settles it!
QUOTE OF THE DAY: