Ephesians 4 : 17 – 19, This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; NKJV
The Bible tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. However, what happens when we become unhappy with God? Whether we like it or not, God has sent us to establish the work of His Kingdom in a world filled with sin and violence. In the book of John, Jesus tells us that we are in this world, but we are not of it. Consequently, we must not lose sight of that truth, lest we succumb to the schemes and lies of the Devil and get off focus.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4 : 4 that Satan is the god of this world. As such, he doesn’t want a bunch of Christians running around spoiling his plans. Even so, the children of God don’t have to concern themselves about Satan because Jesus has already defeated him on the cross. The only one that we need to be aware of and not give into is our “self.” Self is that old nature that you and I used to live in agreement with while living in sin, but now we have been redeemed, and self is the one whom we must crucify daily. If we refuse to die to self, then he will get us entangled in the affairs of this world and engage us in a personal battle with Satan.
Should this occur, as it did in the Garden of Eden with Eve, Satan can then turn our hearts on God because we feel He isn’t keeping us as safe and provided for as we think He ought. We are commanded to trust God, not place demands on Him. Remember, Satan tempted Jesus to cast himself off a mountain; however, Jesus reminded him that we are not to tempt the Lord God.
Satan lied to Eve about the character of God; he wanted to convince her that God was keeping her from being like Him by forbidding them to eat of the tree of knowledge. Consequently, they took an offense against the Lord. When this offense took over their hearts, they tempted the Lord with sin. Therefore, we must guard our hearts from being offended or getting defensive with God so that we don't become demanding of Him.
Jesus has told us in the book of John that, in this world, we would have tribulation. However, He also told us to be of good cheer because He had already overcome the world. If we should take our eyes off Jesus and look at how God is allowing this world to mistreat us, then our hearts will open up to hurt and to the possibility of an infection of bitterness and/or unbelief against God.
Once Eve heard that God had “rejected them” from being like Him by keeping them from that one tree, hurt filled their hearts against God. The spirit or mindset of rejection is a hard lie to overcome because we started life as a sinner. At times, it’s difficult for us to forget our past, even though God has already sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin and has accepted us in Christ. This world has a way of making us FEEL like we did before God bathed us in His love.
After Adam and Eve discovered that they were naked, and were ashamed, they sewed fig leaves together and made aprons to cover themselves. The Lord revealed to me the other day what the significance of the outward covering meant. Since they were now blinded by sin, the leaves represented a hardness or callousness against God. The fig leaves also represented the works of man. It’s easy for someone who feels rejected to fall into the pit of performance, and through works try to earn God’s love and favor. This is the pit that God wants us to stay out of and is the reason for today’s word.
If you experience a hardship or tragedy that causes you to become offended at God, it is not the time to turn away from Him. Satan meant it for evil, but if we remember why we’re on earth and Who it is that we love and serve, then this can keep us from tempting the Lord with sin. If what the Lord has had me share with you seems hard to grasp, remember this… by grace you have been saved. In order to live victorious in this world, we must live by faith in Christ and walk humbly, by the grace of God.
Are there areas in your heart today where you hold anger against God because of something that has happened to you? Then you should know that Satan did this to cause an offense; however, no weapon of Satan can prosper against the righteous seed of God. You can simply humble yourself before the Lord right where you are, ask Him to take away the sting of Satan’s attack, and allow God’s love to heal the wound in your heart. Jesus came that we might have life in abundance. Delight yourself in Him.
Looking unto Jesus,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery