Tuesday, October 30, 2007

believing the deceiver

I had the most glorious walk this morning. It was one of those sun-drenched Spring mornings, with a cool, crisp breeze, and the air was fresh and clear. Every dancing shadow was sharp-etched and lovely, every finely veined leaf suffused with a deeper meaning, every branch lifted a multitude of tiny twigs to the sky in praise to God.

It was one of those rare times when my eyes were unclouded by tiredness, guilt, discouragement, or illness, and the world seemed fair and unspoiled, like it was made new this morning just for me.

It struck me that this was a small taste of how Adam and Eve must have seen the world, in all its shining newness, when they walked with God in the morning of the world, and discovered its beauties for the first time, through eyes unmarred by sin, doubt, and sorrow.

It made me wonder why they gave all this up to follow their own path away from God. It's not much of a deal is it: "Here, swap this fantastic and wonderful beauty, this serenity and bliss, this tender enjoyment of one another, this intimate walk with God, for a world filled with despair, misery, decay, confusion, pain, and death."

But of course that's not the choice that was presented to them. Satan painted the way he wanted them to take in bright and glowing colours: "God didn't really say that you would die! He's actually trying to keep from you the greatest secret of all: the knowledge of good and evil."

Little did they know the desolation that an inner knowledge of evil would produce.

And is it any different for us? We also hear the taunting, lying words of Satan, the great Deceiver, whispering in our ears, accusing us, challenging us, and tempting us with false promises of wisdom and happiness.

"God can't really have meant he would forgive you, it's obvious that you're beyond the reach of his forgiveness, you've been struggling with this sin for years!" "You don't really believe the Bible, do you, no intelligent person takes it seriously any more." "Perhaps if you expressed your anger...bought this one thing...gave into temptation just this once...you would feel comforted, fulfilled, happier."

Like Adam and Eve, we're tempted by the promise of something better, wiser, more plausible. What we don't remember when we listen to Satan's lies, is that we're giving up all that really matters, all that deeply satisfies, all that is joyful, and meaningful, and true, for a lie that will leave only bitterness and despair in its wake.

And if this world can sometimes be so heart-breakingly lovely, imagine what heaven will be like. Now there's a promise worth believing.

see Genesis 1-3; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:3


Kirsten said...

Oh Jean,

that was just so wonderful- I felt like I was there with you on the walk...and then again when considering how easily I can be drawn away from what is perfect and pleasing to God...Thank you for your encouragement - it is truly helpful (in response to your blog about blogging;)
Love Kirst

BGSydneyside said...

Such a great post Jean.
love B

Louisa said...

this post was so helpful! there is discerning to be done but thanks for challenging us with these thoughts!

D.M. Cornish said...

Most excellent! The dialogue of despair and temptation you show is very familiar me... and the truth of Jesus such balm. Amen!

Leslie said...

Hi, lovely to meet you, I'm up in Canberra and found your blog through WTBAY. :)

Joce said...

thanks for the encouragement Jean, you paint lovely pictures with your words. <><