This is one of my most favorite signs that I have in my photography portfolio. It was taken at the edge of a pecan grove in Lee County, Georgia several years ago. I was recently reminded of this sign in connection with the slow study I am doing through the book of Genesis--in particular, Genesis 3:1-13. Go ahead. Read it in your Bible or Google search Genesis 3:1-13 and it will pop up. It is a short story and will help make this next part make sense.
--Have you read it? Good. Let's move on.---
God puts up signs all around us, reminding us of the dangers of going certain places mentally, physically, spiritually, yet, I catch myself choosing fruit from the other side of the sign much like Eve did in this part of the story. What I want to talk about are some of the interesting tactics satan uses in this story because I have found that he is still using them to get me to bypass the "Keep Out" signs God has put up in my life.
Tactic 1: satan uses questions to make me question the directions God has given me.
Genesis 3:1 "Did God actually say..."
--This tactic is so dangerous, because I usually start trying to come up with a reason why I should get to do what I want to do even if it means manipulating what God has said in scripture. "Did God actually say that I shouldn't do this? Maybe what He actually meant was...I'm not hurting anyone and I still love Jesus."
Tactic 2: satan uses hyperbole to try to make God sound ridiculous in His commands.
Genesis 3:1 "Did God actually say 'You SHALL NOT eat of ANY tree in the garden'?"
The emphasis is mine, because what God actually said is almost the exact opposite. God said they "MAY SURELY EAT of EVERY tree of the garden," except for one.
--This is why it is important to have God's word memorized and to read the Bible, not just go off of what you think, feel, or what someone else says the Bible says. satan is really good at saying something that sounds close to what God says.
Tactic 3: satan lies.
Genesis 3:5 "You will not surely die."
--Uhhhh, yes they will and they do. From the moment they ate that fruit, they died in so many ways. Their innocence died. Their close relationship with God died. The freedom their innocence brought died, they now had to deal with pain, heartache, and struggle like they had never would have experienced. Their relationship each other died, because from that moment on Adam and Eve would struggle in their relationship with each other. (follow this link to better understand how Genesis 3:16 points to this https://www.dennyburk.com/four-quick-points-on-the-esvs-re…/) And last, but certainly not least, they no longer had the freedom to eat from the tree of life and have life eternal. From that moment on, they were in the process of dying.
Tactic 4: satan likes to suggest that one party in a relationship is being unfair to another party.
Genesis 3:5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened..."
--I have fallen into that trap too many times. I start ruminating on how a friend, co-worker, or family member has somehow short-changed me, whether it is true or not, and suddenly our relationship is not looking so good. The negative thought process leads to a very nasty spiral of my attitude toward that person.
Tactic 5: satan convinces you that you need something that you really have no need of.
Genesis 3:6 "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes...she took of its fruit and ate..."
--Literally, if Eve had looked at any other fruit bearing plant that was all around her, she would have found an abundance of food that was "pleasant for the sight and good for food." (Genesis 2:9) She didn't need that fruit from that tree. It was like she went into the grocery store with its 39,500 items and walked up to the one thing in the whole grocery store that she couldn't have and took it instead of all the other free, delicious, and gorgeous options around her.
--That sounds so much like me. Every day, God sets me in the midst of a million choices that are good for me. They are choices that are the best and they look amazing, if I will just look at them. Instead, I zero in on that one thing that is off limits and take it no matter the cost.
Lastly, I want to point out that when satan throws the temptation in front of us, and we go for it, he never sticks around and walks with us through the consequences of that decision. he tempts and then he abandons, just like he did with Adam and Eve. Once they ate the fruit, they suddenly became very embarrassed of their nakedness. Did satan offer to help cloth them? Nope. When God wanted to be with Adam and Eve, did satan volunteer to help them explain why their choice to eat the fruit was a wise one? No. He is very quiet for the rest of this scene. He doesn't even show up to take the heat off the serpent when God punishes it for allowing satan to use it.
God on the other hand seeks out Adam and Eve, even though they were hiding from Him. God explains to Adam and Eve the consequences of their decision. God made some better and more permanent clothes for Adam and Eve. Then God removed further temptation from them by removing the option of the tree of life. He relocated Adam and Eve and He installed a security system.
Let's go back to the "Keep Out" sign. The one in this picture caught my attention and I can honestly say, I did not go past the sign when I found it. I can't say that is true in all my dealings with satan in my life. Too many times, he has used questions and lies to tempt me, and too many times I have acted just like Eve. It is the beginning of 2020. Many of us have resolved to avoid our pet sins and addictions this year, we are striving to ignore the temptations, and live this year in the abundance God is offering us on the correct side of the Keep Out sign. The good news is that satan has not changed his tactics since the beginning of time so we can easily spot his attacks if we want. The even better news is that the God who created all things, has shown since the beginning of time that He is willing to seek us out, walk with us through the consequences of our past sins, cloth us in His righteousness, and move us mentally, physically, or spiritually into places that keep us from continuing in our destructive habits.
So my friend, my prayer for you and for me in 2020 is that we will learn something from this story that will help us "Keep Out"!
Hello! I am Dawnita Hall. Sometimes I need to put into words the things God is teaching me. This blog is my way of sharing those moments with you with the hopes that what God is using to grow and encourage me will also inspire you. Please, share your thoughts in the comment sections after each post. Let's make this a place where we work together to encourage each other to live inspired to be an inspiration.