Challenging spiritually toxic mindsets and providing biblical tools for effective spiritual warfare.
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Listening to Snakes

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

...So 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. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:1-12)

I’m reading this awesome devotional, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit by R.T. Kendall right now. I won it a few months ago from a Charisma giveaway through Facebook (thanks!!). In yesterday’s reading (Day 16), a section from Genesis 3 was given as recommended reading and something stood out to me that I’d never noticed before.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Stop right there.

Let’s pretend for a moment that God is not omniscient and did not already know the answer to this question. (In which case, He wouldn’t be God, but for the sake of argument, go with me.) Adam said, “I was afraid…”

INFILTRATOR ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is like one of those silent alarms going off in the heavenly police station above!

But Desiree, what are you talking about??

God could tell right away that something was wrong because Adam said that he was afraid. It wasn’t just that he was hiding. He could have been playing hide-and-seek! Okay, not really, but you get the idea. How and why would Adam think to be afraid? Fear was, up to this point, unknown to humanity. Therefore, something or someone introduced it to them.

Let’s see what the Bible says.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7)

Fear is a spirit. An unholy spirit that is not like God. Up until this point, Adam and Eve were like God in spirit, they were in perfect harmony with each other, so this spirit had to come from somewhere or someone else.

Satan.

And with the tolerance of Satan and his subordinate spirit-on-assignment (unbeknownst to them), Adam and Eve removed the presence of God from the Garden of Eden.

But how do you know that Desiree?

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (I John 4:18)

God is Love. And it is this loving, holy presence of God that forbids the presence of fear. So that very simple, three-word statement turned out not to be an excuse, but rather, an admission of guilt to God.

You know what happens after this. God comes to Adam and calls him to be responsible for his actions (what he did and did not do), and Adam blames, “that woman You gave me” for his own sinful actions. Then God deals with Eve, then the Serpent. Enter the natural fallen state of man and loss of an easy ongoing relationship with God.

Reasoning yourself out of what God said.

Persuading others that you--and not God--are right.

Playing the blame game with people you love (and don’t love).

But it all starts with one thing: tolerating an ungodly influence.

Whether it was Adam or Eve’s fault, it doesn't matter. One or both of them tolerated an ungodly influence in their environment that turned them against God--even if they didn’t realise it at the time. What God said to their son, Cain, years later was true for them and all of us:

And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it. (Genesis 4:4 AMP)

And Jesus echoes a similar sentiment to Peter several thousand years later.

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail…” (Luke 22:31)

You cannot escape or cast out what you tolerate. And as sons of God, we are called to not tolerate evil in any of its forms, starting with our thoughts. This is why the Bible says:

But we have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:4-6)

The Bible is abundantly clear on that subject. Keep your mind on Christ and His Word so you can recognize the thoughts and things that are not like Him.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (I John 4:1-6

Be vigilant! Guard your environment. Watch and pray. Otherwise, you may find a “serpent” creeping outside your door!