I have to be honest with you. I feel a little bad sharing this, but....I wanted to skip Eve. Eve is one of those stories that I default to "I've been in church my whole life and have heard this story a million times and ....blah blah....". Eve seemed uninteresting to me. I only wanted to study the interesting women. How sad does that sound?
How can I skip Eve?
My story begins with hers.
Larry Crabb explained the danger of not knowing God’s full story, “Without full story truth, I’ll flirt with atheism, struggle with unbelief, pray without passion (except maybe anger), remain devoted to my story, and continue in hopeless addiction to myself.” (emphasis mine)
Such truth. How many of us are hopelessly addicted to ourselves? If I don't look outside of my own story once in a while, then I am completely wrapped up in myself. My introverted nature makes this such a reality in my life. Addiction to myself keeps me from reaching out to my neighbor, helping the less fortunate, encouraging my husband, doing ANYTHING outside this female frame. That's the epitome of selfishness, and not at all God honoring. But, it's also my struggle.
So, I surrounded myself this past week with Eve. I tried to wrap my mind around what it must have been like to be completely perfect, without blemish, completely at peace. No pain, frustration, guilt, shame, body image issues, fear....my panic disordered-self can't imagine a life with no fear. No matter how much I tried, I couldn't imagine it.
Our human minds are too colored with sin to imagine perfection.
Ann Spangler states it this way: “She came into the world perfectly at peace with her God and with her husband, the only other person on the planet. She lived in Paradise, possessing every pleasure imaginable. She never knew the meaning of embarrassment, misunderstanding, hurt, estrangement, envy, bitterness, grief, or guilt until she listened to her enemy and began to doubt God”.
I was so wrong about Eve. Lessons pour from her life like tears that I know she would shed if she could stand and tell you her story herself. Lessons about
The enemy's tactics
Flirting with temptation
Stepping outside of submission
But the one that pegged me the most was focusing on the ONE thing she didn't have, instead of looking around her and seeing all that she DID. Forgetting to be content with where God has placed me, with the blessings HE has given me and looking at the greener grass at the neighbor's yard (um, that's actually literal....we have no grass and it drives me nuts).
You know what else? I was slammed in the face with the fact that I have ignored scripture memory. If satan is tempting me and saying "Did God really say.....?" would I be able to truly discern the answer because I have a strong knowledge of the Word? I need to dig deeper, commit to memory, prioritize study. If I don't, I will have nothing to bounce those questions off of.
Don't ignore Eve. She is begging you to listen to her story, to warn you to go the other way.
Some questions for you:
- What can you learn from her story that will help you in yours?
- Satan was successful in getting Eve to doubt the truthfulness of God’s word and the goodness of his motives. What are some ways that you are tempted to doubt the truthfulness of what God has said to you?
- What are some things that tempt you to doubt the goodness of God’s motives towards you?
- Do you focus more on the things you don't have than the ones right in front of you?
- Are you grounded enough in the WORD that you could discern the answers to those "Did God really say..." questions?
Let's just say I have some work to do.