Saturday, March 16, 2013

just a small seed of doubt

I read the most interesting thing in my study Bible this morning!   Currently I am in Genesis 3:1  where the serpent asks Eve "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"   I quote from it's notes "the question and the response changed the course of human history!  By causing the woman to doubt God's word, Satan brought evil into the world."  At that encounter it was the same world that God had recently created. 

Boy did it ever change history!  Eve had the perfect life in that weeds, no bugs, no worries!  God had provided everything for her so why would she ever allow doubt in?  Eve's small seed of doubt planted that day led each and everyone of us into a sinful, hard, painful, unfair life...just by one little doubt.  She screwed life up for the rest of us!  To be real honest I have always wanted to kick that woman!

Then another thing popped out in my reading; the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made....God had made the snake!  Why had I assumed the snake was Satan's creation?   I love my study note Bible!!!  It reminded me that Satan, the great deceiver, had only taken on the appearance of a snake.  The snake that had been part of the creation in Gen 1:24 and the same part of that creation which God declared as "It was good" in verse 25.   It makes me wonder if Satan had tricked the snake into taking a part of this encounter?  Because after all the snake had a part of the ensuing curse.

We think of doubt as normal and inconsequential.....but really it is the tool to alienate us from God.  Doubt is just the first step and often leads to a reaction which separates us further.   We humans are so easily deceived and often so fainthearted it makes me wonder just what is there about us that God could love?   And that is how easy Satan tempts us to doubt!!!! 

And I quickly realize how am I any different than Eve?   How many times has a tiny seed of doubt changed my life course?   How would my life be different if there had never been moments of doubt & a consequent reaction?   Very convicting to me!

Do you struggle with doubt in your life?  The only recommendation I have is to saturate yourself in God's instruction book for life!  It is a vital part of maintaining the relationship you started when you accepted Jesus as your salvation(Romans 10:9).   The Bible is still as relevant to everyday life as it was when it was originally written!  It provides the only hope we have to stand against the deceptions of Satan(Ephesians 6:10-11).  What better than the sword when you fighting a battle(Eph 6: 17)?

Friday, March 15, 2013

a lesson from a dog and her devoted admirer

I LOVE spending time with my 3 year old niece.  Our personalities are very similar!!!  In her "all serious" personality she says the funniest things and reminds me to not take myself so seriously. 

At least once or twice a week she comes out to my parents which is just over the hill from my house.  As she has grown up my chocolate lab has always been around and she has become enamored with it.   When the dog arrives the 3 yr old becomes the perfect hostess.  Picture a 1950's socialite.... 

Over the last few months I have been watching my niece fetch a bowl of fresh water, a handful of Cheez-its, and place all of the "favored toys" of the day at my dog's feet.  If there is food and water involved than the dog rewards her with a sloppy kiss which sends her into squeals and giggles! 

However, sometimes the 3 yr old does not have the food and water at her disposal so she just brings the toys as an offering.  On those occasions the dog might acknowledge her efforts but usually stares off in indifference as a cold statue might.  As I was watching today it struck me that this scene between my dog and my niece was very similar to passages I've been reading when the Philistines would bring their best offerings to the feet of Dagon, a cold statue.  Thousands of years ago these people considered a man-made idol as their God.  Dagon who was made out of either stone, wood, or metal also stared off in indifference when the loyal subjects presented their sacrifices. 

In 1 Samuel 5 Dagon's true power was demonstrated when face to face with the Living God.  As I was pondering all this it made me wonder how often am I barking up the wrong tree with my affections?   Yes, pun intended!!!  Seriously though, just like my niece I will sacrifice my time, my money, and my attention for many things that I am enamored with.  Are my sacrifices pleasing my God or just falling short for some man-made idol?  

And if this insight wasn't firmly planted yet then God wanted to make it clear the next day.   My daily reading schedule landed me in 1st John 5:21 which says "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."  Not only is it plainly stated but followed with 'Amen' which is a Hebrew word that means 'firm, sure'.  As my dad would put it "I mean business"....which literally doesn't make sense.  However when dad said that you knew it was time to do as told and no questions asked or there would be DIRE consequences!  I am sensing  that's God's take on this matter too! 

So now I need to watch for the teachable moment to explain this to a 3 year old.  Prayers are appreciated!