It is often my desire for more that motivates me to disobey God. Even though I rationally and experientially know that there is no long term benefit to me as the result of my disobedience. I know that when I get more I often have less contentment! Paul said to Timothy: “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (I Timothy 6:6)
God has provided all I need….and more! Yet I still covet, I still get greedy. I may be content until I see idealized advertisements on TV, or see what another person has…or hear what another person is doing.
God created Adam and Eve in his image, as perfect people! And God placed Adam and Eve into an incredible setting and gave Adam pleasant work to do: no sweat, no weeds. “God put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” and “God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food”. And God asked Adam to give a name to all of the animals – livestock, birds, beasts of the field. Today we go to the zoo to see a few animals in cages. Adam and Eve just looked around, and there were all of the animals God had created. What a show that must have been! (Genesis 2)
Basically God said to Adam and Eve, “I am giving you a great life! Enjoy!!! There is only one thing you cannot do – only one thing! Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
But….Adam and Eve were not willing to be content – to the place where they were willing to disobey God's directive.
Satan, in the form of a beautiful serpent, comes up to Eve and asks: “Did God really say 'you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The Serpent/Satin begins by raising the question – creating the doubt ….Did God really say? Eve hears the Serpent's twist of words and responds with “but God did say…” Adam and Eve knowingly chose to disobey God, their creator – for fascination? for curiosity? The result? Work, Pain, Death.
As God's children we can have an incredible life with incredible freedoms! To enable us to enjoy our God designed life God says…here is a 10 item list of what you must and must not do: one God, no idols, do not misuse the name of the Lord, Sabbath observance, honor parents, don't murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet (Exodus 20). Jesus then condensed the 10 down to two: love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-31)
Perhaps Satan comes to us today, not as a serpent, but through pictures of people. Or through pictures designed to sell cars, clothes, resorts, perfume, etc. Perhaps Satan comes to us today, not as a serpent, but as a peer who invites us to, or perhaps a boss or teacher who expects us to, or the driver in the next car that “causes” us to….
Temptations must be real for us – or they would not be true temptations. Excuses for our disobedience? God does not buy them. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”. (I Corinthians 10:13). If you face an irresistible temptation, e-mail me, for I would like to hear about it!
Perhaps we can learn from Adam and Eve's disobedience, and from the Apostle Paul's words to Timothy: “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6) It should not be difficult for each of us to be content with abundance! A key to abundant living includes obedience to the list of 10 in Exodus 20. How are you doing? Don't rationalize!!!!