Lesson 1 of 7
This lecture I presented on Eve goes much deeper than the video you are about to watch. I will go deep and as I do so, you and I will discover many things we never considered before today. But I assure you the learning process will prove: we are all like Eve to one degree or another.
During this presentation, I want you to come with me into Eve’s world to discover God’s faithfulness–even when we are not. I will ask thought-provoking questions to stimulate self-awareness so you can spiritually examine your walk with God. Not your neighbor’s walk. Not your family’s walk. Not your spouse’s walk. Not your preacher’s walk. But YOUR walk. My goal isn’t to leave you with warm fuzzies, but rather, to spiritually convict you to repent. I’m hoping the conviction you feel will lead you to have a deeper love, a deeper affection, and a deeper commitment to Christ.
To prepare for this lesson, I sat down and placed myself in the Garden of Eden to presuppose Eve’s struggle with good and evil–listening intently to what was said and what was going on around her. By doing this, I was able to relate to Eve’s dilemma and the wrong choices I’ve made along with the repercussions that ensued.
So, let’s go to the Garden of Eden and see what things we have in common with Eve, and the dilemma she finds herself in.
IN THE BEGINNING …
Imagine a place of perfection … the environment is pleasant; food is plentiful; work is a joy; having babies is painless; clothes are unnecessary; long pleasure trips are a waste of time. Everything around you is quite lovely. You have a bird’s eye view of majestic mountains, giant creatures, and all the zoo animals you can stand. Matter of fact, there’s no need to dig up dead dinosaur fossils. There are more than a hundred of them walking all around you. And you’re not afraid. Fear isn’t a part of your vocabulary. Every living creature God created are plant-eaters, not people-eaters.
All you need to do while living in this perfect world is not go into the middle of the garden and touch or “… eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)
God’s ONE and only command.
Think about that for a moment.
Adam and Eve had only ONE command to follow. Just ONE.
How many of you have heard of the Torah?
The Torah is the first five books of the Old Testament. It was written by God through Moses. This is one of the many reasons why Moses was up in the mountain with God for so long, during which time the people were making a golden calf.
Which five (5) books are they?
In Hebrew, the books are: Be’reshit, Shemot, Va-yikra, Be-midbar, and Devarim–all of which correspond to our English Bible as: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The Torah has 613 commands1 — 248 positives (do’s) and 365 negatives (do not’s).
THAT’S A LOT OF RULES!
As I tried to wrap my mind around the Jews having to succumb to such restrictions, I couldn’t help but recall the story of Zachariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1. They were found blameless by God, though they hadn’t received the one thing they wanted–a child.
The political uproar from the oppressive Roman Empire was the main stumbling block for the Jews, giving them reason to grow anxious for the Messiah. If the political atmosphere wasn’t enough to concern them, low wages, high taxes, and pressures from the religious sect to adhere to every word of the Torah made life almost unbearable.
The thought of having to pay government and religious taxes is absurd to us, but in addition to the Herodian government taxing the people’s crops, they collected a “head tax”–a denarius for every male over fourteen, and female over twelve. This amounted to a day’s wage. Then there were road taxes (tolls) and port taxes2. The Pharisees also imposed a religious tax, taking a tenth from the people to support the priests and other various causes.
Despite this hardship, God found Zachariah and Elizabeth BLAMELESS.
… during a time when religious leaders (the Pharisees) were dead set on binding the people to 613 laws.
… during a time when the world … their world was in chaos.
… during a time when Zachariah and Elizabeth were late in years and without a child.
I’m sure Adam and Eve would gladly follow God’s ONE command if they had another shot at it.
But let’s face it. Adam and Eve didn’t obey God’s ONE command. And though you and I can make the choice to be more like Zachariah and Elizabeth, we are forever repeating Adam and Eve’s mistakes.
What’s so complicated about God’s ONE command anyway?
God is thorough. He tells you what you can have. He tells you what not to do. And he lays out dire consequences if you are disobedient.
What else you need to know?
A few years ago, my daughter-in-law sent us a video of our four-year-old granddaughter. This darling little girl was dressed in a cute red and white striped Santa outfit with a Santa hat on her head. My daughter-in-law and her mother placed red candies in a jar then set them on a table, specifically instructing my granddaughter not to touch them. This giggling four-year-old nodded with glee, but the moment everyone left the room, she placed curled fingers to her face, stared at the jar for half a second then gobbled up two or three candies.
There’s something exciting about the naughtiness of breaking rules. We laugh at these little infractions until a price needs to be paid.
In the garden, Satan dismissed the consequences of disobedience, sowing seeds of doubt by twisting God’s words around to say, “Did God really say, …” (Genesis 3:1) Then later lying, “You will not surely die, …” (Genesis 3:4)
Can you hear him whispering out his lies?
He does this over and over again. Never changing his tactics. His strategy is indeed monotonous, but effective.
Satan has whispered in our ears for so long that he’s worn down our spiritual defenses, turning our spiritual boldness into a lulled sense of complacency.
No doubt, Satan sported a sly grin as he tempted Eve, peeping through tree branches to get a good look at her, choosing his words carefully to spur doubt, alert to any indication of success.
For as long as I can remember, I surmised it wasn’t Eve’s fault. She didn’t know what Satan was doing. After closely examining scripture and listening to Eve’s response, you’ll see my defense of her doesn’t hold up.
"We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die." (Genesis 3:2-3) [Emphasis mine.] Is Eve without excuse? Is she? No! What were her options? Challenge the challenger. How? By responding to Satan with this: "Who are you to question God? Let's summon the Father and see what he has to say about your proposal." Instead, Eve placed Satan's offer on a scale beside God's command, and her growing desires pulled the scale in her favor. She should have heeded God's warning. When we are confronted with new ideas that are not aligned with scripture, more often than not, we fail to question the source of the new information. Unfortunately, we become too lackadaisical about going to the Word in search of Truth. We need to admit the obvious! Eve knew what God had said word-for-word and understood the penalty for disobeying him. Yet, where does she find herself? In the middle of the garden. As I studied this scene in Genesis, I got the sense the evil one begins his conversation with Eve at a distance from the fruit, enticing her to move from her place to examine it. I see this unfolding at a snail's pace. It's a deliberate, methodical act. There's time to think and break down the have's and have not's. Time to walk away. Time to consult her husband. Time to call on God. Tell me ... Have you ever left your place and drifted away from God? Ever wonder how you got so caught up in a world of deceit? Ever get mad and frustrated about your pull to the dark side? Anger is a God-given emotion with a God-given method on how to handle it. Anger exercised outside of God's will provides a nice opening Satan uses to slip inside your head. He tells you what you want to hear, feeds your anger, lingers to appease your desire, your sense of righteousness then questions your commitment. If he stays too long, he becomes familiar... less threatening. Then, day by day, you lose your way home. We should ask God to rebuke him, but like Eve, we listen. Spin it. Replay his ideas in our minds and mold and reshape them until they are tailor-made to our needs. I meditated on Genesis 1-3 then speculated why Satan didn't threaten or physically harm Eve. Why disguise himself to be something he's not--a negotiator--when in fact, he's a fallen angel doomed for destruction. He's your first ventriloquist. None of the animals could talk. He's also the first prosecutor to lose in God's court of law on the pretense of having a strong case. Satan disguises himself because it falls within his character--he's the father of lies. He's not about to show himself as he really is. He doesn't physically harm Eve in any way because (1) he's not after her physical body. He's after her soul and the soul of her offspring and is using this opportunity in the garden to milk all he can from Eve; and (2) since Adam and Eve hadn't crossed the threshold of sin, Satan is limited in what he can do. He's a master of disguise--masquerading like an angel of light--and at this point, all he has at his disposal are disguises and twisted words. Don't lose sight of what's most important here: one of the most powerful things God gave man was freedom of choice. Satan's goal is to take away that freedom and enslave you. To have you DIE with him. I speculated about something else. Why did Eve listen to someone with whom she was unfamiliar? Ooooh, now here is where paying close attention to scripture is important. The Bible says, "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made." (Genesis 3:1) He was familiar! Did you notice Eve was never afraid of him? She had seen him before. The Word describes him as a wild animal, crafty (deceitful, sly, cunning, skillful in evil schemes). During Satan's discussion with Eve, he awakens her desires, emphasizing she can have what only God possesses--the knowledge of the tree of good and evil. To sweeten the pot, he throws in the idea of becoming wise as God. Let's break this down. If you become wise as God, then you intend to be like him. And if you're like God, what need do you have of him? Did Eve think this through? I know you're tempted to let her off the hook, but DON'T. Eve thought it through carefully. Satan didn't ask, "... Did God really say ..." just to be asking the question. He questioned her so she could indeed repeat what God had said, so he could use it against her at a later time. He planned to whip her with guilt over what she had done. He would later make her feel unworthy of love, powerless, insignificant, mess up the family system God had set up and make her think she was first ... she was in control. His plan was to dilute woman from her godliness to the point of despair ... to make woman chase the man's leadership role to the point of exhaustion. Eve's doubt and questioning of God would become a nightmare. Listen to Satan's persuasive half-truths: "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5) Satan takes the truth and delicately weaves it into something that feels good and sounds even better but is vastly different from what God had said. Soon, doubt is his foot in the door and victory is on the horizon. In the meantime, God's angels are not wielding swords in front of Eve to make/force/cajole/persuade her to obey. Neither does Satan have any power to strangle or threaten her. Free Will is exactly what it implies--FREE. WILL. God won't make you do anything. Neither can Satan. Satan can't even share some of the fire he's under. Only he is feeling the heat. But he sure wants you to join him. The evil one can only entice Eve. That's his limit. And it's enough. The second Eve succumbs to Satan's devious scheme, you know she had to feel rotten about it. The effect of disobedience is immediate. Imagine the darkness ... the unmovable heaviness anchored to her soul. Guilt. Shame. Fear. Running. Hiding. Heart pounding and racing out of control. She and Adam trying to fix it by covering themselves with leaves ... unable to repair the damage. How would you feel if you had brought sin into the world for the first time? Consider how you may have brought sin upon your family. Perhaps you manipulated your family's finances so you could get new furniture; or buy new clothes; or take a needless and expensive trip ... only to later wake up one morning to an upsetting telephone call. You're now in financial hardship. You can't hide it. Your family suffers, or worse, your marriage ends in divorce. Perhaps a family member has become a drug addict and resolved to stealing and ends up in prison, embarrassing you, your family, ruining your good name and reputation. Sin is serious business. And it effects the whole family. In Joshua 7, we read about the sin of Achan. You will recall Joshua is leading the people of Israel to the promise land, and they need to take Jericho. God promises them victory. Joshua sends men to fight the enemy, but the Israelites are defeated and men die. Joshua tears his clothes and lays prostrate on the ground, crying out to the Lord. Joshua 7:10-15, reads: "10The Lord said to Joshua, 'Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their possessions. 12That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. "13Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow: for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them. "14'In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. "15'Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!'"
God hates disobedience and will not allow it to go unpunished. The Bible says his anger “burned.” A price needs to be paid for disobedience and Achan’s entire family paid a heavy price. They all died.
Like Adam and Eve, Achan brought sin upon his entire family. The consequence was death. Joshua brought Achan and his whole family before the Lord, took them to the Valley of Achor, stoned them, burned them then placed a heap of rocks over them. Then the Lord our God turned away from his fierce anger toward Israel.
God punished Achan … without hesitation … weeding him out tribe by tribe, clan by clan, family by family, man by man.
He punished Satan … without a stutter.
He punished Eve … without considering her as a weaker vessel.
He punished Adam … without considering his excuses (“… the woman you gave me …”).
YES! We should have reverent fear of the Lord our God.
But he also sacrificed an animal … an innocent animal to clothe them … because he loved them … because he refused to abandon them.
Before the Fall of Man, there was no shame or guilt or lying or hiding or fear. After the Fall of Man, Adam and Eve are like the world is now–sinful, emotional, fearful, guilty, liars, manipulators, pretenders, unrighteous. And God sees it all! From the moment Satan became victorious in getting Eve to eat the fruit, he’s been in her head … in her ears feeding her lies ever since.
Consider this question: if he’s not in her ear, then what was the point? Why tempt Adam and Eve if his aim isn’t to spiritually destroy them and pay them a daily visit to break their commitment to God? Another way to look at it: what else does he have to do? He’s got all the time in the world to torture them … and us.
So, the guilt over what Eve had done stayed with her, hindering her ability to fully accept God’s grace and forgiveness. She must have had bad days when her struggle was almost unbearable, pushing God’s forgiveness to the side, overcome with sadness over the burden she’d placed on the world and on her children.
Everything is all messed up now. Their family dynamics is going down the tubes. Where there was joy, there’s sadness. Where there was praise and worship, there’s depression. Where there was understanding, there’s confusion. The good life is behind them–on the other side of the angel who is wielding his sword back and forth to keep them out of the garden. After being kicked out of the garden–their original home–their new surroundings are far removed from where life began.
The bottom is up.
The top is down.
Nothing is the same.
As far as Satan is concerned, the destruction of God’s family has begun. He literally hates God’s family … God’s authority … and he will butt up against it every chance he gets.
Let me show you what this raging war against good and evil looks like in our society.
From the time you rise until the time you lie down, you are busy feeding, listening, ironing, taxi driving, performing as counselor-in-chief, acting as judge and jury, teaching, scolding, storytelling, healing, coordinating, volunteering, studying, tinkering like a repairman, attempting to juggle numbers as an accountant, and spiritually encouraging everyone in your path.
To combat our weariness, we read the Bible on our phones, on the computer, CDs, DVD, televisions. There’s no time to sit and meditate. We’re guilty about short-changing God, so we get busy feeding, listening, ironing, taxi driving, performing as counselor-in-chief, acting as judge and jury, teaching, scolding, storytelling, healing, coordinating, volunteering, studying, tinkering like a repairman, attempting to juggle numbers as an accountant, and spiritually encouraging everyone in your path.
And the cycle continues.
Like Eve, we want to be like God.
You might respond, “But that’s not my intent.”
We want to manage and manipulate and control everything, right?
We think all of our “busyness” will spiritually save our family … make everything perfect at church … at work … at home.
Where did we get this idea that we needed to be god to everyone?
In the garden …
From the serpent …
And we still haven’t stopped this obsession to be a god.
Case in point —
Lately, I’ve watched my life spiral out of control. My need to bear the weight of my family’s spiritual growth sometimes overtakes me.
Let me be clear: These are grown people I’m trying to spiritually care for, not young children.
I pray day and night for them as if our lives depend on it.
I wring my hands as my anxiety grows.
There is nothing my family can discuss with me without me expressing God’s will for their lives. I give examples. I warn them. I press them to read their Bible. “Pray,” I say.
Not much has changed.
I have one family member who doesn’t read the Word because of a silly notion that they have it all under control; all you need to do is think things through very carefully. You see, like Eve, they are wiser, more intelligent; they’ve got a handle on the situation.
My family’s not spiritually growing. At least, that’s my take on it.
I want to help them. I can’t. But I keep trying.
I’m exhausted all the time.
Why do I feel so much weight on my shoulders?
I’m the oldest.
I’ve taken care of them all my life.
I cooked for them. Bathed them. Disciplined them. Encouraged them. Listened to their heartbreaks. Took them in and put a roof over their head. Cried with, and, for them.
I’m convinced I must live out Christ so I don’t lose them to the evils of this world.
There’s only one problem with my conviction.
WHO. MADE. ME. GOD?
GOD IS GOD — I AM NOT!
Is there any place in God’s Word where he overloaded his people with responsibility?
Do you think Eve ever felt like making up for what she had done by trying to help her offspring stay clear of sin?
I’m sure Satan was in her ear all the time, reminding her it was a lost cause to help them, reminding her of the decision she’d made. I’m certain she battled guilt for a little while before concluding she needed to completely trust God. As her trust increased, like us, her spiritual growth evolved. Her growth didn’t leap into being. It didn’t happen overnight. It took time.
God never intended for us to take on responsibilities that weigh us down to the point of desperation or exhaustion.
Okay, but isn’t it right to be a good example for those around me?
At what cost?
Our obsession to save family is rooted in distrust and we’ve forgotten the scriptures that read:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:3-6)
My behavior contradicts God’s commands and dilutes the words of encouragement found in scriptures. Peace goes hand-in-hand with your trust in our Holy One and does not bring about anxiety.
If I’m wringing wet with sweat because fear and anxiety have overtaken me, waiting on the Lord won’t be an option for me. My fretful state will sidestep the written Word of God and increase my vulnerability to Satan’s craftiness. It won’t be long before I’m listening to the wrong voice and making the wrong choice.
A daily diet of God’s Holy Word subsides all fears.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
You and I will, no doubt, encounter every human emotion known to man, but these emotions shouldn’t be in control. No matter how you feeeeel about your circumstances, be obedient.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
Another passage reads:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (I John 5:14)
These scriptures lay bare the true war raging in our spiritual bodies–a lack of trust and confidence. Confidence requires belief. Our beliefs are challenged by evil spirits, but these evil spirits can’t hold us down unless we loose connection with the Head (God).
I warn you! Don’t lose your connection to God.
GOD IS GOD — I AM NOT!
Remember, we are presupposing Eve is like you and me … experiencing every emotion known to mankind — guilt, shame, doubt, feeling unworthy and insignificant — all brought on by disobedience.
With that in mind, I want you to listen closely to this next scripture.
After deep meditation, it has encouraged me to make changes in my spiritual walk with the Father.
Philippians 2:12-18 reads:
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose …”
Tell me — Is Paul encouraging them to “continue to work out [their individual] salvation with fear and trembling …” or is he saying they should work out the salvation of others?
You mean, I’m responsible for me, and you’re responsible for you?
But I thought we are to be a light to the world?
Indeed, you are.
But to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling means you must go through a spiritual process (spiritual growth, if you will) on your own so your love, faith, and trust in God is forever evolving and increasing.
How do you expect to do that for someone else?
No matter how guilt-ridden Eve felt for her mistake in the garden, she, like you, had to come to realize four things:
- She must confess her sins;
- Ask for God’s forgiveness;
- Submit herself to God; and
- Remain obedient.
Notice something even more important in this scripture:
“… for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose …“
Let me get this straight — if God is working in me to will and to act, why am I so exhausted all the time?
If Moses was admonished for trying to do too much, and Moses is so much greater than I, could I learn from his mistake?
That stirs up another question: Am I in full obedience when I have too much on my plate?
NO! You are not in full obedience when your plate is too full.
The Spirit who lives in you is not one of chaos, confusion, or quarrels. He doesn’t run late or is always gasping for air. Neither will he weigh you down with responsibilities you can’t carry. And he’s sure not going to tell you to do something that’s not aligned with scripture. He only speaks what he hears from the Father.
So, what drives me to take on so much?
Too often we say, “I can’t trust anyone to do it right.” Or, “I can’t rely on anyone.” Or, “No one will volunteer.”
Trying to convince us that you’re Little Miss Perfect and nothing will go wrong if you remain in control is preposterous. Here’s the thing: you don’t really believe that and neither do we. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes things just need to fall. — Donna, how can you say such a thing? — I can boldly say this because the fact of the matter is this: GOD IS ABLE even when you are not.
We’ve all sinned.
We all make mistakes.
No one is immune.
What good is it for you to carry the weight of responsibility for someone else if they are fully capable of fulfilling their own obligation to the Lord?
How can someone gain from spiritual growth if you’ve taken away their opportunity to rely on the Father?
You’re not only hindering their spiritual growth, but you’re also stealing it. Stop being a thief!
I believe Eve was finally encouraged through God’s forgiveness and grace. She didn’t hide in a cave of depression or allow guilt to drive her father away from the Father. Yes, she wrestled with guilt, but she won the war. This woman of God went on to raise her family, live in submission to her husband, and walk in full obedience to the Father.
Let’s face it, like Eve, we make mistakes. Sometimes we head in a direction detrimental to our spiritual, psychological, and emotional growth. Some of these wrong turns have all the right landmarks to lead us home, but we fail to pay close attention to the detours up ahead. It’s not until we’ve gone too far that we realize we’ve made a wrong turn.
Many roads look the same, sisters, but they don’t all lead home.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
Not long after God showed me that I was not trusting him to answer my prayers for my family, and after a tumultuous week of one family issue after another, I sat my family down and sternly told them that they needed to spiritually grow up and be responsible for their own salvation.
That was May 2021.
It’s now January 2022, and I’ve got a new issue. I’ve become a problem within the solution. Just like I took over God’s job to oversee the spiritual growth of my family, I’m also trying to take control of the solution.
Sin in the garden continues. We are in constant spiritual warfare. Like Eve, I’m trying to be like God. A war rages in all of us and we need the Father to steer our ship or we’ll loose our way.
It’s unfortunate, but opportunities to work out our salvation come during hardship. I had to bump into a wall before concluding that if I was ever going to win this battle of trying to be like God, I must put several safeguards in place.
- If my sorry does not lead to repentance, then my sorrow is worldly and it will not bring forth the godliness and holiness God desires. In other words, avoid getting tangled up in wishing and hoping and regretting what you’ve done. REPENT! Then let God fix it. Ask God to give you spiritual peace and confidence as you live with the consequences of what you’ve done. Because, believe me, there’s always consequences for our sinful behavior.
- Think twice before I act out of anger or haste. My next move can and will effect my entire family and it may take years to recover from poor decisions. Keep in mind, some family members may never recover.
- Humble myself before the Lord, pray for forgiveness–for me, and for others. (I John 1:5)
- Believe in all I ask of God.
- Consider each temptation to “fix” my family as an opportunity to trust in the One who can. This is a crucial step. Do whatever you need to do to remember it.
- Adore God. Offer praise of thanksgiving. Sing to Him. Your adoration of Him will reestablish and reaffirm your trust in the One who can do immeasurably more than we can imagine. (This is beautifully written in Ephesians 3:16-21.)
- Repeat No. 5 above.
So, what have we learned from this lesson?
- There are no substitutes for obedience. Learn from Eve’s mistake. Obey the great I AM.
- We are like Eve … still fighting guilt and shame. And like Eve, we can overcome. If Zachariah and Elizabeth can be obedient in a turbulent world and be found BLAMELESS, so can we. It’s doable. Believe it! (Read: I Thessalonians 5:23 – “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”)
- Obey from the heart.
- Mistakes aren’t the end of the world. Eve picked up the pieces, repented, trusted God, took care of her family, and lived a long full life. Eve believed and trusted God.
- Shift your focus. Work out your own salvation and pray for the salvation of others. This is worth repeating several times a day.
- At every opportunity preach the Word.
- God’s forgiveness is far-reaching, and he doesn’t forget to provide for you.
IN CLOSING, I want to reemphasize we are all replicas of Eve in some way. Our efforts to maintain a spiritually balanced life is a work in progress that won’t come to full fruition until our Father calls us home.
Please, don’t be weary. “… the battle belongs to the Lord.” (II Chronicles 20:15)
GOD IS GOD — I AM NOT!
We don’t need to carry so much weight. God is strong and powerful and able to make your burdens light.
All you need to do is PREPARE FOR BATTLE.
Buckle the belt of Truth around your waist.
That means: God’s word of Truth offers spiritual FREEDOM.
On your chest, put on the breastplate of righteousness.
That means: Guard your heart – Proverbs 4:23.
Set your feet in blocks of the gospel of peace.
That means: Be ready to preach Christ – I Peter 3:15.
Take up your shield of faith to extinguish the evil flaming arrows.
That means: Guard against doubt.
Firmly place on your head the helmet of salvation.
That means: Protect and guard your mind – Romans 12:2.
Tighten your grip on the sword of the Spirit.
That means: Hold on tight to the Word of God.
The next time you’re in the fight of your spiritual life, imagine hearing the trumpet of the Lord. Yes, imagine it.
STAND FIRM and keep your position.
WAIT! Don’t draw your sword, yet. You must wait on the Lord.
Know there’s an Army all around you.
Can you see them? (No, don’t look at me … at your family). Look Up!
The Army of the Lord is waiting for God’s command.
THE FATHER IS ABOUT TO FIGHT FOR YOU!
The Father is about to fight for you!
Did you not hear me?
The Father is about to fight for YOU!
And I guarantee, you won’t leave the battlefield with a scratch on you.
by Donna B. Comeaux
The Park Church of Christ
1The 613 by Archie Rand (11 September – 13 October 2018). Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art – James Madison University. https://www.jmu.edu/dukehallgallery/_images/000_banner.JPG
2The Political and Religious Structure in Jesus’ Time. St. Mary’s Press Essential Quick Charts: Bible Basics (2007) by Gary Dreier – 2010 Saint Mary’s Press – Living in Christ Series – Document # TX001327.
LESSON 2 has been rescheduled for posting on February 9th. Our Wednesday Morning Ladies’ Class was canceled due to inclement weather. Thanks for your understanding.