Focused on the Forbidden Fruit or Focused on God?

Forbidden Fruit.  Sounds ominous or maybe a just little enticing?  For years we’ve read about or heard the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  I’ve always wondered what the paradise must have been like that God created.   Lush greenery everywhere, crystal clear blue waters, and the most beautiful and luscious fruit we could ever imagine!

Then my mind comes to a screeching halt..when I picture the serpent!  Make that a TALKING serpent… what were they thinking?  I have never been a fan of snakes myself and I have no desire to speak with one no matter what they are offering!  That being said, look at what the bible says in Genesis chapter three in describing the snake.

Now the snake was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord had made.” Genesis 3:1.

Cunning, shrewd, subtle, crafty, skilled in deceit… these are some of the revealing adjectives in various translations of the Bible in describing Satan as the snake.   Satan is a master at distracting us from the desired purpose that God has for us.

This past month I have been bombarded with some of his distractions as I had hoped to start writing  my first book.  I want to share with you today some of the forbidden fruit that Satan has used to distract me and at times temporarily taken my focus off what God has called me to do.  So here are the 7 “forbidden fruits” that I believe Satan uses to distract us and take our eyes off Jesus.Forbidden Fruit used by Satan

 

  • Anxiety
  • Busyness
  • Doubt
  • Discouragement
  • Fear
  • Unexpected
  • Worry

Take a good look at this list and think about how easily Satan can use these to distract us from accomplishing God’s will.  Each one may not seem too bad on their own but imagine having a “fruit salad” made of doubt, fear, and anxiety.  Or maybe you prefer a “fruit smoothie” loaded up with some doubt and discouragement?  There is even a ” daily special” on the combo fruit platter of busyness and the UNEXPECTED!

I hope you are getting my point.  When our eyes look away from God and we become distracted by the enemy; we are just as susceptible to sin as Adam and Eve.  Satan may not tempt us to rob a bank or hold up a liquor store but he will use this type of forbidden fruit to slowly detour us off the path that God is leading.

Now for the good news; in the Garden of Eden there was an abundance of fruit God had provided for Adam and Eve.   God wanted them to partake of it freely with His blessing!  As we struggle each day to keep our eyes on Jesus; I want to share with you 7 things we can apply in our lives to help us in resisting Satan.

1-Balance.  To help us in overcoming the busyness, we need to have balance in our lives.  We all have lots of responsibilities but we need to make time for ourselves to refresh and rejuvenate our spirit.  Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth he would make a point to get away from teaching, healing and performing miracles.  He spent time in prayer with His Father and to rest.  Satan tried to tempt Jesus when He felt he was tired and weak. (Matthew 4:1-11)  If Jesus made a point of having balance in His life; should’t we do the same?

2-Courage.  It takes courage to put aside fear and put our trust in God when the circumstances around us seem to overwhelm us.   Jesus reminds us in the book of John why we should have courage.

I have told you this that you might have peace in me.  In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

No matter what the circumstance, throw down that fruit of fear and press forward with courage to do God’s will.

3-Peace.  Now this is the most succulent of divine fruit!  It is fulfilling and comforting at the same time.  The peace that God offers to us is unlike anything the world offers.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27Fruit of the Spirit-Peace

God has blessed us with a peace deep inside our heart that is always with us and is at the core of every believer’s salvation. Anxiety and worry is subdued by the peace that God offers.  We should have peace knowing that these trials and distractions are temporary and God empowers us to overcome them in His strength.

4-Faith.  This is the strongest of all the fruit.  From faith flows a bounty of life sustaining fruits.  As Christians without faith we are like a bird without wings.  We waddle around like a penguin struggling to move forward instead of soaring like an eagle reaching the heights that God has planned for us.  In Hebrews 11:6 it says,“without faith it is impossible to please God.” and in Ephesians 6:16, the apostle Paul implores us tohold up the shield of faith to guard against the fiery darts(schemes) of the Devil.”

As he did with Eve in the Garden; Satan will attempt to cause doubt in our mind to distract us from God’s leading.  He will bombard us with questions and use whatever type of fruit He feels we are susceptible to as He watches us closely  while developing his strategy of attack.   We need to load up on bushels of faith by staying in prayer and studying God’s word.   When our mind is satisfyingly full of the fruit of faith, we have no room left for doubt!

5-Hope.  Our relationship with Christ has given us HOPE.  We have hope of an eternal future with Him and our hope is bolstered by the validity of His promises.  God promised a Savior who would die and rise again in three days.  Jesus promised to leave us a Comforter (Holy Spirit) to be with us always.  Don’t let moments of discouragement detour you from God’s plan.  His promises are true and for that we can have HOPE in God!

6-Preparation.  Spending time in our Bible and prayer equips us for the tests we face each dayWe need to prepare our hearts to defend  against the cunning schemes of Satan and the “forbidden fruits” that He uses to attack us.  We must make God’s word a priority to PREPARE us for what lies ahead each day.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water which yields fruit in its season and it’s leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, shall prosper.  Psalm 1:2-3.

7- Truth.  This is the most important fruit!  God’s word is true.  He spoke and there was light.  “God said let there be light and there was light.”  (Genesis 1:3)  God cannot lie and His word is truth.   The nourishing fruit of God offers encouragement, comfort, strength, and develops us as Christians.  God wants the best for us while Satan wants to destroy us.  So which fruit will you take a bite of today?

 Always keep your eyes on God!

 

 

"Horace Williams, Jr.'s non-fiction Christian Worship and Prayer book, Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Life: A Power that Transforms Lives, briefly and eloquently explores the benefits of prayer and the richness of having a personal relationship with God. Williams answers many questions in his book, including what prayer is, when and how often should one pray and how forgiveness impacts one's relationship with God. Each chapter in his book addresses a power imparted through and by prayer, Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Life: A Power that Transforms Lives is most highly recommended." Now available on Amazon. Get your copy today.

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38 comments on “Focused on the Forbidden Fruit or Focused on God?

This is a beautiful reminder, Horace. I must admit I tent to focus on the negative sometimes. That is, I worry too much on my concerns and the uncertain. I focus on the forbidden fruit and forget to focus on God. Thanks for this enlightening post.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks for stopping by Lux. Always a pleasure to have you visit! Yes, it can be difficult at times to keep our eyes on God but when we do, it allows us to live for Him and not be distracted by the schemes of the Devil. We need to remember to partake of the fruit that God offers to us. He wants to help and bless our lives as we seek to live for Him. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours!

I often get tempted by the “forbidden fruit” you mention – anxiety, doubt, busyness, and sometimes discontent which is also not good. How much better to focus on God and all the grace and mercy He provides. By keeping our eyes on Him we are able to partake of the “good fruit” you so carefully spelled out for us. 🙂 Thanks for such an encouraging post and thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog today. Blessings to you, Horace!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks Gayl for visiting. I am struggling right now to avoid taking a bite of the fruit of the unexpected but I am praying and keeping my eyes on Jesus and know He will bless me with bowl full of peace. Thanks again for visiting and blessings to you and yours!

Woo! Great post. I had much of the same lies floating around going through my mind when I was trying to get through a chapter. You are incredible and am so glad you linked up last week to Cisneros Cafe. I hope you will do so again this week. Have a blessed and beautiful week, friend.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Carolina!
    I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Yes Satan is busy and He working to tempt us. I am thankful for my Savior and the fruit that He blesses us with to help us thrive! Thanks again for the visit. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Hey Sarah…thanks for the visit! I’m sure you have plenty of “Divine fruit” growing in your garden;) Satan is sneaky but when we indulge on the fruit that God offers, there is no room for anything more! Have a wonderful week my friend and continued blessings to you and yours!

I’m commenting again, Horace. There is much truth in your words. Having the courage and faith to stand strong for the Lord brings peace. I want to have the courage and faith to keep my eyes on the Lord so I can enjoy the peace He gives.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    You are welcome to visit here anytime Lori! Thank you for your support and encouragement. I am thankful that God blesses us with His fruit to nourish us. We just have to choose what He offers us so freely. Thanks again for the visit. Have a great night of rest and a blessed Sunday my friend!

Hi Horace, great post! I certainly am one who battles with balance. Great list of things to apply to keep the evil one at bay! Thanks for linking up on Winsome Wednesday
God bless
Tracy

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Hello Tracy…so nice to “meet” you! I love the name of your site and thanks so much for visiting today. I am always encouraged as I meet bloggers who share about the experiences that God has laid on their lives. Keeping our eyes on Jesus and in God’s word gives us the strength to resist the enemy. Thank you again for the visit. Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours!

Good morning Horace. This so good! I will take a bite of hope please! I won’t go into the details , but discouragement has been looming over my head lately. Thank you for the reminder to hold onto Jesus and to trust that God does indeed have a plan!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Hello Kelly. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Instead of a “bite” of Hope, help yourself to a big ol’ bushel of Hope! Doubt and discouragement are two of Satan’s favorite weapons of choice when trying to attack and distract us. We have to keep our focus on Jesus and not the circumstances that surround and God will bring us through as He promises! Thanks so much for visiting. I love what you are doing at from bud2bloom.com. May God continue to richly bless you and yours in all your endeavors! Be encouraged dear sister in Christ!

Hi Horace!
Wonderful post! I bet you can guess my favorite application! 🙂 HOPE! Amen! I hear you, friend, on all the distractions the enemy uses to take us away from doing God’s work. Balance is so necessary. When I topple to one side or the other, the struggles increase. I cannot allow caring for my family to supersede my call to love Jesus first. And I cannot allow my love for writing to supersede caring for my family! Ministry is a tightrope walk. But keeping our eyes on Jesus will keep the “do-ing” actions of ministry in balance! Thank you, friend, for sharing this hope alongside me at the Moments of Hope Link-Up! I treasure your heart!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank You Lori. Yes, balance is so key Lori! It is easy to get out of wack if we are not careful. I am thankful for my hope in Jesus and the opportunity to share on your site. Thank you for your words of encouragement.. May we keep our eyes on Jesus and be diligent with what he asks of us. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless you!

This is a creative post, Horace! I think I’ll take a fruit salad of Faith, Hope, and Peace, please. And add a heaping side of TRUTH to that order. Yes, this is much tastier and satisfying. Bless you, Horace!!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Amen Diane! Thanks for the visit and your comment. Your “fruit salad” sounds like something we can definitely live and thrive on! It sounds like a winner for our daily menu! Blessings to you as well;)

Horace. I LOVE this post of yours today. Why?

Going plant strong for my heart health and doing the Engine 2 28 day challenge. My distractions. Bacon. Cheese. Pretty please!

The fruit of the land is on my agenda for 28 days, yet temptation lurks. The smell of bacon cooking (at my sister’s house. And she started me on this challenge. She can resist 2 years later in this plant strong way, yet I am new to this way.

Like a new (or seasoned!) Christian, I need a guide, a plan and preparation.

Thank you for this timely post. Have you shared at DanceWithJesus yet???!!! Please do to bless others there too. Powerful words.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Susan for your kinds and for visiting here today. I definitely can relate to the struggles on changing how you eat. Initially after rehabing from the stroke’ I wanted to “treat myself” with burgers and others of my old favorites. I would tell myself it’s okay I have not eaten anything like this in years. Late one night the Holy Spirit spoke to me and asked “do you want to have another stroke?” Since then, I have changed how I look at food. If I want meat, I use ground turkey or grass-fed beef. It has some of the same Omega 3’s as Salmon. I also enjoy black beans as a plant based protein. I find creative ways to get my leafy greens: Spinach in my omelettes and kale in my smoothies. I believe the 28 days will be a tremendous benefit for your heart. God has us here for a reason so we need to take care of our health so we can live for Him and accomplish His will for our lives versus spending all our time in a hospital. Thanks again for the visit. I will definitely share this post at DancewithJesus. Thank you for the invite. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless you on your journey to a healthier heart!

Hi Horace! I am visiting from Open Mic Monday linkup and I am so glad I clicked on over. Such great truths here! I am about to publish my first book next month and I can tell you when you start to put His words down on “paper” the enemy is not happy about it! I put this verse up on my computer screen most of the past month. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb. 12:2-3

Thanks for your post. I would love to invite you to link up anytime at my Wednesdays Jesus & Coffee linkup over at http://www.amommasjoy.com Have a blessed week!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks for the visit Jennifer. I truly appreciate the words of encouragement! Yes my mother reminds me I am in spiritual warfare since I started writing here but I know my God is stronger. He will bring me through everything. Thank you for the offer to link up at mommasjoy.com. I will definitely have to stop by for a visit one Wednesday! Thanks again for the visit. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours!

Horace! How exciting that you’re beginning a book. Prayers for you, brother. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Great truths today, thank you. I feel those same distractions…satan sure knows how to attack, doesn’t he?! Great to see you today. 🙂 ((grace upon grace))
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    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Brenda. I am excited and a little nervous to do this but I have been feeling God leading to write this book! Always blessed by your writing and thank you for visiting today. Blessings to you!

I love your closing, Horace. Keeping my eyes on God helps me say no to the distractions and yes to His best. Thank you for the reminder His peace isn’t based on circumstances but where I focus. : )

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Crystal for the visit and your kind words. You have embraced me and welcomed me to share at Intentional Tuesday. Your encouragement is truly a blessing. May God continue to bless you and yours as you utilize your platform to help and encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ!

Horace, God provides such wonderful fruit. I wonder why we are so fascinated by the poisonous varieties? I love how you connected Eve’s experience with ours. I’m afraid I let things distract me every day. Thanks for reminding me of the better options. Blessings to you!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Amen Debbie! God does offer us amazing fruit to sustain and strengthen us through the Christian life. It is easy to let the distractions detour us but thanks to God’s grace He is always there to keep us on track. Thanks for visiting here today. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

Ona

Oh, my Horace. God and you are on the same track to help people see what Satan is up to. Wow, this past weekend I shut down my computer and phone for some needed rest. Even with that Satan has attacked me with almost every one of the forbidden fruit you have mentioned. I was so ready to just give up, but I can’t I know God has called me to move forward. Thank you for your words.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Glad to hear you are encourage Ona…don’t give up. God has empowered you to accomplish His will for your life. Satan wants us to believe otherwise. Be encouraged and keep your eyes on Him and accept the fruit that He is offering you. Have a wonderful week and blessings to you and yours!

Such encouragement you have given us. I like how you didn’t spend your time dwelling on what can get us down but the things that God has provided us to keep us going. Nice post! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Sitting Among Friends. I hope to see you back this week!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Jaime for the kinds words of encouragement. I’m pleased to see you noticed my focus…I did that intentionally;) I know how it is easy for us to focus on the negative at times and it’s my desire to give hope, inspire and encourage. We have a loving Savior that offers us so much; we just have to choose to focus on Him. Thanks again for the visit and the opportunity to share at Sitting Among Friends. Have a wonderful week and God bless!

What encouragement, Horace! Dealing with the unexpected, boy can it really shatter a world. I’m clinging to Jesus and His promise of having the victory in everything. Thank you for this reminder and for linking up with Thankful Thursdays.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks Lori… I am glad to read you were encouraged reading this! I so appreciate the opportunity to share on your site. Thank you for the support and encouragement you provide. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend and may God bless you and your family!

Worry has been one of the forbidden fruit for me this week. I need to counter it with more faith and hope! Thanks for the encouragement to do that, Horace.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thanks for the visit and comment Lisa! Yes, I too have long struggled with anxiety and worry. I am progressing with God’s help as He continues to show Himself to me. Thanks again for the visit; I’m glad you were encouraged. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless!

Aack! #1 on your list is the precise fruit dangling over my head today, Horace. Anxiety. I’m looking at the whole elephant. Time to start taking little bites instead. Phil. 4:6 is my “go to” for anxiety. I say it, pray it, write it – whatever is necessary to refocus. You’re so right – when we keep our eyes on the Lord, the focus changes. Love your list here. Good post, friend. #thoughtprovokingThursday

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    I hear you Kristi! Thanks for visiting but I can so relate to #1 myself. I am learning to “cast my cares” and trust my Savior. When we keep our eyes on Him everything seems small. God will help us through. Blessings to you friend.

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