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.
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 14:27
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 to “hold 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 day. We 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!