January 2, 2009 
I’d Be Happy If…, Part 2
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth 
“Don't be deceived, my dear brothers (and sisters).  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:16, 17 (NIV).

Friend to Friend 
Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world.  All their needs were cared for.  They had perfect communion with God and each other.  They were “naked and unashamed.”  The only restriction placed on them was that they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil located in the middle of the Garden.  God warned them, “If you eat of it, you will surely die.”

As they basked in the light of God’s love, darkness slithered into the Garden with his plan to kill, steal and destroy the image bearers.  And how did he do it?  He did it with the most powerful weapon of all…lies.

“Now the serpent…”  The great deceiver clothed himself as a serpent and slithered up to Eve with a game plan to destroy God’s prized possession.  He didn’t come with a sword, or gun, or even a knife for his attack.  He simply wielded lies.

The serpent knew Adam and Eve would not buy into a radical flamboyant denial of God, so he slithered into the garden with a twist and a turn of the truth.  He began by causing Eve to doubt... “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1).

Satan knew exactly what God had said.  He was simply trying to confuse Eve.  Perhaps he was evaluating just how well she knew the truth.  He found out.

“We may eat fruit from the tress in the garden,” Eve replied, “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 3:3).

Bingo.  She didn’t know the truth that well after all.  God never mentioned not touching the fruit.  That seems like a pretty good idea, but it was not what God said.

Second he denied God and lied about the consequences of disobedience.  Satan said, “You will not surely die” (3:4).   He didn’t even try to disguise the deception. He told a flat-out lie.

Finally, he told her she could be like God: “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 3:5).  In other words, “God doesn’t know what He’s talking about.  He’s holding out on you.  You don’t need Him.  You can be your own god.”

Eve rejected the truth and believed the lie. She believed that she could be like God … in control of her own life.  “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her” (Genesis 3:6).

And as she sunk her teeth into the forbidden fruit of deception and the lie slid down her delicate throat, the temptation settled in her soul and fermented into shame and condemnation.  Her husband, who chose the woman over God, also felt the sickening rot of sin settle in his very soul.  Suddenly shame and fear entered the world, and Adam and Eve hid from God like wayward children.

All temptation is an attempt to get us to live our lives independent of God.  Satan is not very creative, but he is very effective.  And he has been lying to us ever since.  Why?  Because it works.

Every one of his lies springs from the idea that happiness is just a decision away.  Satan wants you to believe God is holding out on you; you can be like God; you can be your own god.  Rather than being thankful for what we do have, he points out what we don’t have.  Think about it.  Eve had at her disposal every tree in the garden except one.  Every one!  That is a smorgasbord of goodness!  Rather than being thankful, she bought the lie that the one thing she couldn’t have was the one thing that would make her happy.  I would be happy if…  Is any of this sounding familiar to you?  It should.  Satan uses the same tactics with us that he used with Eve. 

Eve believed the enemy’s lie over God’s truth.  His plan worked. But what the serpent did not know was that God’s amazing plan of forgiveness and grace was about to unfold.  Satan did not win the battle for man’s soul in the garden.  Jesus Christ won the war on Calvary’s Cross.  When Jesus said, “It is finished,” and then breathed his last, He made a way for all mankind to regain all that Adam and Eve had lost. 

Let’s Pray 
Dear God, help me to recognize the lies of the enemy.  I am so thankful for all that You have given me.  I commit, right now, that I will not entertain thoughts that “I would be happy if…” but rather praise You for all that You have given me: freedom in Christ, eternal life, access to You though prayer, salvation, redemption, purpose.  I love you.

In Jesus’ Name, 
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 
When was the last time you said or thought, “I would be happy if…”

What does that thought imply?

Where does true joy come from?

Go back to Today’s Truth and write down what it means to you.

More from the Girlfriends 
Are you ready to begin seeing yourself as God sees you?  Are you ready to begin living the abundant life that God planned all along?  Well, let’s grab hands and begin the journey of walking in the truth together.  Sharon’s book, I’m Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves, will open your eyes to the truth and set you free from the lies.  Just visit www.sharonjaynes.com and begin the amazing journey.  

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