By Wilmer L. Todd
Satan called a convention of all his demons. In his opening address he said, “We cannot keep Christians from going to church. We cannot keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. The important thing we must do is to keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Savior. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.
“So let them go to their churches. Let them have their covered dish dinners, but steal their time, so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do,” said the devil. “Distract them so that they will not have time to build and maintain a relationship with Christ throughout their day!”
“How shall we do this?” one demon shouted.
“Keep them busy in the nonessential of life and invent numerous schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fall apart, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.
“Overstimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice of God speaking to them. Entice them to have noise around them always so they cannot hear Christ speaking to them. Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Hammer their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Flood their mailboxes with mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of promotions offering free products, services, and false hopes.
“Keep skinny, beautiful models in magazines and on TV so that their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what’s important, and they will become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep athletically built men on the TV and in magazines so that wives will not look at the character of their husband and become dissatisfied with them.
“Keep husbands and wives going so much that they are too tired to love each other at night. If they do not receive the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly!
“Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they will not talk about Christ’s resurrection and power over sin and death. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation. Keep them busy, busy, busy!”
Adam and Eve had a similar temptation. They turned in on themselves so that they would not have a relationship with God. The story of Adam and Eve is also our story. We can choose to follow God or to give in to the temptation to do wrong. Temptation is the attempt to convince us that something is not what it is. The serpent convinces the woman not to pay attention to God’s words forbidding their eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.” Yet the serpent said, “No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.” They chose to be like gods so they would not have to have a relationship with God. They wanted to do it “their” way and not God’s way.
This is the success of temptation: convincing someone that they were not seeing clearly. “Lord, help us always to see clearly your truth and to follow it.”