Friday, February 15, 2019

“In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose – what we want most to be we are.”

The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.  -  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: (1918 –  2008: was a Russian novelist, historian, and short story writer.)

Scripture Text: (Genesis 3:1-8)
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden
at the breezy time of the day,
the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.

How cunning the enemy can be as he convinces us that we can be like gods. Satan (the serpent) was cunning in the days of our first parents, he’s been cunning in every generation since and he is cunning in our day as well. We should reflectively imagine how a small amount of doubt can totally cloud our judgment and drive us into poor decisions. It is definitely one of Satan’s favorite tools.

It is the same for us today, our sin is just as tempting, it is just as real and it is just as harmful. Human nature has not changed much through all the millennia of our existence and the pattern of sin is the same. First there is the temptation, that one thing that catches our eye, a handsome man, a beautiful women, a shiny object, an irresistible urge, then there is the doubt or justification that it can’t really be all the bad, surely I can enjoy this one little thing, just this one little time. I can be my own god even if for just an instant. Why do I need the Church, I can reason for myself, I’m not a bad person, I don’t need a Bishop, Priest or Deacon to tell me how I should live, act or die.  Then there is the act, we submit to the temptation just as Eve does and we find ourselves naked, exposed for all to see and we run and hide.

It is a vicious cycle that will only end when we listen to Christ, anyone that has been part of the 12 step tradition will tell you that they could not break free of their addiction until they submitted to God, “help me Lord I cannot do this on my own.” We must draw closer to God, trust in His embrace and allow ourselves to be opened, allow Christ to open our ears and remove our speech impediment so that we may speak and hear with clarity drowning out the clatter of the evil one.

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