1. An Otherwise Glorious Day
You can feel it from the moment that you open your eyes: something will be different today. You don't know what the "something" is exactly, but you know that this will be your day. Sure enough, the sun beams on your face, the wind blows at your back, and the world is at your fingertips. Then BAM! You are ambushed by a spiritual attack. You never saw it coming. Neither did Eve.
Eve had a day like this, a day that changed the course of human history...forever. God made Adam and Eve and placed them in Eden where they had all they could possibility want- unrestricted access to God, a perfect relationship with one another, and harmony with creation (Genesis 1-2). And BAM! Satan interrupts an otherwise brilliant day in the Garden.
Unfortunately, neither Adam nor Eve was prepared for a strategic assault in paradise. So when Satan approached Eve, he asked a seemingly unassuming question. Has God denied her the opportunity to eat from any of the trees in the garden? The snake slid one question into Eve's mind. And with that single question planted lethal idea that perhaps God was deliberately withholding something precious from her - true power and knowledge.
That's all it takes for us, too-one question of doubt striking our hearts as we stroll about an otherwise whimsically wonderful day. Of course, we want to enjoy our days, but we would be wise to harbor a healthy awareness that we have a real and present enemy lurking.
Satan does not always come in an oppressive or fearful way; in fact, he often presents himself as an angel of light, one who is bringing a freeing truth: death will surely not come to you if you go ahead and take. Poor Eve. She didn't realize she was being played. All she knew was that God made her, loved her, and placed her in paradise with an adoring husband. But even after all that, she began to think that this same God could not be fully trusted.
But the Truth is that God is always good (Ps 19:7-9). He never prohibits without a reason, even if He does not share that reason with us. But by doubting God and distrusting His goodness, Eve began to look at the forbidden fruit. She took it, ate it and started encouraging Adam to eat the one thing God restricted from them. The snake's tail surely rattled as their defiance caused the downfall of the entire human race.
BAM! Sin entered creation.
It has crossed my mind that Eve was being ridiculous. I think, "I never would have fallen like that! I'm going to stand firm in the Lord." But it was only this summer when I was reminded of my own humanity.
It was the National Day of Prayer. As the principal of a Classical Christian School, I had set plans for the morning chapel service. My chief administrator had brilliantly organized the entire day, but she was out sick. Naturally, I scrambled to get everything ready. I was tired, stressed, and completely unprepared for a spiritual ambush. Then it happened: I lost my phone. Not two minutes earlier, it had been in my hands. It was like I was blinded from finding it.
Irate, I began to search for it. I could literally feel my pulse race. My tension, frustration, and yes, anger boiled. Why now? Today of all days! I tore the apartment apart. I knew the phone had to be there. Finally, I blew. I shouted at the only other Person who was there, the One whom I blamed for my own absent-mindedness: God.
"I'm doing all of this for You! I'm trying to put together a prayer chapel for Your children, at Your school, and in Your name! Now, You won't even show up to help me find a stupid phone? I don't know why I'm surprised. I can always count on You to fight me when I need you the most!"
As he did with Eve, the enemy waited for an otherwise glorious day to strike. He waited for just the opportune moment to come after me with a laser-focused attack on God's goodness. Just like Eve, he wanted me to think that my God cannot be fully trusted. Just like Eve, I never saw it coming.
When I got to school, the situation continued. Everything that I needed to work failed - miserably. As the chapel began, though, the Lord did something to stop me dead in my tracks. Our Student Council President stood up and gave her testimony explaining her conversion from Buddhism. She shared about her transformed life after receiving the Gospel. Her 10-minute testimony blew my 30-minute master plan clean out of the water. As she spoke to the audience, the Lord spoke to my heart.
I had been defiant. I had doubted. I had taken the bait straight from Satan's vibrating tongue. I guess I am not as far from Eve's downfall as I imagined. My little plans were not His grand plans, and He was willing to test me, convict me and even shut me down completely, in order to show me exactly that. I didn't need my phone that morning; I needed to trust God. He did not need my organizational leadership, my cell phone, or me to get His job done. But I needed a good reminding of that.
In spite of my pride and my bad behavior, the Lord gave the students, faculty, and staff an inspiring message through another servant (a child no less). Oh, how easily we can be ensnared by sin's sneaky suggestions. How quickly we can turn on the One who loves us the most.
Just like Eve, we don't need extra wisdom; we need to believe. We don't need a better day; we just need to obey. We need to trust God even if we do not understand our circumstances.