Ill Bring the Chocolate: Satisfying a Womans Craving for Friendship and Faith
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Free will isn't really free if a person has no choice.
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Adam and Eve had a choice to make about this one tree. God told them to abstain from eating from its fruit because He did not want His beloved creation to have a knowledge of evil. He had already given them a full knowledge of everything He called "good. That's true for us today as Christians. God calls us to pursue only what is good.
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Paul wrote to the Philippians: "Whatsoever things are true. God desires only good for His children. He tells us in His Word, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" Rom. Even as God calls us away from evil and toward good,He gives us a choice. So many of the problems we have in our world today are the result of men and women making the wrong choices. They have knowingly and unknowingly chosen what is evil.
And the end result is the same for us as it was for Adam and Eve: death and all forms of sin that lead to death see Rom. Let me point out to you two results from the disastrous choice that Adam and Eve made about the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. First, Eve listened to what the devil had to say to her about the fruit itself. The devil diverted her attention from whatever it was that Eve was doing. He called her attention to the tree and its fruit. The Bible tells us the devil came to her in the guise of a beautiful and subtle serpent and said to her, "Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
There's no indication that Eve had given much thought to the tree before the devil asked her this question. There's no record that she longed for it or had any curiosity about it. She certainly didn't crave it, because she had never tasted it! In many ways, the devil uses this same tactic today. He calls our attention to how beautiful and refreshing certain foods and beverages appear.
It's difficult to go through a day without seeing enticing food and beverage commercials on billboards, on television, and in magazines. Foods are presented in the most tempting ways in stores, restaurants, and on menus. The devil says the same thing to us he said to Eve:"Has God really said you can't have a bite of this? A woman once said to me, "If there's a piece of pie in my house, it calls out to me. It says to me, even in the middle of night, 'Eat me.
Come eat me. Now I'm certainly not linking the devil to a piece of pie, but I am saying this: the devil will always call your attention repeatedly to the thing that is harmful for you, but he will do it in a way that makes you feel deprived if you don't indulge in eating, drinking, or partaking of what is harmful. The implication of the devil is always: "This is so good.
Has God really said you can't have any of this good thing? Never forget that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the knowledge of good and evil. There was an element of good in that fruit, not just evil.
The devil told Eve specifically that the fruit of the tree was "good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes" Gen. All Eve had to do was look to see that the fruit was pleasant.
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She made a bad assumption, however, that what was visually pleasant would also be "good for food. What about us? There's an element of good in foods and substances that are ultimately bad for us, even if it's just the good appearance, smell, or taste. Have you ever noticed how beautiful all the colored and distinctly shaped bottles look in a bar? Those bottles always seem lighted in just the right way to make them look very special, very festive, very appealing.
Many foods are pleasant to the eyes.
Many drinks are presented in ways that make them appear pleasing. We buy into the lie that what is pleasing is also nutritious and beneficial. Fasting calls us to turn away from food.
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Fasting calls us to redivert our attention back to the things of God and His commandments. Fasting calls us to face and overcome the devil's call: "Has God really said you can't have this? The devil's insistent question is likely to become very loud in our minds as we begin a fast: "Has God really said you can't eat? Not anything? Not the things you love the most? Has God really called you to fast- to abstain totally from this thing that you have labeled as 'good'?
Our answer must be a firm "Yes! God has called me to fast. He has called me to give my full attention to Him and to His commandments. He has called me to obey Him fully in all things.
And God has called me to say no to you, devil! Eve listened to what the devil had to say to her about the benefits of eating what God had prohibited. The devil always points out the would-be and usually short-term benefits of sin. Many substances that are ultimately harmful for us taste good or feel good or bring pleasure. In some cases, the partaking of the substance makes us feel like adults, feel accepted by others, or feel more powerful and in greater control. Some people say about certain foods and substances that they "give me quick energy," "make me more alert," or "help me relax.
The devil told Eve that the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would make her wise-she would be as a "god," knowing good and evil.
In the short term, the devil was right. Eve suddenly had a knowledge of evil. She really knew in her own experience as a human being that evil existed. This was the first time in her life she had ever known the contrast-up to that point, all things had been good. What the devil failed to mention to Eve was the ultimate consequence that God had associated with eating of this fruit: "You shall surely die.
In fact, he dismissed God's consequences with a sarcastic question. The devil comes at us the same way. The devil never tells us that drinking alcohol can make a person an alcoholic. He never tells a person that smoking cigarettes can cause him or her to have lung cancer. He never tells a person that eating too much of the wrong foods can lead to chronic illness and premature death.