I think most of our bad decisions start with asking ourselves the question, “Did God really say…?”
When Eve was tempted by satan in the garden, this was the question that started it all. Did God really say she couldn’t eat that fruit? She must’ve heard him wrong. She must’ve misunderstood the message. He must’ve been taking to someone else. He couldn’t have meant her, certainly. No, he definitely didn’t mean that statement literally!
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”Genesis 3:1 NIV
We know the rest of the story. Eve certainly had heard the Lord right, and the result of her disobedience was eviction from paradise, shame that wasn’t there before, suffering in childbirth for all women from that day forward, and men having to work and toil from then on.
Totally not worth it. All avoidable consequences. All caused by that one innocent question: Did he really say…?
We ask these kinds of questions all the time:
So often, God says something, and then doubt creeps in, straight from the enemy. We convince ourselves we heard wrong or that God’s commands weren’t as strongly-worded as they were, and we settle. We sin. We swerve off the path God intended for us to stay on.
Every regrettable thing I’ve done in life has happened as a direct result of me listening to that voice of doubt and giving it my ear. Sometimes it sounds less like doubt and more like pride, lust, or even logic, but the aim is always the same: to get us to doubt something God said.
Did God really say?
Yeah. He did.
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?Numbers 23:19
Don’t let selfishness, impatience, greed, or anxiety convince you of anything different than what God said. His word is the ultimate authority, and his word stands.
Maybe Eve was just hungry. The Bible says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). God intends to fill us when we are hungry! But we have to do things his way. He won’t let us starve; he WILL fill us – but in his timing and in his way. Eve could’ve eaten off any other tree, but she willfully chose the one that God had forbidden, and she paid the price. That wasn’t God’s will for her; he wanted her to continue thriving in paradise with no sin or shame. His way was better, but she chose her own.
God gives us free will because he loves us, but his way is always best.
You get to choose. Choose the road of righteousness. Choose the road of trust. Choose the road of obedience. Choose the road less-traveled.
Don’t give doubt the time of day. If God said it, he meant it! If he said it, he will do it!
The reward of righteousness is 100% worth any sacrifice or temporary inconvenience.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.Psalm 1:6 NIV
If he said it, take him at his word. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of drama and despair, and your obedience will be the catalyst that unlocks the blessings God has in store for you. His way is THE way. Without a doubt.
For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.Psalm 11:7 NIV