This past summer, I hosted a Bible study for teen girls. We dug into the courageous women of the Bible and read how God is still using their stories to provide us with examples of what it means to be obedient, faithful, and brave. Basically, what it looks like to go against the grain and live with a counterculture mindset.
As we uncovered and revealed more and more truths about each of these beautiful women’s stories, it proved how good our God is and how truly faithful He is throughout the ages.
As these young ladies came to grips with the fact that God’s Word still applies today and is applicable to their own lives, it was apparent they were ready to meet Jesus in those pages they had plopped in their laps. It was heartwarming, to say the least. I love seeing young ladies on fire for Jesus!
We read about the courage of Esther. The loyalty of Ruth. The patience of Sarah. The bravery of Rahab. The obedience of Mary and the faithfulness of Hannah.
Then we met Eve. Her story, while one of beauty in God’s handiwork and design, gives way to sadness as she got wrapped and entangled with sin.
This woman had the young ladies sitting in my living room with their Bibles open to Genesis, a bit baffled.
It was a story many had heard and may have read before, they couldn’t understand what they could learn about God, His nature, and themselves through her story. As far as they were concerned, Eve messed up. She sinned. Lesson learned.
But as we pulled back the layers of her story, we learned there was more to Eve than meets the eye.
They also became mesmerized with one word: sin. A rather lengthy conversation transpired from that one word. All leads to one simple yet rather thought-provoking question: Is temptation a sin?
To answer that question simply: no. Temptation is not a sin. However, our sinful nature is constantly swaying us to give in to temptation, which in turn can lead us down a path to sin.
Bottom line: Sin is a choice.
That’s when we get reacquainted with the Son, seeking grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
The Devine Nature of Our God
Eve teaches us about our human nature and the perfect, holy, and just nature of our God. Genesis 1:31 tells us Adam and Eve were made in perfect, holy bodies. God saw all that He created and was pleased, that includes His most prized possession, Adam and Eve.
In order to protect them, God gave a command to stay away from the tree of knowledge, or there would be consequences, and they would be punished (Genesis 2:17). This verse indicates that God is a loving and righteous Father who also grants freedom and the ability for one to make their own decisions.
God did not want to force His creation to love and worship Him. Instead, He gave us the free will to do so. He created us with complex minds and bodies as means to serve, worship, and glorify Him in our own attempts.
God wanted the love to come from within us and to choose to be obedient, trust, and show reverence to Him.
Because in His infinite wisdom, He knew a forced submission would bring Him little to no glory. If it were a choice to honor and love Him, it would be done so with passion.
However, with this freedom of choice and this innate need to belong, we seek to fill this void inside of us with things of this world. Things that will never fully satisfy us.
We seek to gain our own understanding with our own admission and, in doing so, disobey God. This is what caused Eve to fall into the trap of temptation, leading her to sin. She was lured in by gaining access to knowledge (Genesis 3:4-5).
Yet, we see God’s attributes of love, mercy, grace, justice, and veracity portrayed shortly after her choice to give way to temptation, causing her to sin (Genesis 3:13). Her immediate consequence came in the form of guilt and shame.
Where Temptation Comes From
James 1:14-15 tells us that our own desires give birth to sin. In time, that sin can give way to death. We must understand something from the get-go. God did not create sin. Nor does He cause us to sin.
When we give in to sin, it is a choice we make, so we must hold ourselves accountable and take responsibility for our actions. That being said, we must also be mindful of who is essentially trying to pull us away and trap us in sin.
Evil is always beckoning us to turn back to our sinful nature. Wanting us to become a victim of temptation. This is what leads us to death. Falling prey to the “lion in sheep’s clothes.”
1 Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan roams around, just waiting and ready to pounce and devour us. We must keep our guard up and be on the lookout for his mischievous schemes.
Just as he taunted Eve, the deceiver makes sin look appealing. We can easily take the bait when we aren’t connected to the Father and rooted in His Word. God will never cause us to stumble, falter or fail. Yet, even when we do, He will use every opportunity for good.
God tests us, but the deceiver temps us. God convicts us where the deceiver condemns us. God never fails us and is faithful even when we are tempted, whereas Satan uses temptation as his weapon of destruction.
Sin Is Not the End- Redemption Is
Sin is not the end. We learn from Eve’s story that it was all part of God’s plan for redemption. God may have brought on consequences for the choice Eve made to go against His command, but He demonstrated what any good Father would do.
Her choice led to shame, guilt, and remorse for all mankind. Talk about a heavy burden! But hope remains because God bought us with a price on the cross. He gives us the choice to accept salvation to break free from the chains of sin.
Eve’s story is our story. We all take a bite into sin from time to time, and in turn, the poison from that bite churns up guilt, shame, and remorse. But that’s not the end of our story.
That is when God reaches out to us and invites us to turn to Him. So thankful that He extends forgiveness and offers redemption! Praise God for that!
We have hope in knowing that we are redeemed as His sons and daughters. That while we may fail, go down the wrong path or become lost in our own sin, God has provided a way out.
The art of taking our sin to Him and letting Him cover us in His grace. Not only that, but He is continually pursuing us, calling us back and reminding us of His infinite love (Matthew 18:12).
Next time you feel tempted, recognize where it is coming from. Remember who you are and Who you follow. Turn to the One that created you. Ask for His help and discernment in times of need.
Also, be reminded that the more you understand God and His character, the more you will be able to distinguish the loud lies that lead to sin and death from the gentle whispers that offer hope and everlasting life.
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Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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