Do you remember watching the movies where people traveled across the desert thirsting for water when suddenly a mini paradise with water appears in the distance and when they arrived, they find that what they were looking for isn’t reality? Over the past several years, I have come to the realization that life comes with many mirages. We chase these things that seem like paradise only to find that what once looked so good from a distance isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
In the Scriptures, Adam and Eve experienced something very similar. God told Adam and Eve that it was ok to eat of the fruit in the garden, but that they couldn’t eat or touch of the tree that was in the middle of the garden, or they would die. After Eve explained this to the serpent, the serpent responded by saying, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be life God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)
The following verse is the crux of this blog:
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” – Genesis 3:6
I want to make mention of a few points that God spoke to me through this story.
1. Be content with what you have
Today’s culture is so focused on the next big thing that we struggle to be content on what we already have. A few weeks ago I was talking to a student who had last year’s X-Box. We began talking about video games (don’t judge me) and he began explaining to me how frustrated he was because his parents weren’t allowing him to get this year’s X-Box! Looking at him perplexed, I told him very clearly, “Boy, you need to be grateful with what you got! I’m still rocking the Playstation 2!” Stop looking for what’s next and enjoy what’s here!
2. There’s more than meets the eye
If you’re a Transformers fan, you caught the reference. If not, just enjoy what’s coming next. The enemy is extremely crafty and is really good at making the wrong things seem right so that you’ll want them more than the right things. Have you ever heard someone older and wiser say, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is” ? I know, we’ve all heard it and we’ve all still decided to pursue the delight to our eyes while slowly realizing that they were right! If the grass looks greener on the other side, it’s probably because there is a lot of crap (fertilizer).
3. It affects more than just you
Most of us pursue our sinful desires with the thought that it will not affect anyone else but me. The reality is that your sin ALWAYS affects more than just you. That sexual sin you committed in high school, it created emotional damage to the woman and is now affecting her marriage. That lie you told has now turned into 50 lies and you can’t keep track of what’s true and what’s a lie. That drink you had influenced someone around you that it was good to drink and now they’re battling alcoholism. Every action causes a reaction. Don’t be so naive that you actually believe you’re the only one affected.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:11-12