(Preached recently at Faith)
Years ago I built a fish pond with a waterfall and sitting area with a swing in our front yard. Some time later as we were relaxing in the swing, she said, “This is my haven. It is so peaceful and relaxing.” Several years later, that peaceful, relaxing, paradise turned from a haven to a horror as it was now home to an intruder. That copperhead would not come out in the day, but there was no peace in paradise as long as we knew he was somewhere around, most likely under the waterfall. Finally, I told her that I knew he would come out in the night and I would take care of him. Sure enough, I went out about 4 AM and found him relaxing in the pond. I had stationed a machete there and the rest is history.
Eden was a perfect place and the Lord said it was good several times. (Gen. 1:4, 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, 1:21, 1:25 and 1:31) There was one problem and that was “THERE WAS A SERPENT IN PARADISE.” We do not know how long they enjoyed paradise before the serpent’s temptation and their banishment, but we know that Satan is still at work in our world trying to invade and corrupt our lives. The most vivid Biblical picture of the aim of the devil is seen in John 10:10 stating, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” 1 Peter 5:8 refers to him as “your adversary.”
How do you keep the enemy (Satan) out of your paradise?
- Consecrate your paradise to the Lord in obedience. Notice Gen. 2:15-17 where God gave Adam the right to every tree of the garden to freely eat…except ONE! ONLY ONE!
- Commit yourself to not let your flesh dictate your actions. Gen. 3:6 states, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…pleasant to the eyes…to be desired.” Eve allowed her flesh to dictate her actions. Think about this: God could have made the tree ugly, the fruit bitter or poisonous and undesirable. The commands of God should overrule all the actions of our flesh and when things look good, seem good, and feel good, we should respond in obedience to His Word. Look at 1 John 2:16 and Romans 13:14.
- Stay in communion with God, even when you know you have done wrong! In Gen. 3:7-10, we see Adam and Eve hiding from God. Wouldn’t it be something if we read that Adam and Eve went looking for God and confessing their failure? Do not buy into the lie of Satan that when you have failed you have to run and hide! If you have allowed the enemy into you paradise, you can “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you…” James 4:7-8