Sunday, November 13, 2011

Doubt: My Temptation of "Choice"

Doubt was Satan's first temptation tactic and is still one of his best, at least for me. The first thing he did was get Eve thinking..."Did God actually say ,'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1). And then he tempted her to doubt that God is good and trustworthy..."You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5)

On Friday my husband's boss told him that he will have to start working his 40 hours spread over 6 days a week instead of five. He recently transferred to a new store (he works in retail) and the new store is basically a mess. Things have not been managed well so the boss is "cracking down" on his assistants. We are frustrated to say the least. My husband commutes about an hour round trip daily so an extra day of commuting will affect us financially. He already works a lot of swing shifts and since he does so much to help care for us and the housework I cannot do, this will make things extra hard. We are hopeful it will only be for a short time or that God will provide an alternative, but He may not.

It is good that my grandparents were at our house when my husband shared the bad news or my reaction probably would have not been one of grace. When frustrating situations arise, which seem to be quite often for us lately, I am almost immediately tempted to doubt that God is in control and that all His ways are good. I want to cry out, "Really God? How much can we bear? How are you working this for good!?" I may not say those words aloud, but often they are in my heart.

I don't think I take it seriously enough that this life really is a battle. As Christians, our adversary, the devil, is prowling around like a lion seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). Sin is crouching at our door and it desires us, but we must rule over it (Genesis 4:7).

How can we fight this battle and not give in to the temptation to doubt God's complete control and goodness? How can we rule over sin by God's grace? Every good solider wears armor into battle and God tells us we should too in Ephesians 6:11-18. Of the seven pieces of armor (belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit, and prayer), faith is the most important for, "with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one" (verse 16).

That's what Satan is after: our faith. He wants us, like Eve, to doubt He is who His word says He is. He wants us to despair when life is hard and nothing seems to go our way. Instead we must daily put on God's armor so that when the Satan's flaming darts come we can resist Him, standing firm in our faith (1 Peter 5:9). Lord, give us the grace to trust you!

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