Distrusting the Goodness of God

In Daily Devotional by Greg Ogden

Theme of the Week: What’s Wrong With The World? I Am

Bible Verse: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14, ESV

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-6

The serpent’s first strategy is to cause the woman to question whether God is for her. “He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say . . .’” When we hear something that doesn’t seem to square with the integrity of the source, we say, “Did they really say that?” Satan’s tactic is to begin to sow doubt, to cause the woman to question whether God is too restrictive.

In her defense of God, the woman is showing signs that the seeds of doubting God’s goodness are taking root. “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden’” (v. 2), but she slightly alters God’s original command. God had said to Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (2:16-17).

Eve shows that she is becoming fixated on God’s restrictions. “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’” (3:3). God had restricted eating, but he never said anything about touching. This was Eve’s added restriction.

Restrictions are often interpreted as harsh confinements, yet unrestricted freedom leads only to destruction. Laws such as the Ten Commandments are given so that we honor the Creator and keep from bringing harm to ourselves. God forbade Adam and Eve from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil so they would avoid the consequence of dying.

What if we had the attitude of unrestricted freedom when it came to driving a car? No one is going to make me drive within the confines of these road lines, we think. If I feel like zigzagging across lanes, then I will. If I decide to take a shortcut across someone’s front lawn, that’s up to me. No one can hem me in. Laws for driving are obviously meant to protect us as well as others who share the road.

Our best interest is always freedom within limits, within defined boundaries.

From Discipleship Essentials (Revised and Expanded) by Greg Ogden. Copyright (c) 1998, 2007, 2018 by Greg Ogden. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. ivpress.com, ivpress.com/discipleship-essentials


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About
Greg Ogden
Greg Ogden is the author of several books such as Discipleship Essentials, Transforming Discipleship, Leadership Essentials, and The Essential Commandment. He is a principle partner in the Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI), which trains, coaches, and inspires pastors and Christian leaders to establish indigenous, multiplying, disciplemaking networks, both nationally and internationally.
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Greg Ogden
Greg Ogden is the author of several books such as Discipleship Essentials, Transforming Discipleship, Leadership Essentials, and The Essential Commandment. He is a principle partner in the Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI), which trains, coaches, and inspires pastors and Christian leaders to establish indigenous, multiplying, disciplemaking networks, both nationally and internationally.