ADVENTures Day 4–Competition or Contentment?

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:8-15 (NIV)

I had kind of a rotten day today. It began when my clock was mysteriously set an hour ahead. I had been up and making the kids’ lunches, going about the business of getting myself out the door on time, when I realized it was 4:45 AM. I’d gone to sleep after midnight to begin with. The day went steadily downhill from there.

My eyes are crossing, but I want to write!!!

It wasn’t too long ago when I noticed something about Satan and Eve. He tempted her with the same thing that got him into trouble with God—he wanted God’s status. Poor Eve. She and Adam had all they could ever want or need from God—He even walks out to them in the garden, for crying out loud. Life for them wanted absolutely nothing. But all the devil had to do was imply that God was holding out—that there was something desirable that He was jealously guarding—His knowledge.

Go on. Take it. You surely will not die. God just knows it will make you divine, that’s all.

We could become all judge-y about Eve’s response to this temptation. Certainly we would never give in so easily to FRUIT. She sets a pattern, though, which we all—every last blessed one of us—have followed. She chose competition over contentment.

We may not consciously think that we can compete with God, but we do have our prideful hang-ups, right? This morning, as my day unraveled, I was awash with a familiar sense of failure. It is the plague of perfectionism. I screw up—then I’m an emotional pile for a few hours at best. At its worst? Sometimes it takes me a week or two to rebound. Repeatedly God convicts me that this is an area of my life which competes with my devotion to Him. Feeling driven to have things my way and accomplished in my strength is an addiction to bringing glory to me. And, believe me, every single time I crash and burn, I miss the contentment of looking to God for strength and being “called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). It feels good, first of all, to be in such close fellowship with Him that I’m a part of what He’s doing rather than setting my own agenda. Even better, it takes the pressure off. There’s a reason that He’s God and I’m not.

Today’s scripture shows how God allowed Eve to play a small part in His plan for Satan. The Savior will be born from Eve’s offspring. The act that redeems us from evil defeats evil. Jesus will crush the devil with the Cross. Check out this scene from The Passion of the Christ:

I’m tired, but I’m loving this Advent thing. More tomorrow.




One thought

  1. I am enjoying each of these posts….thanks for taking the time write, even when you are tired. Today’s post hits home with me! Love you, Katie Beasley

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