Be Careful When All Is Well
Key Passage: Genesis 2:7-17
Supporting Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-31 | Genesis 3:4 | Psalm 119:65-68 | Ezekiel 18:4 | Romans 6:23 | Galatians 6:7
After working hard to achieve our goals in life, it’s natural to want to relax a bit and take it easy.
However, success in certain areas of our lives could begin to make us less sensitive to temptations. Thinking we’re now safe and secure, we may begin to compromise in small ways. It might be in our attitudes, associations, or practices. This could also happen in our spiritual lives after having struggled in a particular area and then conquering it. We may be tempted to drop our guard, thinking we’ve overcome that sin or weakness. Yet sometimes without even knowing, we begin to drift backwards.
Those times when we think everything is going well can be the beginning of disaster.
This possibility is not something new because it happened long ago in the beginning of time. Genesis 2:7-17 describes a situation in which everything was the best it has ever been, yet disaster soon followed.
Genesis’ chapter one describes the creation of the earth and everything in it, including mankind. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (v. 27). The Lord concluded His creation with these words: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (v. 31).
The Lord God planted a garden called Eden, and placed Adam and Eve there. Everything about it was perfect, and He provided for all their needs. There was plenty of food from the many trees, and a river flowed though the Garden, so they never lacked water. Furthermore, the environment was absolutely beautiful.
When God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, He gave him the responsibility of keeping and managing it. Basically, he was a gardener or farmer. He wasn’t supposed to simply sit around eating the fruit and enjoying the beauty. God gave him the gift of meaningful work.
The Lord provided a perfect, beautiful, and fruitful environment for Adam and Eve, and He only put one restriction on them: “But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17). God placed this tree in the garden to give Adam and Eve the opportunity to choose to love Him. He knows that acceptance of His love makes a relationship with Him more precious and rewarding, but allowing Adam and Eve to make their own choice also introduced the possibility that they might reject Him. Knowing that disaster would result from the wrong decision, the Lord mindfully warned them of the consequences that would follow if they disobeyed—they would surely die.
Adam and Eve had all the knowledge and satisfaction they could possibly need, but Satan tempted Eve to focus on what she didn’t have and suggested that God was withholding something good from her. He told her she could be like God, and she believed the lie and ate from the forbidden tree. According to Scripture, she then handed the fruit to Adam, and he ate as well. He ignored God’s warning and may have even thought that since Eve didn’t die immediately, nothing bad would happen. The result of their sin was shame and an awareness of their nakedness. When God came walking in the garden in the cool of the day, they tried to hide themselves from Him.
When everything is going well in our lives, we must be on guard because the devil always has an offer that is diametrically opposed to what God would have for us. Instead of recognizing all the blessings the Lord has already given us and remembering what He has said in His Word, Satan tells us we need more, and promises us enjoyment outside of God’s boundaries. That’s why we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit within us who guides us into truth and warns us about sin.
All the pain, death, sorrow, and misery in the world started in a perfect garden when two people disobeyed God. Ever since then, we have all felt the weight of sin and guilt. Therefore, we should never rationalize that a little bit of sin won’t hurt us. Just like that first sin, it multiplies into more disobedience and more consequences.
Adam and Eve had everything and ended up losing it all because they didn’t believe God when He warned them that sin has consequences. And today many people are following in their footsteps. They have refused to believe and obey the Lord and are suffering the painful repercussions of their sin.
As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. They realized too late that they had made the wrong decision. They were filled with internal shame and now faced the fear of not knowing what would happen to them.
We’ve all felt the intense regret of having disobeyed the Lord. Too late we realize the consequences of our choice and replay in our minds the thought, “I wish I hadn’t done this.” Instead of living in the regrets of sin, God has given us the privilege of living in obedience to Him. He’s granted us His Spirit who warns us whenever we’re headed in the wrong direction. The entire Bible, in fact, is full of warnings regarding the dangers of sin and the disastrous results of disobedience.
Sometimes we can be foolish like Adam who may have eaten the fruit because Eve didn’t die immediately. It looked like there were no consequences for disobedience at first, but when Eve ate the fruit, death began within her. Without knowing it, many people today are also dying inside because they don’t realize they are living in the consequences of sin. God clearly warns us that whenever we sin, it has already begun to do its destructive work within us.
This is why we must be mindful each day to read God’s Word, pray to our heavenly Father, and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and warnings. As we develop our relationship with Him in this way, we’re guarding ourselves from the deceptions and temptations of the enemy.
- When are you more likely to yield to temptation— when life is going well and you have all you need and want, or when you are struggling and desperately need God’s help?
- In what ways has Satan tried to shift your focus from God’s abundant blessings in your life to what you don’t have? By stirring up your desires, what has he tempted you to pursue that is outside of God’s will?
- Are you struggling with regrets for past acts of disobedience? How can you turn those regrets into a strong motivation to live obediently before God in the future? What hope does He offer in Psalm 119:65-68?