It isn't all apples and oranges after all

In the beginning of time, there was a garden (Genesis 3). In this garden lived a man and a woman, Adam and Eve, both of whom had been designated by God to tend the garden and all that was in it. All the fruits of their labor - which was really not labor at all - were to be enjoyed. All except for the fruit of one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The moment that they should choose to eat of it was the moment they would begin to die.

Life was utopia for Adam and Eve. They dwelt with God and enjoyed the bounty of His generosity. They were as free as two humans could be. There were no needs that they could possible have that God would fail to meet. They were naked but unashamed, for they were free of the stigma of being exposed. Their relationship with God was perfect and pure for nothing existed that had tarnished it. Yet.

One day, as Eve was tending the garden on her own, the enemy came to her clothed as a serpent. "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?'" and for the first time in history the seeds of doubt were sown into the human mind.

Eve knew God's command - Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - but the temptation that lay before her was great. The enemy did not appeal to her physical hunger, for she had more than enough food. Nor did he entice her with the best tasting of all fruits - everything in the garden would have pleased the palate. Instead, the enemy sought to hook Eve with the idea that eating the fruit would make her an equal with God, which proved to be a temptation too much for her to resist.

The rest of the story has a tragic ending. Eve did eat of the fruit and Adam followed right behind her. Sure, their eyes were opened, but not in the way in they anticipated. Instead, for the first time they realized guilt and shame, all because they willfully chose to betray God. At this moment in time, sin was born and death came to town.

When studying the story of Adam and Eve and their subsequent fall, many will say that it was pride or greed that led them to embrace sin that day. But more than that, the real enemy that squared off against Adam and Eve that day - and the primary enemy that we face every day - is the sin of idolatry.

You see, Eve and then Adam chose to push God off of the throne of their lives and chose to worship their own selfish desires instead.

That's what idolatry is. It's forcing God off of His throne in your heart and replacing Him with whatever else you foolishly believe will provide stability, joy, or purpose to your life. All sin is the sin of idolatry, for when we sin we are essentially looking at God and telling Him to step aside so that we can worship the desires of our own flesh.

Every single day, you and I are faced with the same challenge that began in that garden so long ago: Who or what will remain on the throne of our lives? When we seek after anything or anyone other than God, then we have abdicated His throne in favor of a false idol. Look, we may never say the words "God is not enough," but when we put some worthless idol in His place, that's exactly what we are telling Him.

The enemy will whisper in your ear, but he is incapable of making decision for you. May we all be satisfied with our limitations and relish in the fact that our God fills in all the gaps that we may have in our lives so that nothing we could choose could ever overtake what He gives.

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