But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3
Looking back to the first time I obtained and abused opiate pain medications, I had no idea of the calamity that I’d create in my life. I did know it was unhealthy behavior though. I knew it was wrong and I knew that the pills were addictive. I wanted them though. When I want something, I have a way of overriding my conscience with lies. I can get away with it. I work hard and I deserve it. It helps me relax and sleep. It’s actually a good thing.
These are remarkably similar to the lies the serpent whispered to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Way back in Genesis, we’re told that Eve knew that she wasn’t supposed to eat the fruit of one tree in the garden. The serpent though, insisted that eating the fruit was a good thing. God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). Eve believed the lies. The serpent convinced her that she could have what she wanted without consequences. So, she ate the fruit, and catastrophically altered the course of her life.
This is a pattern with which most of us are familiar. We know something may not be healthy, but we really want it, and so, we convince ourselves that we can have it without consequences. We allow ourselves to be deceived by our own appetite. The voice of our appetite of course, is the same voice the serpent used on Eve. He didn’t tempt her with eating dirt. He tempted her with something that was profoundly appealing to her. He used her own desires against her to convince her of the lies that would turn her from God.
This is our problem. Evil usually appears attractive. If a snake showed up and told us to rob a bank, we’d say no, because that’s crazy. The voice of our appetite is much more subtle and cunning though, whispering to us, You can have the thing you want and get away with it. No one will know. God will forgive you. No consequences. You deserve it. It’s actually a good thing.
Listening to the lies of our self-destructive nature always turns us from who we’re supposed to be, causing misery and pain. If we truly desire to know the joy and peace found only in following God, we must daily recognize and abandon the lies and temptations that would distract us from him.