One Sunday during my prayer time I came across the Scripture verse in Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wile animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The words I read were like a slap on the cheek. The statement “Did God really say…” reminds me of the times when I knew without a doubt that my call is to serve God by ministering to youth and to women. However there would be this subtle doubt that would creep in, “Did God really say…?”
Just like Eve in the Garden, the same question came my way. At that moment I had a better understanding of the temptation in the Garden. Eve had fallen for the “Did God Really Say…?” trap, and so have I. In fact too many time to count! It is interesting how I would feel the impact of the Word of God in a profuse way and be overcome with joy; to only minutes or hours later, overcome by the opposite of doubt and confusion.
Jesus had the same temptation.
Matt 4:1-3, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
However Jesus did not fall for the question of IF in the temptation.
This time the question in this Scripture verse was IF… The word IF… in this case is the same implication as Did God really say… Because in both cases the temptation is questioning who God is and His authority. God is a God of certainty! God is not of confusion. With God the creator of all things, there is no question of who He is and what He can and will do. God loves us so much that He communicates with us in clarity and truth. There is no IF’s , AND’s and BUT’s about it! All that God requires of us is to believe and to trust in Him.
As my spiritual director said to me, “Be careful whose voice you are listening to. Remember it is God who puts the desires in your heart to serve Him.” As I see it, there are no IF’s about it! Do not let the evil one snatch the desire away as explained in the parable of Matt. 13:18-19, “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.”
So the next time that the devil tries to rob from you, do what Jesus did in Matt. 4:4, “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Speak the Word of God to the “Did God really say… and the IF’s” that come up in your life. Say yes to God, and be like the seed in Mat. 13:23, “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
We do not have to know all the answers or how things will play out, we just need to step out-of-the-way and put our trust in God. Stay certain and no more IF’s and AND’s about it!
Scripture verses are from NIV Translation.