That Pesky Serpent

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Living like I have confidence and assurance. It is my utmost desire as a Christian believer. I want to live a life that reflects my Lord and Savior to others. But, while I still live in this imperfect world, there is something that gets in the way of doing this. What is it, you ask? It’s that pesky serpent, of course. Satan doesn’t want me or anyone else, for that matter, to live with confidence and assurance. In fact, he would prefer to keep us emasculated and bottled up in our own fears. To make us impotent even when we’re sitting in church, even when we’re worshiping our Lord and Savior.

What makes it worse is that Satan can be present in the good things. Things like worship, the Holy Spirit, community, family, marriage, church, work, sexuality….the list could go on and on. The serpent, which is how Satan is portrayed in Genesis 3, sits on our shoulders and whispers things in our ears that make us dissatisfied  with what God has given us.  I’m sure you’ve heard some of these messages before.

“You know that convertible would be a much better car than the Toyota you’re looking at. And it would impress more girls too.”

“What about the house in that great neighborhood? You’re not worth anything if you don’t buy a house.”

Here’s another one. “You know, the worship service couldn’t have been that good if they didn’t sing all of your favorite songs.”

And finally, “How can you contribute if you’re sick? Having faith is about what you do and what you give, not about who you are. You’re not good enough for the grace God says He’s given you.”

I’m sure you can come up with more deceitful messages that Satan has whispered in your ear. The one pertinent word in that previous sentence is deceitful. All of those messages are deceitful and not what God intends for His children.

You might wonder why I’m writing about this today. It was inspired by the sermon my pastor preached yesterday. He spoke of that pesky serpent in Genesis 3 and the influence it had on Adam and Eve and how their sin changed God’s creation forever. He also talked about how Satan will always whisper in our ear, and how that won’t change until we are with Jesus.

I was thinking this morning of how this related to me. This past week has been a wild ride for me and my family. My husband has been having some health difficulties, and he had to spend a day in the hospital because of concern that his heart was involved. It wasn’t, but the symptoms were still there. Because of the unknown diagnosis, fear grabbed my heart and took up residence. I realize now that Satan was also whispering in my ear. I stuffed everything inside and didn’t feel like I could share because of the unknown diagnosis. After he had more lab work done the following day, a voice told me I was being stupid and that I needed to share. I know that voice was God. After posting a prayer request on our church’s Facebook page, I felt better and lighter, like a tremendous burden had been lifted. The following day he received a diagnosis, and he is now being treated.

This whole situation has taught me something. God uses community to make our burdens lighter and to help us live for Him. He didn’t mean for us to go through life alone. We shouldn’t have to pretend with each other. We should be able to share, to become unglued, to be authentic with our fellow Christians without fear of rejection. My prayer request today is for God to help me be better with that–on the giving end and on the receiving end. And that the whispers of the pesky serpent go unheard over the chorus of believers doing what they’re supposed to do.

God’s blessings on you today!

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