When I was a young teen I was watching an Elvis Presley movie with my dad. In this movie Elvis took a dive from a high cliff in Acapulco. I sat enthralled as I watched Elvis stand on the edge of that cliff and dive into the ocean. My dad interjected that he had done the same thing. I was so impressed and excited. I remember going to school and telling my friends. Much later in life I discovered my dad never jumped from the cliffs in Acapulco but had dived from the top of a destroyer into the Pacific Ocean which he said was just as high and dangerous.
I had believed my dad and never questioned his experience. Because he was my dad, I did not think he would lie to me. I had faith that his story was true. It was a reminder to me about how easy it is to hear something and believe it because we trust the person who is telling us the information.
What a dangerous thing! That is exactly how sin entered the world. Eve was told by Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She did not hear the warning straight from God. The serpent was able to use that fact to make her doubt Adam and what he had said. Of course, she could have asked God about it herself, but she did not. Instead, she ate from the forbidden tree and offered it to Adam bringing sin into the world.
Sin is disobedience to God and doubting His word. How easy that is to do if we do not study the Bible (God’s word) ourselves. I know it is so much easier to sit and listen to a sermon on Sunday by a trusted pastor than it is to spend time reading the Bible on my own. Yet, time alone with God quietly listening to Him speak as I read and pray has been validating and helped me to stay the course. I am getting the facts straight from God without someone else’s spin on it.
It’s easy to believe the lies Satan whispers in our ears about the Bible. For instance, he tells us how hard the Bible is to understand, how antiquated the values are, these are stories with morals not facts, and the list goes on and on. Like he did to Eve, he’s trying to discredit and keep us from getting to know and grow close to God. It’s a victory for Satan to turn us away from God and His ways.
It’s okay to read religious material and to listen to Bible-based podcasts, but don’t let that be your total diet. There is no substitution for prayer and reading God’s Word for yourself. The Bible is the main course, and all those other things are garnishes and side dishes that should complement and go along with the Bible and its teachings.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild 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’?” Genesis 3:1