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Intentions

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? The woman said to the serpent, We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (Genesis 3:1-7). 

Cunning, mischievous, devious. Words that describe . . . my daughter.  

Now please understand that I love her to death, but she has learned the art of sidestepping authority. Recently she asked me for a sugary snack. She quickly followed her request up with, “Mommy said it’s okay.” I went to confirm that with my wife, and my suspicions were right—my daughter was trying to play us to get what she wanted!  

Satan tried the same thing with Adam and Eve. He presented them with an opportunity to question God’s authority—the same God who had just given them life, breath, and authority on earth. Satan’s intentions are obvious to us. He was twisting the words of God to get Adam and Eve to fall. And fall they did. Sadly, their fall into sin affected the entire human race.    

Satan has not changed his tactics. He still fills our minds with questions and lies. “Did God really say to follow him only?” “Did God really say his Word is the only basis of truth?” “Does God really love you?” “Are you really forgiven for what you’ve done?” He dangles the juicy fruit of sin before us every day. His intentions are obvious. He wants us to doubt, question, and forsake God. Sadly, we often take the bait and fall victim to Satan’s cunning attacks. At the end of the day, we wonder, Why did I listen to Satan and give into temptation . . . again? 

Christian, the remedy for our failures rests in the life, death, and resurrection of another person whom Satan tempted. He tempted the very Son of God to stray from the path that the Father had set out before him. His intentions were obvious. If he got Jesus to slip, just once—if he could convince Jesus not to go to the cross—then he would claim your soul and mine for eternity. But for the first time in the history of the world, we see one who did not fall victim to Satan’s temptations. Jesus not only did not sin but on the cross of Calvary he also conquered sin, death, and the devil. 

Jesus’ intentions are obvious—to buy us back from giving into temptation, to buy us back from our sin and failures. Miraculously, through the perfect life, sacrificial death, and incredible resurrection of Christ your Savior, your failures and your sins are completely gone. You belong only to our God Most High!  

Christian, as you continually face the temptations of the tempter, remember who your God is. He not only had good intentions to perfectly march to the cross and save you, but he also did just that! 

Prayer: Dear Lord, as Satan pummels me with temptations again today, help me to flee to your loving arms. When I fail, lead me to seek forgiveness in you alone. God, give me hope, life, and joy now and eternally. Amen. 

Interested in more Lenten devotions? Visit forwardinchrist.net/lent-2023.

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This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series lent 2023

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