Date: January 29, 2019 (Training)
Bible Text: | Betty Swann
Series: Pillar Eight
Hello and welcome back to the show. I just love doing this show. I have so many of you all over the world, writing me and telling me what you are getting out of it. It has been a surprise to me that it is men and women both because when we started this show it was really supposed to just be for women but it has not worked out that way. I probably have easily as many men watching as women, so when I do these lessons I have to think about how does it apply to a man and how does it apply to a woman. When does it apply to a marriage and when does it apply to a family and when does it apply to a career?
Today, we are talking about a woman from the Bible who made a big mistake, BIG mistake; Eve. The title of the lesson is “A Good Girl Who Made a Bad Mistake.” There are a lot of evil people in the world and they do bad things. They do not care. They do not care if it hurts anybody. They do not care about anybody. They just want to do what they want to do and then there are good people who make really serious mistakes. What does God say about that? What does God do about that? Have you ever done it? It is heartbreaking. Have you ever wondered how the only two people in the world, created by God, could mess up; both of them? It is just amazing. What is worse is that we are suffering from the sin of Adam, passed down to all of us. I have wondered how in the world that could happen when God only created two and they could not do it right. They messed up at the very beginning.
When you think about how your children could have messed up when you tried so hard with them, you remember this story. God only had two kids and they both messed up. If you are struggling from something with your children, just remember this. Did you train them up in the way that they should go like Proverbs says? Did you teach them right from wrong? Did you teach them how to conduct themselves? You, as a parent, are responsible for their character and helping build character into their lives, but you are not responsible for their choices. Good people make bad choices and sometimes kids make bad choices for a long time. What is your part in it? Let go. Let God have them but pray your head off. You never know when it is going to turn back for good. Always remember, it is just a chapter in the book of their life and God is faithful. That is why it is so important that you lead your children to faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord, as their Savior, when they are young; because then the Holy Spirit is on the inside of them working and talking. When they are not a believer, He is only on the outside and that is why you want to work with your children when they are young. Get them in Sunday School. Get them around Christian kids. Watch out who their friends are because bad friends corrupt good morals.
Today we are going to study Genesis 3:1-4 out of the New Living Bible. The verse is talking about that serpent, the devil. It says, “He was the shrewdest of all the wild animals.” We know foxes are shrewd. There are other animals that seem to have an ability to see things; eagles. But the Bible says the serpent was the shrewdest of all of them. No wonder they fell for his tricks; he was shrewd. You have to have a lot of discernment. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you cannot eat the fruit of any of the trees in the garden?” She said, “We can eat any of the fruit we want in the garden we just cannot eat from the tree in the middle of the garden. We are not allowed to eat it.” God said, “You must not eat it or even touch it. If you do you will die.” Go back and read what God said to her. He did not say one thing about touching it, He just said do not eat of it. “You will not die.” The serpent replied to the woman, “God knows your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it and then you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” He was already working on her. The devil knows your weak points. He knows where to get you. He knows where to get me. That is why we have to stay on our guard. That is why we have to live close to Jesus. It was a trap. He shrewdly set a trap. Have you ever walked into a trap? Have you ever done it in your heart first and then the next thing you know you walked into that trap and “snap” that trap had you and you could not get out. That happens a lot with addiction. I know that. You think, “I can handle it, I can quit drinking anytime I want to.” The next thing you know, you cannot quit, no matter how much you want.
Let me ask you something else. Have you ever come face to face with someone who doubted God’s word? Today the Bible is not the final authority for most people. They will say, “Well, you know, a lot of people wrote that and who knows if that is right. It has discrepancies.” They have never checked it out. They are just parroting what they have heard other people say, but it is not true. It is the final authority. It needs to be the final authority in your life. If God says do not do something in the Bible, do not do it. It does not matter who comes with a great argument and says, “Oh no, it is okay, you can really do it.” God is the final authority and He is the final judge and you have to answer to Him.
One time I was asking God what judgment day is going to be like and I had a vision. In this vision we were all walking down the hall, all of us, going to meet the judge and having to answer for our life. On the walls on each side as we walked down were things that we had said and things that God had said. Whether you said it right or whether you said it wrong, you could tell you were being judged by your words on the way to meeting the judge and it was scary because you could not deny it. It was your words, your voice. You have to learn that when the devil comes to you and wants to trap you and say it is okay. It is really okay and even come up with a pretty logical argument, a little twist in it, but a logical argument, then you have to remember what God’s word says. That means you have to know God’s word. How well do you know God’s word?
I went through a time where somebody tried to convince me that a sin was okay. It really got me confused because the argument was so logical. See, the devil is shrewd. He can be logical. I came home and a little song was playing on the television, on Sesame Street or something. My kids were watching it. It was “Do What the Good Book Says” was the name of the song. Eve could have saved herself heartache. Adam could have saved himself heartache and saved all of us heartache if they had just done what God said and said to the devil, “Get out of here.”
Think about this. Adam was standing right there. It is not like it was just Eve and the devil, the serpent. Adam was standing there. Why did he not stand up and say, “Hey, I am over all of the animals. I have dominion over the animals. You are lying. That is not what God said. Get out of here.” Why did he not do that? Why did he let his wife influence him to do wrong. Did he think, hey you try it and if it works for you I might try it. Did he think, well maybe she is right. What in the world happened that this all fell apart at the very beginning? Their lives were ruined. Ruined. Their children had sin. What was that all about?
God made people to have free will. You have free will. You can choose yes or no to everything. In fact, you know what your greatest privilege is in the whole world, in everything? I do not care if you are rich or poor, young or old, where you live in the world; it is the power of choice. You can choose to do good. You can choose to go deeper with God. You can choose. Adam and Eve chose the wrong thing and got in this big mess. Have you ever gone exploring? Have you ever gone out and checked things out and discovered that you got more than you bargained for? God did not give them another chance. There are times that God is not going to give you another chance. It is like “No, you should not have done it. Look what happened.”
What leads us to look and be tempted in the first place? Why would we be tempted if we love God? I know if you are watching this show, you love God. If you do not know God and you are watching this show, you are looking for God. You would not be watching me and listening. You would be channel surfing. Instead, you are listening and saying “What is she talking about? What is that all about?” What leads us to look for temptation or to be led into temptation? The first thing is there is something missing in your life; maybe love, maybe affection, maybe money, position, prominence, something, deep trouble you want to try to get from the wrong way. Something is missing in your life. Instead of going to God and saying, “This is very important to me. It is missing. I do not have it. Will You please do something, take care of it, show me what to do? I am looking to You, Lord, to meet the need.”
What else? Rebellion to authority. There are a lot of rebellious people. They do not have any intention of listening to anybody. Some of you watching this show are in jail. You are in prison. You write me, I know about you. Look back at your life. What place did rebellion have in your life? Rebellion to authority. Did you say, “I am not listening to anybody? I know what is best for my life. I do not care what they said.” Actually, that is probably what Adam and Eve did. They rebelled against what God said.
What else was in their life? They were naïve. They had never been around evil. . They had just been in the garden. It was good. Everything was good. God was good. It was a wonderful place to be. They fell out of the naïveté. I can be naïve. I understand that. I believe the best about everybody until they prove me wrong. God wants us to learn how to develop discernment and I have had to really work on it. When people tell you things, is that really what they are telling you? Are they telling you everything? Are they holding back something important?
What is something else that causes good people to make a bad mistake? Looking for excitement. They think, “My life is boring. Nothing is going on. I need some action.” Well, they get action all right. Do you know that there is a proverb that says, “The godly man’s life is exciting? The backslider’s life is boring.” You think, what? Church is boring. God is boring. I did not get anything out of all of that. What do you mean that is exciting? We are not into the real God stuff. You get in there in the Bible and you find out, “Hey, these people gave their lives for this. They had an exciting life. They had exciting adventures for God. Get in on that one. It is exciting. I have done this for 37 years. I have served Jesus with all of my heart. I am telling you. This little book can change your life. If you do what it says, I can guarantee you that you will see miracles, signs, wonders and amazing things. You understand that God is exciting. God is an adventure with a capital A. He is the way to do it. Not sin. Sin ruins you.
Could Eve have stopped herself at the point of temptation? Sure. You think God was talking to her in her heart? Yes. She knew God. God loved them. He loves you. He will go to great lengths to keep you from making a mistake. Sometimes you just feel it on the inside of you. Something does not feel right. I do not know what is wrong but something is wrong. “God, what is it?” God will say, “Wait. You will figure it out. You will see.” God has His own little warning system between you and Him. You need to figure out what that is. You need to know. When that is happening, I may not know what is going on but I know that is God talking to me. Until I figure it out, back up.
How do you feel when you do not stop? How do you feel afterward? How do you feel when you realize you have been deceived or you fell for something or you rebelled and did something, or you were naïve and did something? You were looking for exciting and it was in the wrong place. How do you feel after that? I know how I felt. One time we went to Rome on a vacation. It was our 35th anniversary, kind of like a little honeymoon again. I have been married 41 years, but this was 35. I bought this book called “Italy for Dummies.” It was telling all of these places you ought to go and things you ought to see that the guide books did not tell you about. It told about this painting in this church in Florence. It said, “This is where you go. You go down here and you go down here.” I said to my husband, “I want to see that picture. They say you really need to see it.” It was very difficult to find. It was some out of the way place. We found it. I was so glad I saw it. When you see pictures of Adam and Eve, whether it is a Botticelli painting or somebody doing a painting, Eve looks so demure and pure and Adam looks so manly. This man painted a picture of Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden with an angel above them making sure they left. The man captured the devastation, the pain, the anguish, the broken heart of these two people who lost what they had. It was the best. This man captured it. I have never forgotten that picture. That is the picture that Satan does not want you to see. He does not want me to see it.
Sin looks so good. It says in Proverbs, “Sin is pleasant for a season but afterward it ends in death.” It does.
Let me ask you another question. When you are tempted to make a bad mistake and you do not do it, how do you feel then? You feel good, do you not? You are proud of yourself. You feel closer to God.
I want to tell you a something I live by. We are all going to make mistakes. We all do. They usually cause pain, whether they are a big mistake or a little mistake. You can beat yourself up for the mistakes that you have made and it will not do you any good. In fact, it probably will hold you back, just beating yourself up. How could I have done that? How could I have been so stupid? Why did I not listen? Why did I not stop when I could have stopped? It will not help you grow in God. It is not the right way to handle it. What is the right way to handle it? “Lord, teach me everything I can learn out of it. If I had to go through it, change me, teach me, correct me. Let me be 100 times better because I am turning to You.” I have a principle I call the principle of next time. That is what I do with myself, so maybe you might want to do it. I say to myself, “Next time, this is what I will do.” When I work with people and I am their leader and they are afraid to step out because they are afraid they will make a mistake, I say get out there and make your mistakes. Come to me and we will talk about it. We will figure out what you can do next time. You try that. It gives you hope. It gives you encouragement.
Look at the second Scripture in Genesis 3:6-7, “The woman was convinced Satan is right, the serpent is right. She saw the tree was beautiful and the fruit looked delicious. She wanted the wisdom it would give her, so she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband and he ate it too. At that moment (it was not three days later, a week later, it was the minute). Think about when Peter heard the cock crow the third time, he instantly knew what he had done and he went out and wept bitterly, that is the devastation. Weeping bitterly is a horrible thing. What happened to them? Their eyes were opened. They suddenly felt shame at their nakedness and they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. What a sad thing.
All right, let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about humans. Let’s talk about people we know. I want you to remember these steps I am going to give you because you may have to share them with someone else. In fact, every time you watch this show I hope you have a pencil and a paper and you take notes. You have messed up, what do you do? The first thing to do is to admit that you did and repent. Name the baby. Yes, I did that. Yes, I did it. We are so scared to do that. Inside of us it is like if I admit it what will happen? I will tell you what will happen; God will take care of it. It does not matter what happens with people. After that, God will take care of you because you did the right thing. Admit it and repent. There are people that we see in the news today and they have made a bad mistake and they will finally admit it but they do not repent. You can tell they are not heart sick they did it, they are sorry they got caught. Admit it and repent. Repent is one of the most favorite things I do before the Lord. I love to repent and I have to do it. I just say “Lord I am sorry. I am sorry I did.” I name it. “Please forgive me. Lord, strengthen me, stronger than ever so I never come here again.”
What is the next thing you have to do? You are going to have to make the best of what happens after it. You have to suffer the consequences many times. Get people to speak into your life. Do you have someone who speaks into your life or are you a person that is so strong willed and so bull headed that people cannot tell you anything. “I know, I know, I know.” No, you do not know. You need people who can say to you, “Are you crazy? What are you doing? Why are you doing that? That is wrong.” You need people like that in your life. If you do not have anybody like that you say, “God give me somebody like that.” We all have people over us that we are accountable to. We have to let people speak into our life. We cannot do it by ourselves.
The next one is to be teachable and correctable. Adam and Eve messed up, their kids messed up. Cain killed his brother and they had Seth. Out of Seth, good finally came. Are you teachable? Can people teach you things and you are hungry to grow? You never get to be so big in life that people cannot teach you things. You never get so busy in life that people do not need to correct you about things. It is not pleasant. I do not like it any more than you do but I like the aftereffects of it. It talks about that in Hebrews. It says it is not pleasant while you are going through it, but afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. That is one way you know you belong to God because it says He corrects those that belong to Him.
What practical steps can you take to make sure you stay away from mistakes? It is what I told you in the beginning. Do you know the word of God? Do you read the word of God every day? Every day do you sit down and open up the Bible and say, “Holy Spirit, speak to me. I do not care what you talk to me about, just speak to me and teach me.” Are you in church? The Bible says in the end times there is going to be a great falling away. There are lots of people that do not go to church. They say, “Well there are hypocrites in church.” I just want to tell you something. There are hypocrites where you work. There are hypocrites in the bar you go to. Jesus went to church every Sunday as was his custom. Do you think Jesus did not see those hypocrites? He could see right through to everybody’s heart. He still went to church every Sunday as was His custom. He wanted to honor God by an act of worship. Another is prayer; praying about your weaknesses. The Bible says, “In your weakness, I am made strong.” I just go to God all of the time. I let Him show me a weakness or I see one in myself and I say, “Lord, see this area. I am so weak in it. Would You strengthen me in it?” I may have to pray it ten times. I may have to pray it over several months. God answers the prayer and He strengthens you.
The other is that you have to have fellowship with other Christians, not just people you are accountable to who correct you but people that are serving God with a pure heart. When you listen to them talk, it inspires you to want to have a pure heart, a pure life. Eve had one final mistake and this is a big one because we all do it. It is one we all make. We want to put the blame on someone else. She said that. “Well, it was the snake; it was the serpent that caused me to do that.” Adam said, “It was the woman you gave me that caused me to do it.” Who do you tend to blame first? A friend, the devil, your job, people. If you are at fault, say, “I am at fault.” Fear makes us pass the blame. Just say, “It was my fault, and I am sorry.”
QUIET TIME QUESTIONS
1. Who is the main person in this lesson?
2. Briefly describe what they did for God.
3. What scripture about this person is meaningful to you and why?
4. In what ways do you find yourself relating to this person or their experience?
5. How does this lesson influence your thoughts about God or the way you walk out your beliefs?
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Topics: People of the Bible Speak