I love spring and summer because I don’t like to be cold. But warmer weather entices the creeps, which means snakes in the woods, to venture out. They slither through yards and gardens and no matter how beneficial some of them may be, I simply do not like these critters. Because the present season now allows me to plant flowers and vegetables, I constantly peer through every blade of grass on the lookout for something crawling toward me.
The serpent that appeared to Eve in the Garden of Eden wasn’t scary because fear didn’t exist yet and this snake apparently was a beautiful creature at that time. Eve conversed with this reptile as if talking to a snake was no big deal. Rather than acting surprised that she heard a voice, she conversed with a serpent.
Adam and Eve fellowshipped with God and He gave them everything they needed for physical enjoyment and nourishment. They lacked nothing.
Then the subtle creature appeared with lies and deception.
Whispered words through the leaves of a tree that held beautiful, tasty food.
The words that went into Eve’s mind caused her to doubt the words her Creator had said.
She saw the fruit, she touched the fruit, and she believed the lie. She took a bite and mankind fell. All because of doubt.
Because the first people God created sinned, Jesus had to come to earth and fix what they messed up. Satan also appeared to the Son of God and tempted Him in a wilderness. Jesus had no resources except the Word of God. Scripture overcame doubt for Him.
We face the same battles our predecessors in Eden did and the same ones our Savior endured. Thorns of doubt sneak in and wrap around the mind like a python and squeeze our thoughts in confusion with every suggestion from the enemy.
We will never experience the same spiritual agony our Savior did in Gethsemane, but doubt produces the pain of unbelief. Unbelief cuts away the intimacy with our Father and we are vulnerable to temptation.
What can we do when the same slithery creep appears in our thoughts?
These 4 steps can help us conquer the serpent in the garden of our minds.
1. Think Good Thoughts – We can’t entertain doubtful thoughts and expect to walk in faith.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)
When a thought of doubt enters our minds, we need to immediately replace the thought with what God said. Writing down Scripture gives easy and quick access to answers.
2. Thank God for His promises – God doesn’t lie, and He keeps His promises. He has kept his promises since the beginning. Any failures have been on the refusal of humans to follow Him.
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:17-18)
3. Take Time to Study the Word – Doubt creeps in when we are weak and hungry. When we are physically hungry, we are physically weak. The same is true in the soulish realm. When we have neglected our Bible study time, we are weak and vulnerable to temptation.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
4. Trust God’s Truth – Revive our hearts with the truth about God and we can be set free. Media and opinions that flow around us can sway our hearts if we don’t adhere to what God said as absolute truth.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
No matter what season we are in, spiritual snakes will continue to harass us. Our ability to resist the forked tongue of unbelief depends upon our appetite for the correct food. Not the food of disobedience like Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, but the food from the tree of life given only by Christ.
What are some of your favorite Scriptures to feed on when temptation to question God’s Word threatens your mind?