Jul
12

How Are You Using Your Influence?

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Perhaps nothing is as beautiful as a woman full of God’s power and presence and nothing as destructive as a woman consumed by her own power and presence.

From the beginning, woman was declared by God Himself to be not only “good” as he declared the rest of his creation, but “very good”. She was made by God with purpose and power. She was to compliment Adam and rule and reign alongside him.

She, like all of God’s creation, was crowned with beauty. She was created from man, made from man’s rib. Scripture tells us that she was made to be a “helper comparable” to man. In the same language God uses to describe the Holy Spirit as the one who would be our “helper”, empowering us to walk in the fullness of God’s plans, woman was purposed to bring completion and fullness to creation. In particular, she was to give Adam what he did not have without her.

Immediately Satan moved to bring death, separation, and destruction into God’s perfect world.

Many have assumed that Eve was weak and that perhaps that was the reason Satan came to her instead of Adam, and yet her strength may have been the reason she was targeted.

She had influence, and ever since Eve wrongly used her influence in the Garden, woman has struggled to live in the truth of God’s purposes.  Many women find themselves using their influence, as Eve did, wrongly. Multitudes of other women feel worthless, purposeless, and fail to understand the role God has given them and often feel that they have no right to a voice.

Let’s not forget that Eve faced a formidable foe, Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD GOD had made.”

Eve had never experienced the effects of sin. She knew nothing about wrong motives and suspicion. While we often judge her and feel that we would have done better, “All we like sheep have gone astray, each to our own way.”

Eve fell.  God had given her influence and God had given her boundaries. The boundaries were there to protect her, not to limit her as Satan said, but to empower her to live in freedom.

Women can still wrongly use our influence over our world and over the men in our world. We still have God’s boundaries which are meant to guide, protect, and bless us.  

Men, too, wrongly use their influence.

Interestingly, as far as we know, God had not told Eve to stay away from the serpent.  Her struggle was not primarily with the enemy, it was in the area of the power of choice that God had given her. Let’s look at her temptation for a moment.

And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden’ but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”

So far, so good. Eve repeats God’s words. She restates her boundaries.

Eve is facing her first foe. She is probably unaware that the serpent is her foe at this point. We don’t always recognize temptation immediately. The enemy usually doesn’t come publically announced.  He is cunning.

The path of temptation is often progressive.

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

The serpent leads Eve to question God’s heart. “God is holding out on you. Don’t you want to be all you can be?” He leads her to question her boundaries. She looks at the forbidden. She touches it. She eats.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. ..”

Our temptations are much the same. “It looks good. It will fill me. I want this. I will be better off when I have this. I deserve this.”

The progression continues.

And then, “She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Note that he had his own choice.

Then their eyes were opened. Shame entered.

Satan’s temptations always look good. They taste good. Then the very things that looked so good bring us shame and separation and ultimately, some form of death. James puts it this way in James 1:15, Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

If you are in a season of temptation, remember what God has said to you. Recognize the voice of the enemy and his cunning strategies. Stay within the boundaries God has given you. Look out for the progression of temptation. Ask a trusted friend or spiritual leader to pray for you and make yourself accountable to them.

There is always a way out of temptation, whether resisting or running. (1 Cor. 10:13; Eph. 6:13; 2 Tim. 2:22)

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Comments

  1. Practical help here, Mikki.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  2. Just stumbled across your blog via the Blog Frog. I love it. You’ve done a great job of sharing from the heart. God Bless 🙂
    Debbie

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