I decided, once again, to read through the Bible this year. This isn’t a new thing for me, and it certainly isn’t the first time I’ve done it. But the more I researched current popular devotionals, the more disillusioned I became with the drivel that’s passing for “studying God’s Word” these days. So I decided to just go to the source.
I think everyone should just start there anyway.
I’m using The Confident Mom’s one year reading plan. I have used her household management checklists for two years now, so when her supplemental pack came out last fall, I snapped it up. In it were bookmarks for each month, with daily reading guides to take you through the entire Bible in one year. So far it’s been two-three chapters in Genesis and no more than one chapter in Matthew each day.
Completely manageable. I printed out the bookmarks in their pretty colors, glued them onto a manila envelope I had laying around, and cut them out. They are sturdy enough to hold up to my Sharpie pen and fit nicely into my Bible.
So here’s what has really stuck with me since, oh, I don’t know. DAY ONE.
Satan is so very, very sneaky.
God told Adam, “From any tree in the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17).
Adam, or God, we don’t know for sure, communicated the same thing to Eve, although Eve added to the commands that they weren’t supposed to touch it, either. This is called “hedging,” and it’s actually not such a bad idea when it comes to sin and temptation. I mean, if you know there’s something that’s going to cause you to sin, it’s not such a bad idea to build a hedge around it to separate yourself from it (password locks on computer programs, not subscribing to movie channels that show NC-17 movies, asking hotels to shut off the cable to your room, avoiding the kitchen if there’s something in there you shouldn’t eat, etc.).
But, oh, that Satan. He approached Eve and said, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall NOT eat from any tree of the garden’?”. (Genesis 3:1)
Do you see what he did there? He used God’s EXACT WORDS, but he added one. He added one, tiny, little, simple word.
Do you know what happens when you add (or subtract) just one word from God’s Words?
Chaos. Death. Sin. Evil. Confusion.
I mean, Satan didn’t even have to try very hard. He took God’s own Words and just twisted it a little, tiny bit, and totally messed up Eve.
And if we think that this was the only time Satan used this tactic, we are so sadly mistaken. In Matthew 4, when Satan tempts Jesus, he does it using ONLY God’s Words.
Satan is doing this today. Go to any bookstore and peruse the “Christian” books. Few of them contain actual Scripture. Most of them are just self-help books with one or two Bible verses thrown in so they can market themselves to unsuspecting Christians who think they’re edifying themselves on God’s Word, when in reality? They’re being deceived in a very harmful, insidious, and sadly, barely noticeable way.
Mysticism, occultist practices, bad pop psychology – all of these things are quickly making inroads in our churches today.
Because all Satan has to do is add or subtract one word from The Word, and we take a bite of the fruit.
How discerning are you? And are you in The Word enough to even notice when someone adds or subtracts even one little word?