I took a trip out of town a few months ago. While driving an unfamiliar freeway, I rounded a corner and saw the most beautiful billboard! The earth was shown as if seen from space and it was beautiful shades of blue and gray. It was set against a midnight blue sky with stars that seemed to twinkle. Whether they actually twinkled or not, I don’t know, but I know I was spellbound. Then my eyes and mind took in the whole billboard. Moving past the image, I saw the words that were plastered in large letters overlapping the earth just a little and splashed across the midnight sky: ADULT WORLD.

I was so saddened that this beautiful billboard would be advertising such sin. Isn’t that just like Satan – to make sin attractive and inviting. Truly, the billboard was one of the most eye catching things I’ve seen in a long time.

Scripture says the woman looked at the fruit and it was appealing to the eye (Genesis 3:6). She was in the Garden of Eden. Everything was appealing to the eye! God had planted Adam and Eve in the middle of paradise, which included a close personal relationship with the Creator of all things. And satan put up a billboard that said “ADULT WORLD.” “Come, experience things that God has restricted.” “Come, see how attractive they are.” “You’re an adult, you can make your own decisions. Come check it out.”

God gives wonderful gifts to His children. He also provides instructions about how to use His wonderful gifts. Satan takes those good instructions and twists them and challenges God’s authority. “Did God really say…” “You will not surely die…” (Genesis 3:1, 3) “Come on, nothing bad will happen.” “Come on, no one will know.” “Everyone else is doing it.”

Satan’s influence in our world is significant. God’s Truth is no longer respected by many people. Many Christians struggle to maintain their agreement with God’s standards when family members and friends follow the world. Yet it is upholding God’s standards that bring power into our lives. It is living righteously that brings God’s blessings and anointing. It is knowing and trusting His Word that brings victory.

The better we know God’s Word, the less attractive sin becomes. The closer we draw near to Him, the less we desire the things of the world. Let me share an example in the natural. After my husband’s heart attack, certain foods became much less attractive to him. He understood more intimately the devastation that a diet heavy in saturated fats could bring. Most of those foods became like a poison to him. In three years he’s had two pieces of cheese cake. And for the most part, he hasn’t been severely tempted to have more. Yes, he might have wanted them, but saying “no” was easier because he understood the consequences.

The more we know God’s Word and the more we experience intimacy with Him, the more we understand the negative consequences of sin.

Friends, the world is constantly bombarding you with messages that are contrary to God’s Word. Immersing yourself in Him and His Word is the best antidote to living in 2012. Temptations are all around us and the world encourages us to enjoy them. The weapons we wage war with to fight those temptations are not the weapons of the world. Scripture says “on the contrary, [our weapons] have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV). Take up the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17 NIV) to “demolish arguments [of satan] and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Satan may make sin appear beautiful. Don’t fall for it. Trust the Truth of God to find the true beauty in His gifts.

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:7-8a (NIV)

Oh – and by the way –should you fall, remember that we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. He offers complete forgiveness to us every time we turn to Him in sincere repentance. His grace is that real and that powerful.

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