Welcome to week 3 as we study prayer through Incense Rising: 60 Days to Powerful Prayer (Need a book? https://amountainoffaith.com/carolyns-books/ ).
Days 10 and 11 of Incense Rising: 60 Days to Powerful Prayer focus on temptation and our enemy. Let’s turn to genesis 3 and examine the first sin.
Before chapter 3 begins, we find Satan’s first step – isolation, but we can call it desolation. For some unknown reason, Eve was alone when she met the serpent. Adam and Eve lived in a perfect paradise. The first couple obviously had not argued and sought out solitude. If it was easy to find Eve alone in a sinless world, how easy is it for him to seclude us? He stirs up strife here and creates a disagreement there. Now you are alone.
When Christians hurt one another, no matter how unintentional, the pain is intense because we don’t expect it within the church. Now, Satan has an isolated victim.
Still in verse 1, we find tactic number two -disguise.
And no wonder! For Satan, himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14)
Satan cleverly presents himself as good. He doesn’t wear a T-shirt with the words “temptation” or “devil” splashed across the front.
Lucifer began deceiving Eve by putting a negative spin on God’s command (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1). We are deceived even more easily because we live in a sin-filled world. Lies and corruption surround us. How different things may be if Eve had stopped the devil’s lies immediately, but she played right into his hands. How often do we believe the enemy’s fabrications?
Next comes doubt (Gen. 3:4-5). Lies push doubt into our minds. Do you realize what doubt does? It doesn’t sound harmful, but it means we do not trust God one hundred percent. Our faith has been shaken. Doubt opens the flood gates to fear and worry.
The fruit was not sinful. Desire for it was not sinful. Being in proximity to the tree was unwise, but not sinful. It was not sin until Eve believed the devil’s lie and doubted God. Eve fell from perfection, but we are already fallen.
Illness ravages your body. Why did God allow it? Doubt. Why did God allow me to lose my job and now I may lose my car? Doubt! Why did God allow people to mistreat me? Again, doubt! God, why did You take the life of my spouse? My child? Questions are not sinful, but doubt is.
When the storm is fierce, we question God. We begin to doubt God. We are no longer loving Him with all our heart, and all our mind.
Sin will keep us from prayer, but a prayer warrior will be kept from sin.
Read Genesis 3:6 and 1 John 2:16. What do these verses have in common? What are the three avenues of temptation?
Abba, Father, keep us from the enemy. Protect us from his desolation, disguise and deception which creates doubt. Forgive us when our flesh fails and doubts. Strengthen us. Teach us to fight on our knees. In the name of Jesus, amen.