Shadow of a Doubt
Recommended Reading: John 1:14–18; 2 Timothy 3:16—4:8; 2 Peter 1:12–21
What happens when people act in direct opposition to what they know is right? This activity happens on a number of levels. When a person who’s trying hard to lose weight consistently binges on pizza and ice cream, disappointment ensues. When an individual commits a crime, victims suffer and the perpetrator risks jail time. When a husband or wife chooses to engage in an extramarital affair, the marriage is damaged—sometimes beyond repair—and children suffer the consequences. When a CEO decides to overlook or sometimes even encourage accounting inconsistencies, giant corporations fail, high-level indictments follow and investors lose their savings.
What do all of the scenarios outlined above have in common? Every one of these accounts, as well as countless other failure-filled stories, can trace its origin to the book of Genesis. Today’s reading gives us a glimpse of the first failure to follow a direct command from God and the devastating results of that failure. We see the repercussions of this disobedience reflected in the daily news—and, if we’re honest, reflected in our own darkened hearts.
At first, Adam and Eve were sure of God’s instructions. There was no doubt. They knew exactly what God wanted because they received their marching orders straight from the Creator himself. Still, a simple challenge (“Did God really say …?”) from the serpent shook Eve’s confidence to the core. Once she questioned what she knew to be true, she became vulnerable to Satan’s temptation. When she and Adam then acted in violation of God’s direct command, sin invaded what had been an unimaginably perfect paradise.
Spiritually speaking, what are you sure of beyond the shadow of a doubt? What do you know to be true? Where does your certainty come from? These are important questions to answer because you face tests every day that can undermine your Biblical marching orders. People may question your mental capacity: “How can an educated person believe in intelligent design when there’s so much evidence to support evolution?” Others may accuse you of being narrow-minded: “How can you say Jesus is the only way to God?” Some may appeal to your sense of freedom: “Doesn’t God want you to have any fun?” Still others might attack the source of your trust: “The Bible is full of inconsistencies, and you’re choosing to base your life on this book?”
How prepared are you for the assaults that will come your way? Do you have a tight grip on God’s truth? Think about this today: How will God’s truth impact your actions—from the time you set foot on the floor in the morning to the minute you go to bed tonight?
To Take Away
- What are your core faith beliefs—the spiritual truths you are sure of? Take a minute and write down three or four statements that sum up these truths.
- When was the last time someone challenged your faith? How did it affect you?
- How did you respond to the challenge? What would you do differently next time?