“Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, ‘Can it really be that God has said, “You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?”’
And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”
But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You shall 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 the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.’
And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate.
Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles.”---Genesis 3:1-7(AMP)
I don't know ladies. Maybe y'all can charge it to the fact that it's getting mighty cold outside and this tends to be the time of year when a lot of single women want to be up under some mistletoe *so badly* that they'll settle for "some dude" rather than *the one* just to have some holiday company. Whatever the case is, it seems like the Spirit (John 4:24) really is not letting up on reminding us of how easily one can be deceived (Matthew 24:4).
As I was praying about some of the women in my own life who I *know* are not in God's best situation for them, the Spirit took me back the Garden of Eden to show me something: "the forbidden fruit". Except to me, he said, "Swap the fruit out for a man and a lot of women are being deceived just like the Woman in the Garden was. Actually, what they are doing is more like rebellion because I've sent warning after warning after warning and they are hell bent, literally, on not listening."
You know, when I've thought about forbidden fruit before, it's been more in the context of sexual activity. I must admit that I never really thought about it as a "total man package". Yet, just ponder (Proverbs 4:26) over it for a moment. In the Garden of Eden, Adam was given some strict guidelines that we have to assume from the dialogue that the Woman had with the serpent that she was made well aware of. They were *not* to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. *Of the tree of compromise*.
Let's stop there for a second. Even now, we have guidelines that we are given as well:
Don't be unequally yoked with nonbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:11-18).
Do not be sexually immoral (I Corinthians 6:18).
As mentors we are to be "reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things" and as mentees of older women we are to learn "to love [our] husbands, to love [our] children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed". (Titus 2:1-5)
And yet, how many of us are *really adhering* to what God tells us to do? How many of us honor the Bible as the Book of Life for us on this earth all the while knowing that anything that compromises it is deception? That any *variation* of biblical truth (in this case: having sex, shacking up, messing around, sneaking around) is *untruth*?
OK, let's keep going. The Woman knew what she was told to do and decided to talk to the serpent anyway as he commenced to tell her that God is a liar. Titus 1:2 *clearly* tells us that God cannot lie. That said, what really tripped me out in processing the story *this time* is that whenever I sexually (or shoot, even just emotionally) compromised myself in a relationship, I was basically listening to the same kind of spirit telling me the exact same thing: "Girl, ain't nothin' gonna happen to you if you have sex. God just doesn't want you to have any fun. He wants you to die alone."
Let's keep going even further. I have actually publicly spoken on the fact that it tripped me out how both the fruit and the tree were biblically described. It says that the Woman saw that the tree was good. Not necessarily that it was but she *saw* that it was. Her *perception* was that it was. Hmph. Be careful about assuming that just because something looks good to you that it must be. Remember that Satan was once Lucifer and he's described in the Bible was being "perfect in beauty" (Ezekiel 28:12). The Liar (John 8:44) knows how to play tricks on our eyes *quite well*. Sometimes "tall, dark and handsome" is more *dark-ness* than anything else.
The Woman also saw the tree as being something that she desired to make her wise. God told her that the tree would kill her. The serpent told her that the tree would make her wiser; that it would make her more like God.
Do you what Satan does to a lot of us now? He tells us similar things. God will tell us, "He is no good for you"---he'll send messages through friends, sermons, dreams, songs, movies, commercials, quotes, all kinds of things and we'll *still* try and rationalize our way into staying. A big part of that is because Satan is still using what has worked so "well" for him before. Hell is expanding (Isaiah 5:14) even now and a big part of that is because we want to be like God in the sense that God tells us to leave something or one and we'll stay thinking that we know better than he does *or* that we can manipulate God into changing his mind. Both are demonic ways of thinking. There really is no other way around saying that.
So, she took of the the fruit and ate it. *And her eyes were opened*.
How many times have we not done what God has *explicitly told us to do*...only to regret it? And here's another telling point. Did the Woman eat the fruit and die immediately? No. But she did *start to die*. Some of us are so cocky or caught up in what we're in, that we think that because it's been going on for a several weeks or a lot of months or a few years that the relationship, and even a part of our own spirit, is not dying in some way. We have to remember this blaring fact: "'I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.'" (John 15:5-NKJV)
WHAT SATAN USES "FORBIDDEN FRUIT" TO DO MOST OF ALL IS TO TRY AND SEPARATE US FROM GOD'S *BEST* FOR US.
FOR ADAM AND THE WOMAN, THAT WAS ETERNITY IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
FOR US, THAT IS COVENANT WITH OUR LIFE PARTNER.
As I'm "walking it out" with some of the women on the masturbation fast, one thing that I'm seeing, more than anything, is that Satan has been abusing sex (John 10:10, I Peter 5:8) in some really subtle ways (again like how he approached the Woman). It *looks* to a lot of us like it's pleasant and suitable, but God tells us not to touch or partake until marriage (Hebrews 13:4) for a reason: it's not to withhold from us but to protect us from so much of the *shame* that was *never* supposed to be associated with sexual activity. In Genesis 2:24-25, it was declared that we were to be naked and *not* ashamed; however, that precedence was put in place for *our husbands*, not for us and some guy, a "friend with benefits" (more like deficits), our boyfriend or even our fiance'. Once *God* has joined us together (Matthew 19:6), that is when the fruit of our mates is not *forbidden* but *fully accessible* and true blessings. Until death parts us from them.
I remember when a guy in my life once said to me, "I want to be good *for* you, not good *to* you." It's a very powerful and profound resolve to have. There are a lot of things out in this world---the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (I John 2:16) that, just like that fruit was to the Woman in the Garden of Eden, may seem good *to* us but if we're partaking in it outside of God's boundaries, it's not good *for* us and trappings are sure to follow.
In my mind, I saw women just about to reach out to touch the fruit. *Please don't*. Death, one way or another, is *always* attached to sin (Romans 6:23): "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren." (James 1:14-16-NKJV)
God has your "own tree" (LOL) and there is *much life* attached to it.
Wait for it (Psalm 27:14). It will truly come and with it will be what's good *for* you.
Mind, body and spirit.