Summary: When we doubt God we can so easily get sucked into focusing on ourselves; badmouthing God; make believe that God has a hidden evil agenda for us which is completely false and start polluting the minds of others thus bringing depravity not only on ourselve
Opening illustration: G. Campbell Morgan had already enjoyed some success as a preacher by the time he was 19 years old. But then he was attacked by doubts about the Bible. The writings of various scientists and agnostics disturbed him (e.g., Charles Darwin, John Tyndall, Thomas Huxley, and Herbert Spencer). As he read their books and listened to debates, Morgan became more and more perplexed. What did he do? He cancelled all preaching engagements, put all the books in a cupboard and locked the door, and went to the bookstore and bought a new Bible. He said to himself, "I am no longer sure that this is what my father claims it to be - the Word of God. But of this I am sure. If it be the Word of God, and if I come to it with an unprejudiced and open mind, it will bring assurance to my soul of itself." The result? "That Bible found me!" said Morgan. The new assurance in 1883 gave him the motivation for his preaching and teaching ministry. He devoted himself to the study and preaching of God’s Word.
Let us turn to Genesis 3 and refresh our understanding of the Biblical narrative we find in what really happens when we start doubting God …
Introduction: Genesis 1 tells us that when God finished with creation, he declared it “very good.” On that day there was no crime, no poverty, no sickness, and no death. There were no broken homes, no latchkey children, no abusive husbands, no drug pushers, no murderers, and no child molesters. What God created was pure, perfect, and pristine in its beauty. The whole earth was a place of peace and tranquility. In short, the world as it came from the hand of God was paradise.
Obviously something has gone wrong with that same world because all those things that were not there then are found in abundance today. Now the roses have thorns and we have made bombs powerful enough to kill 10 or 20 million people at a time. What happened to the paradise God created? The Bible answers that question with the little word sin. Sin has happened to the world and nothing has been right or worked ever since.
The serpent’s first move is brilliant. In essence, he challenges Eve to a game of Bible Trivia. What happens next is a three-part conversation in which the serpent speaks, Eve responds, and the serpent speaks again. The whole exchange could have been over in less than a minute and she was caught in his trap!
This all led to Satan planting the seed of doubt in Eve’s heart and she was gullible to his deceptive language that she bought into it very easily. Our focus this morning is … are we also deceived so easily by Satan that we start doubting our own Creator? Just as Eve started doubting God and fell into depravity … this morning we are going to explore …
What happens when we start doubting God?
1. Focus shifts from God to You [I, ME, MY] (v. 1)
Satan catches us when we are lonely, alone or at our weakest. He likes to just talk about you and how you feel. He loves to please your deepest fleshly desire and compensate for all your hurts – SELF-PITY. Makes you feel like you are God … on top of the world. He loves to talk what your ears and your flesh is dying to hear … it is all about you. He wanted to take the place of God and now he desires that you will follow his own footsteps … Eve so easily fell prey to his antics and many of us sitting here this morning take the bait too.
Satan gives people what they want so that they will eventually get what he wants them to have and he never shows us the consequences of sin. In fact God gives us up to our own desires. We have to discover on our own, when it is too late to do anything about it. The serpent repeated the lie that now rules the word – Man can be like God. This was the original sin, and it is at the heart of every bad choice you’ve ever made. The first rule of the spiritual life goes like this: He’s God and we are not. Everything Satan does is intended to make us forget that fundamental reality. But when we do, we repeat the same mistake Adam and Eve made so long ago. Every mistake you’ve made has come because you forgot who’s God and who’s not. That’s why the central question of life boils down to this: Who’s going to be God today?
1 Timothy 2: 14 draws an important conclusion from this verse: “And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” Eve was tricked by the devil. Perhaps he came to her because he knew he could appeal to her emotions. Satan made her feel like a goddess for which she had been craving so hard … obviously who would not like to be a god or goddess. Lucifer alias Satan wanted to be like one too and put his life on the line for it. The Word of God tells us … but Adam was not deceived. He had heard the original command from God and he knew it was wrong to eat the fruit. He wasn’t tricked at all.