A Snake In Your Garden

Is there something in your life over which you should have control, that instead has control over you? Is there a snake in your garden? Let’s look at this scripture passage together:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman answered, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ “You will not surely die,” the serpent replied. (Genesis 3:1-4a)

The ancient Hebrews were the first to receive from Moses the Bible’s first book called Genesis. It’s opening sentence says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. They understood those words to mean that God had created a realm they could see, AND a realm they could not see. From Moses they also learned that in this unseen realm, God had created spirit beings called angels.

When one of those angels rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12-15) and took a third of the other angels with him (Revelation 12:3-9) that angel set himself up for punishment along with his cohorts to be meted out on a future Day of Judgement (Matthew 25:31-41). Until then, this angel called Satan, along with his angels called demons, have become the enemies of our souls. They desire to drag us down into the same fate that awaits them all (John 10:9-10). That’s why Satan initially “possessed” that snake back in the Garden of Eden to tempt the first male and female, starting with Eve.

But Satan’s use of an animal to do his dirty work — the snake — actually helps us understand how we can have victory over temptation in our lives today. You see, angels have greater powers than human beings, even though they are invisible in their natural state (2 Kings 6:15-17). However, by possessing an animal, Satan was “sticking his head” into the realm that was VISIBLE to Adam and Eve. In so doing, Satan was actually making himself weak and beatable. Eve just didn’t realize it!

Think about it. God had given dominion over all the animals to mankind earlier in the creation story. Notice how the scripture that tells us about this, even singles out things that creep on the ground:

And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

So, Eve — the female dimension of the image of God, as we just read — had been given supernatural authority from God with regard to animals. If she could SEE an animal, it was hers to command! That means as soon as she was tempted to disobey God by that Satan-possessed snake, she could have just said “Shut up and get out of my face!” — and that creepy thing would have had to turn around and slither away. Game over!

But Eve did not realize her own power. She did not know how to live in the authority that God had already given her. As a result, she was tricked into becoming a slave to something over which she should have been the master. Sound familiar?

If Satan has successfully tempted you to the point where you seem to have no power over sin, then here is what Jesus says to you:

Behold I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this — that the demons are subject to you, but rather that your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:19-20)

Just believe that Jesus was, and is, and always will be, the one and only divine Son of God. Believe that His shed blood on the cross was payment for your sin — sort of like your “get out of jail free” card on that future day of judgment! Believe that His resurrection from death on the third day meant that your name could be written in heaven as soon as you believed in Him! Hallelujah! Then, realize that, because of the supernatural authority that Jesus has given you, Satan actually makes himself weak and beatable whenever he tempts you with something that you can SEE is sinful.

If you have been tricked by Satan, so that you are now a slave to sin, then “in the name of Jesus” — which means in the delegated authority of Jesus — tell that snake in your garden to get lost! Then, do your best to live for God, even if you sometimes fall. And most of all, remember to stay away from “creepy things”!

-Pastor Dominic