January 6

Genesis 3:1 (NIV) 1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

That ol' serpent, the Devil, is the craftiest of all the creatures God has made. But the Scriptures tell us we are not ignorant of his devices. We see several of them right here in his first attack on mankind. First, he went to the woman. The authority over the woman was to be the man. She was made to assist the man. The enemy of our souls never goes to the proper authority. He challenges legitimate authority.

See him challenging what God has said. "Did God really say...?" as if you misunderstood God. In most cases, our first impression of what God said is absolutely correct. When we get down to examining the words to twist them, to get our way, we are headed in the Devil's direction. What was your first impression of what God said? Then don't mess with it to satisfy your desires!

Satan always sees the glass half-empty. Here they are in a garden in which every need is supplied. If anyone ever had every need met, it was Eve. Satan always points to something you supposedly don't have. Child of God, in Jesus you lack no good thing. If you don't have it, you don't need it, or God will give it to you in His perfect time. Satan's picture of God is always the opposite of who He really is. Satan would paint God to be a miserly, selfish, demanding taskmaster when in reality He is the opposite of all those things. You see, Satan's goal is to make you think God is like him. Subversion of authority, distortion of His Word, and dissatisfaction with God's character and provision in your life are Satan's first lines of attack. Don't fall for it.

Meditation: In Christ I have every good thing.

January 6

Jonah 1:2-4 (NIV) 2"Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." 3But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. 4Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

Some of the prophets of Israel only ministry was to foreign countries. Obediah's whole ministry was to pronounce judgment on Edom for standing by during Jerusalem's destruction. Jonah was sent to the capitol of Assyria, Nineveh. The Assyrians used psychological warfare. They were brutal warriors that skinned captured enemy soldiers alive to cause fear. That makes it a little easier to understand why he would take a ship headed in the opposite direction.

You can run from God, but you can't hide. It is serious thing to reject a clear call from God. Jonah even told the crew he was running from his God. This must have surprised them, because they had never run from their idols. There is no need, for they cannot pursue. But the LORD God can pursue you. They put the name of each person on the boat on small stones and put the stones in a jar. Shaking the jar, one stone would find its way out and onto the deck, Jonah! God had Jonah cornered. Jonah knew the only solution was to throw him into the ocean. Once they threw Jonah overboard, the LORD calmed the sea, just as He was going to do when He was incarnated.

Are you running from the call of God? Do you know, deep in your heart, that there is something God has called you to do? Is it something you dread? Let God give you a vision of the joy of walking in His will. He will see you through it and mature you in the process. He hasn't called you to destroy you, but to bless you.

Consider: Running from God is far more dangerous than obeying God in a dangerous situation. He will be with you.