1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!
5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Judo is a form of martial arts, which means “the gentle way.” One of the primary characteristics of Judo is seeking to use one’s opponent’s strength against them, rather than seeking to purely out-muscle them in combat. In the practice of Judo, an individual recognizes their limitations and seeks to catch their opponent off-balance, in order to gain victory.

Similar to the tactics of Judo, we see in Genesis 3 that Satan did not come to Eve by means of force, but rather by means of persuasion. According to Dallas Willard, “When [Satan] undertook to draw Eve away from God, he did not hit her with a stick, but with an idea. It was with an idea that God could not be trusted and that she must act on her own to secure her own well-being.”[1] Satan presented Eve with the idea that God could not be trusted, which led to her downfall by her own means. This idea is discussed further in an episode of the podcast This Cultural Moment.[2]

Through the presentation of the idea that God could not be trusted, sin entered the world for the first time. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, all people have known the devastating impact of sin. We should recognize that Satan’s tactics today are no different than when he approached Eve in the garden. Satan still desires that we believe that God doesn’t truly love us and have our best interest in mind. Once we believe this idea, we are able to quickly believe that we can decide better for our lives than God can. In this, we seek to be our own gods. And the reality is, we have all fallen prey to these thoughts at one time or another.

In 1 Peter, Peter exhorted his readers to be of sober mind, always watchful for their enemy, the devil, who prowls around seeking to devour God’s people (1 Peter 5:8). We must heed these words continually. To be sober-minded is to seek to live in the reality of the truth about God, that we might not be caught off balance by our enemy and fall to his temptations.

• Where do you feel most vulnerable to the lies of Satan about God?

• How can you seek to be sober-minded to God’s reality on a daily basis?

• Pray that God would help you be sober-minded, always on watch for the attacks of Satan. Thank God that, by His Spirit, He reminds you of the truth and provides the power for you to overcome temptation.

[1] Willard, Dallas. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2012.

[2] Comer, John Mark, and Mark Sayers. "This Cultural Moment." Soft Power, Dirty War, and Russian YouTube Videos. Accessed February 15, 2019. https://thisculturalmoment.podbean.com/e/season-3-episode-5-1543544923/.