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Isaiah 26:3 says that God “will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” What an amazing promise! When your mind is completely focused upon God, having total confidence in Him no matter what may be happening around you, God promises to keep you in a place of complete safety. A place where you are able to experience a quiet contentment and soundness of mind. All because you are trusting in Him.
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. In this episode look at 1 Peter 5:8-9 which warns “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” So, let’s dive into this week’s episode entitled “Duped, Deceived, and Delivered.”
In the opener to this episode, I quoted Isaiah 26:3 which says that God “will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast.” Scripture describes that peace as “the peace of God which transcends all understanding.” It’s a perfect peace that “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). God’s Word promises that the one “who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him ... will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
This is why Satan’s #1 strategy in his attack upon your soul is to try to influence your mind. What you think becomes what you do, and Satan knows that if he can successfully get you to listen to and believe his lies, he will be able to lead you away from a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Joshua 1:7 says, “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”
Single-hearted devotion, according to Joshua 1:7, indicates that your mind is totally focused on God not self! If you have ‘single-hearted devotion” to Christ, your life is going to glorify God and point others to Christ. To keep God from being the focus, your enemy is going to wage an all-out attack on your mind.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “We are not unaware of (Satan’s) schemes.” We do not have to go into this battle ignorant of the tactics the enemy is going to bring into play. What strategy is Satan likely to use in his attacks on your mind? James warns us to “not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.” (James 1:22) That is exactly what Satan wants to do to us. He wants us to be deceived. In fact, we find in the Bible that Satan is a master at deception. Jesus said that Satan does “not (hold) to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:43-44) Revelation 12:9 says that Satan is “that ancient serpent ... who leads the whole world astray.” Satan is a master deceiver.
No one knows that better than Adam and Eve. Listen as I read to you Genesis 3:1-7.“Now 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’?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘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 said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3:1-7)
Did you ever stop to consider Satan’s strategy in the garden and what we might be able to learn from it? Remember, he is a master at deception. When Satan sought to lead Adam and Eve into sin, he started by attacking Eve’s mind. Paul warned, “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3) Note that Eve was deceived by the cunning, subtle craftiness of Satan. And God warns us that even today our minds may be led astray by that same deceit.
Satan used simple steps to deceive Eve and get her to believe his lie. He began with a seemingly innocent question. Genesis 3:1 tells us that “He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” I find it very interesting that Satan didn’t actually deny that God had actually spoken. He didn’t try to get Eve to believe that God never actually said anything of importance. He simply posed a question – a question meant to cast the smallest sliver of doubt in her mind. “Did God really say what you think He said? Maybe you were mistaken. Maybe you misunderstood Him.” This attack was subtly geared to merely cast doubt upon God’s Word.
Now look at Eve’s response: “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden ...” (Genesis 3:2)
Here’s what I want you to notice. We can see that the seed of doubt has already begun to sprout in Eve’s mind. Think about what she said and then compare it with what God actually said. Eve said, “we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden.” In Genesis 2:16 here’s what God actually said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden.”
A close examination of Genesis 2:16 and 3:2 reveals that Eve received Satan’s suggestion and began to doubt God in her mind. The result? Her doubt cause to her actually take away part of God’s Word. Did you catch the key word she conveniently left out? She omitted the word “Free.” God had said they were free to eat from any tree in the garden. It was a God-given privilege not a self-imposed right.
Now someone may try to argue that I’m being nit-picky. After all, what is so significant about a word as simple as “free”? So what if she left that out? To answer that, we need to start by taking a look at a statement Jesus made in Matthew 5:17-18. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
Here's why I draw your attention to what Jesus said. Jesus refers to “the smallest letter” and “the least stroke of a pen.” I really like how the King James Version uses the words “jot and tittle.” You see, the “jot” refers to the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It’s called a “yodh.” Its size occupies proportionately about the same amount of space on the page as that of the English apostrophe. Although the “jot” is the smallest Hebrew letter, it’s just as important and powerful as any other letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
Think about it this way: Letters spell words. Words compose sentences. Sentences make God’s promises. How you spell a word is important. The spelling of a word determines the meaning and purpose of that word, which in turn influences the point of the sentence which contains that word.
For example, the word “spring” (s-p-r-i-n-g) has a specific meaning. However, if we spell that word a different way, just changing one single letter in the word, we get a totally different word with a completely different meaning. Remove the letter “g” in “spring” and replace it with the letter “t” and you suddenly get an entirely different word. “Spring” now becomes “sprint.” “Spring” has a totally different meaning from the word “spring.” Here’s my point: a single letter changes the word and its meaning which in turn drastically alters the point of the sentence. Jesus’ promise in Matthew 5 is not one jot, not a single letter in Scripture would ever fail. Every word is inspired of God, which of necessity means that every letter making up the words are inspired as well. God says what He means, and He means what He says – every letter of it!
Jesus also talks in Matthew 5 about “the least stroke of a pen” (called a “tittle”). In the Hebrew a tittle is even smaller than a jot. Whereas a jot is actually a whole letter, a tittle is only part of a letter. The presence of a tittle forms a specific letter. If the tittle is absent, then it’s a totally different letter.
Think about this, we just established how important an individual word is. Now let me give you an example of a tittle using our English language. Let’s begin with the word “fun” (F-U-N). Obviously, this word has a specific meaning which most of us can readily identify. Now let’s add a simple tittle to the first letter. We’re going to add a half-circle to the right side of the letter “F” now forming the letter “P” – by adding that curve connecting the top horizontal line to the middle horizontal line we have created the letter “p”. By adding that simple tittle we have changed the word from “fun” to “pun” which has a totally different meaning. Now let’s add another tittle to the first letter of this new word we just created. This time we will add a backward slash to the letter “P” to create a different letter, the letter “R.” By adding that stroke, that tittle, to the letter “p” we created a totally different word that has yet another different meaning. So we went from Fun to Pun to Run all by adding a tittle to the first letter. Can you begin to see how important a tittle is?
The point here is this: Jesus declared that all of God’s promises would be fulfilled precisely as they were spelled out – letter for letter, stroke for stroke. In other words, not just the words of Scripture are important to God. The dotting of the “I’s” and the crossing of the “T’s” are equally important to and inspired by God. Every word, which included every letter and every stroke of the letter, is God-breathed.
Now, let’s go back to our initial question: What is so significant about Eve’s choice to exclude the word “free”? God views all of His word very seriously, and so should we. Speaking about the Book of Revelation in the Bible, God says, “If anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:19) Every word of Scripture is important to God.
Now think with me for a moment about this. If every word is important to God, then I submit that it should be equally important to us. Satan planted a tiny seed of doubt in Eve’s mind. She let herself think about it, and her response to the Devil was thus tainted. By omitting the word “free,” Eve made God appear to be miserly, selfishly holding back something from them. This, in turn, meant that God was actually all about Himself, and didn’t really care about them. The removal of just one word made God into something that He is not.
Even today we must be very careful not to take away from God’s Word. When we begin to doubt God’s Word – not going to Him for the answers to our questions, and even our doubts – we will find that it is much easier to forget what He really said, and to start to detract from God’s Word. Eventually we will disobey God’s Word and His will.
Satan wants to deceive your mind my friend. He wants to draw you away from the simplicity that is in Christ. Just as he did with Eve, he will begin by getting you to question God’s Word. All he wants you to do is to begin to ask yourself the question, “Did God really say that?” When the Devil is able to get you to question God’s Word, his next step is to deny the truth of what God actually said. We will expand more on this topic in next week’s episode entitled “Say it Ain’t True!”
In closing, I would like to introduce you to a brand new, exceptional resource for parents to help you engage your children in a healthy, godly way as you talk with them about the topic of sex. You see, our children don’t yet know how to guard their heart, and it’s our job as parents and grandparents to help them navigate the muddied waters of sexuality. The truth is, 75% of parents think their young children have not been exposed to pornography. But the fact is that over 51% of kids between ages of 11 and 13 have already seen porn – many of them multiple times. Don’t let porn teach your kids about sex. It’s easy to feel unprepared for “the Sex Talk” with your children. But with the right plan, with solid training, you can have what it takes to not just educate your children but equip them for the battle for purity.
To that end I am proud and excited to introduce to you a brand new, powerful comprehensive video course just for parents entitled “The Sex Talk” – a resource of Proven Ministries out of Lynchburg VA – now available on my website ThePurityCoach.com/thesextalk. In this comprehensive video course godly experts, teachers, and Bible scholars present parents with the tools necessary to have a clear, confident, and ONGOING sex talk with their kids.
“The Sex Talk” helps parents not only get equipped and gain confidence but also helps them learn how to give a great ongoing sex talk that greatly empowers their children to not only be pure and live pure, but stay pure. Here are some of the things parents will learn from “The Sex Talk” video course:
“The Sex Talk” video course is for parents of children starting at age 6 and going through their teenage years. The average age of porn exposure is now 8 years old and continues to get younger. So “The Sex Talk” curriculum is a great first step for parents who want to get a head-start on this critical topic. This material has been specifically designed for parents. So, this is not something that you just sit your kids down, have them watch “The Sex Talk” and then have a discussion with them. This is not for them.
And be sure to take advantage of the Summer Special being offered in the month of August. If you sign up for this powerful course before August 31st you will get 10% off of the original purchase price of $99 This subscription includes 13 videos from leading nations experts on the psychology, biology, technology, and theology surrounding pornography. It also includes discussion and prayer guides; an interactive Parent Chat Room; the “Parent’s Digital Playbook for Purity” and so much more.
The beauty of “The Sex Talk” video course is that this course can go as fast or as slow as you need. And it’s great for a small group format or even for churches to use! So please go to ThePurityCoach.com/thesextalk to learn more about this super relevant course for parents.
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.