But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3
This is the only time in Scripture the Apostle Paul makes mention of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. Paul wasn’t afraid of anything, but here he admits he is afraid he is seeing a repeat of the Garden of Eden Fall right here in the Church of Corinth. The wording here describes Eve being completely deceived and finding herself completely devoted to seeking the benefit of only one person- herself. Offering it to Adam was a way to confirm that she was now endowed the knowledge of God. Just as God gave all to them now she, acting as a god, would bestow this knowledge upon Adam.
Oh, how susceptible we all are to the deceptive message of self-seeking being sold to the masses. One bite at a time we move from simple and pure devotion to Christ to a complicated and devious devotion to self. Instead of living in the presence of The Holy we live under the pretense of holiness. Oh yes, we are set apart, but unto our own agendas rather than the Lord’s. Instead of living in the contentment of walking with our Savior in the cool of the day we look for ways to make ourselves look cool while we are walking. In our self-seeking, self-promoting culture of self-worship, we aren’t just biting into the forbidden fruit, we are mass producing it and selling it as the secret to success. This is why Paul wrote a few verses earlier, 17As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”18When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.” (2 Cor. 10:17-18). We may often think back to the simple child-like faith we once walked in when we first came to Christ but the allure of the short-cut to position and power continues to be a craving we cannot resist. Oh “to be like God” was the lie in the garden. The irony of that false promise was the premise that someone other than God could make us like God, that someone other than the Creator could define the created and explain our purpose for being. When we are devoted to self rather than devoted to Christ we actually forfeit the very thing we were made for- Christ-likeness by living in Christ presence. No wonder life is so complicated. Notice what Paul says is led astray first? Our minds. “Did God really say” was a shot from the serpent straight at our relationship with the Savior. The doubt starts in the mind and then hardens the heart. If we buy into the lie that God is holding out on us or holding us back instead of holding us up when we keep our distance from the very One we have been called to be devoted to. Oh, how simple life could be if I just remembered it wasn’t about me.
Thank You, Jesus, for showing me that the places where my life is complicated are all traced back to places where I’m self-seeking rather than Savior seeking. Forgive me for self-promotion and for allowing my mind to be deceived into thinking this whole thing is all about me. May I decrease and You increase so that my intimacy with You my deepen no matter what is going on around me.