“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”Genesis 2:16-17
When I was a kid, there was an arcade game called, “Demon Attack”. My parents did not like the title to this game and thus forbade me to play all and any arcade games. As a kid, I did not fully understand why Demon Attack was wrong to play, and I did not understand why all of video games were forbidden. I would try to plead my case and state there were different games other than Demon Attack, but my parents would say no and my dad said it was a waste of money anyhow.
We once went to a water park as part of a church field trip, and we loaded in the church van and headed over. We entered the building to pay to ride the slides, and the room was filled with arcade games that I had never even seen before. The glow of the lights and the sounds of the machines were like the sirens calling me to disobey my parents. I stared as we walked by the arcade machines, but my group kept walking and we all headed towards the slides. I forgot about the allure of the arcade until it was time for lunch.
We headed back inside for lunch and many of my friends went right to the machines. I soon followed them and was filled with excitement. I watched them play and then they encouraged me to play. They told me my parents would never find out and called me a chicken. I pulled out the money my parents had given me, and I could hear their instruction to not play video games. I also knew the money was for lunch, and I was told to not waste even one quarter of the money they had given me. I put the money back in my pocket and endured the ridicule of my friends. I shook my head at them and decided to go get some lunch. I paid for my meal and had 56 cents left over. I looked at the money once again and knew my parents would ask me for the change, so I placed the change securely in my pocket. When we got back from our activity, I handed the change to my parents and they asked me if I had played any video games. I was able to tell them proudly that I had not. I was glad that I did not disobey their command as the pleasure of playing in the arcade would not have been worth the punishment to my backside.
I think of Adam and Eve and the two choices they faced in the garden. They could do anything and everything they wanted, but were not permitted to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was not like they faced an arcade full of games and endless choices, so how hard could it really have been? The truth is, we all only have two choices as Author, Ken Collier, states, “Just two choices on the shelf, pleasing God or pleasing self.” No matter what situation we face, our choices are still the same. Matthew 6:24 states, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and [money].” Although it may seem we have more choices, it really does boil down to two – pleasing God or pleasing self.
Where are you today friend? Are you facing some tough choices in your life? What choice are you making right now? Are you pleasing God or are you pleasing the god of self? Are you obeying the command of God? May we realize the traps of the Devil and may we seek to please God instead of self. What will you choose today? Will you obey truth or will you succumb to the lies of the evil one? May God help us to please Him always.