I’ve received questions from some of you who read my Faith Zone blog. As I say on the opening page of this blog, I’m not an expert but a simple woman. So long as that’s clear, I’ll gladly share my thoughts, for whatever value they might be to you, provided you understand that I’m on a journey, too. As a traveler, I’m learning as I go, which means amendments are likely as I learn and grow. I don’t see that as a liability but as an asset. We should learn and grow as we travel. Still, it’s worthy of mention. On to your questions…
Question: If Satan was already in the Garden of Eden when Eve fell to temptation and ate the apple, then why is that considered the original sin and Satan becoming Satan not the original sin?
Answer: If you read Genesis, everything God created is followed by it being good. I interpret that as His judgment that everything was pure and without sin. Now some say that sin entered when man (Eve and Adam) failed to resist temptation. Others say sin was present in the Garden because Satan was already there to tempt Eve.
It can be confusing and perplexing–until you remember that Satan wasn’t mortal but a fallen angel. Adam (who had been given dominion) and Eve were mortal. So while Satan surely did betray God, it was Adam and Eve who committed the original sin for mankind.
Question: Is the devil real?
Answer: Absolutely. There’s a flood of evidence for this in the Bible (as well as in life), where we’re told Satan fell and why. A New Testament sample from Luke (8:30, KJV) “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.”
Evil has many faces and forms, so many that in my mind there has never been any doubt that the devil is real and unfortunately very active. With a decline in morals and ethics, I fear that we make his crafty work far too easy for him. (Corruption and greed are running rampant…)
I suggest you read where he even attempted to tempt Jesus, offering him any and everything he wanted if he’d just kneel to him. Jesus refused. But at no time or place in the Bible did I ever read where anyone, Jesus included, did not recognize the devil as real and as a formidable enemy.
Question: Jesus said if I asked for something in his name, God would do it. I’ve asked for a lot of things and he hasn’t done it. Why?
Jesus said that to his disciples. He chose them, trained them, then charged them to do what he had done for others. In that, he gave them his authority, marked them as his own. God promised Jesus He would do as Jesus asked, and through the infusion of Jesus’ Holy Spirit, Jesus gave them access and the ability to do what he had done.
The part that we have to remember is that God is always with us and through Jesus, we have access to God. John 14:13 (KJV) says, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
With that, we must also remember that God, the loving Father, sometimes looks at our requests and says no. Not to deny us, but because what we’re asking for isn’t for our greater good.
It’s significant to note that we have a limited perspective. All of us have times in our lives when we think we want something, we go after it and get it, then smack ourselves up side the head and ask, “What was I thinking?”
Well, often God protects us from those smacks by saying no.
Other times, outside influences intercede and change circumstances so that to answer yes to our request can actually divert us from our intended path. Diffuse our ability to fulfill our purpose. Cause consequences that are not ours to suffer.
It’s easy to be disheartened when we pray for something and it doesn’t come to pass in the way we wish it would. But it is in those times that we demonstrate faith by trusting God’s judgment more so than our own. There is a reason. We might not know it at the time. We might not know it until years later, or maybe never at all. But we take a leap of faith that God, in His infinite wisdom, knows best. And we trust His response, whatever it is, because of His promises to us–to be our fortress and strength, that He will never forsake us, that what is for our greater good is driving His response. We believe this. We have faith.
There’s a trap we too often fall into in our prayers and that is to pray for a specific outcome. That actually imposes limits on God, who gave us free will and won’t infringe on it. I think it’s a good idea to pray instead for the best outcome for all involved. For the greater good. And then to trust that God will provide it, whatever it is.
Thank you for your questions, and for the many comments I receive from you on this blog. I’m humbled that so many of you have found some good in me sharing my journey, and I hope that these responses have been in some small way helpful.
c2008, Vicki Hinze