In the Sunday School class my wife and I attend, we are currently going through the book of Genesis. A few weeks ago, we discussed Genesis 3, where Adam and Eve are deceived by the serpent. God had given Adam and Eve so much, yet they threw it all away (not only for them, but for all of us!) because of the serpent's cunning temptation.
Knowing what their fall cost, it seems crazy now that they would have ever listened to the snake. Yet deception is hardly an issue that only the first two humans faced! Certainly we are all capable of being deceived, either by the Enemy or even by our own treacherous hearts.
In thinking about Adam and Eve's temptation -- as well as temptation throughout the rest of Scripture, and even in my own life -- I think there are two things we must remember to avoid being deceived.
We must remember God's commands.
And we must remember God's character.
Adam and Eve messed up on both of these. First, Eve actually adds to God's command, saying that not only did He say they couldn't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but that they couldn't even touch it, according to Eve! In not remembering God's true commands, we see that she had already begun to question God's character, as well.
The serpent also picked up on this. You see, Eve had started to see God as a cosmic killjoy -- someone who was purposely withholding something good from Adam and her without good reason. God was not the Great Giver, but the Unfair Withholder.
The snake noticed the change in Eve's perception of God that her poor recital of His command betrayed. So the snake began portraying God as someone who was withholding knowledge from them, not because He was good, but because He was scared! God knew they would end up like Him, and He was having none of it. God was protecting Himself, not them with His commands.
Adam and Eve soon forgot all that God given them, and they could only focus on what He had withheld ... and what must be the "real" reason He had done so. In doing so, they gave in to temptation, and we are still facing the consequences.
Let us guard God's commands in our hearts carefully! Let us surround ourselves with a community of believers who will help us do so! And let us maintain intimate fellowship with our Father, seeking to truly know who He is. That way, when He acts in a way we do not like or do not understand, we will not be tempted to question His character.