by Patrick and Dwaina Six
Writing this article created a lump in our throats, tears in our eyes and heaviness in our hearts. On 9/11/16 it will be 15 years since terrorists flew two jets into the World Trade Center towers, and one jet into the Pentagon. Flight 93 was apparently headed toward the White House, and would have succeeded in its destructive mission if not for the courageous and sacrificial actions of its passengers. They gave up their lives that others might live!
Nearly 3000 people perished that day. People from all walks of life lost husbands, wives, children, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, neighbors and co-workers. As a nation, we lost business executives, brave firefighters, humble servants and great minds. 9/11 – the Day America mourned – is a date forever etched in our memories.
As days turned into weeks, rescue efforts turned into recovery efforts. As weeks turned into months, recovery turned into clean-up. Subsequent investigations revealed that the terrorists who carried out these attacks had spent time in the United States, learning how to fly aircraft. We realized the horrifying truth that the terrorists had actually lived among us!
This attack was America’s call to arms. Since that time, our military forces have pursued those who took credit for that tragedy. Homeland security has increased. Airline travel has changed forever. There has been a concerted effort to remain vigilant in continuing to watch for threats, to sound the alarm, to act on anything that might question our security, and to be as proactive as possible.
The terrorists within remained anonymous until it was too late. Only after the attacks, did we learn they had actually used our nation’s own resources to train and prepare for that fateful day. Those terrorists died in the flames of their own attack, but there are still terror cells among us today. These agents of destruction are willing to give their own lives for their “holy war.” They seek to steal, kill, and destroy Americans, as well as our way of life.
In John 10:10, Jesus summarized Satan’s job description. He said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and that more abundantly.” Satan is the ultimate terrorist. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy us as individuals, as couples, and as families.
Satan’s tactics are just like those of our terrorist enemy. He works quietly and subtly until the time is right to launch his attack. His tactics have remained basically the same since the beginning of time.
The First Terrorist Attack
Let’s examine Genesis 3:1-19, and see how Satan launched his first terrorist attack:
Doubt – The first thing the devil did was to cause Adam and Eve to doubt what God had said. His exact words in Genesis 3:1 were: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”
Deception – The devil’s next terrorist trick was deception. After Eve explained to the serpent what God had told them, he replied, “You will not surely die…For God knows that when you eat of it [the forbidden fruit] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (vv. 4-5)
Dissatisfaction – Keep in mind that Adam and Eve were in the very garden that God had created for them and placed them in. There was no competition. They were on the top rung of the ladder! They were in a perfect environment. They were without sin. It couldn’t get any better than it already was! And yet, somehow, Satan was able to convince them that what they had wasn’t good enough. Eve observed that the fruit was good for food, that it was pleasing to the eye, and that it could make them “wise.” Suddenly, everything else they had didn’t quite measure up to what they could have! (v.6)
Disobedience – Finally, Adam and Eve made the jump from being tempted to choosing disobedience. They chose to go against what God had told them not to do. So…did they enjoy the fruit? How did it really taste? Were their eyes opened? Did they now know the difference between good and evil?
Scripture doesn’t tell us whether or not Adam and Eve enjoyed their sensual snack, but it does tell us their eyes had indeed been opened. From that moment on, they would know the difference between good and evil, and, right away, they realized what they had done was evil. They also knew that, in spite of what the serpent told them, they were nothing like God! (vv. 6-7)
Division – The awareness of their sin caused a division between them and God. Did God love them less? No, but their disobedience erected a wall between them and their Creator. But that was not the only division Satan was after. He wanted Adam and Eve to divide – divorce! Notice, that as God confronted them they went into the blame game. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. Neither of them took personal responsibility. (vv.8-19)
We strongly believe Satan was trying to do more than steal, kill, and destroy Adam and Eve’s relationship with God. We believe he was trying to steal, kill, and destroy their relationship with each other as well. God gave us the institution of marriage; therefore, it stands to reason the devil would want to do all he can to destroy it. But thank God, His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great (Lamentations 3:23)! Even though there were grave consequences for their sin, God immediately promised the Savior (Genesis 3:15), and He set about reconciling Adam and Eve, as well as all generations, to Himself!
You know, if somehow we could turn back the clock prior to that fateful Tuesday morning in 2001, recognize the signs and stop the terrorists before they killed thousands and terrorized the rest of us, we’d do it, wouldn’t we? We wouldn’t hesitate to take the preventative actions necessary and keep September 11 from happening, right? Well, we are sounding the alarm right now. Be aware!
Recognize the signs! The Evil One seeks to steal, kill, and destroy your marriage. Take the preventative action necessary to keep him from wreaking havoc and destruction in your marriage and family.
It’s Time to Secure Your Home-land
Consider the following:
Is there an area where Satan has sown seeds of doubt in your mind about God, His Word, or your mate?
Are you being deceived into thinking there’s someone else out there who could make you happy?
Are you becoming dissatisfied with what God has given you or where God has you?
Are you considering making the jump from temptation to disobedience by trying to fill an emptiness that only God is able to fill?
Have you allowed the ultimate terrorist to bring division in your marriage? A division that will have negative impact on future generations?
It is time for every one of us to become proactive about Home-land security in our own homes and relationships. It is time we become more vigilant about quickly eliminating anything that would threaten the stability of our marriage or family or relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Who knows, we could be averting a terrorist attack on our family that would wreak devastation on us, as well as on those around us.
God’s mercies are new every morning and He is faithful to our marriages and families, just like He was to the first family. So set aside some time this Fall to focus on the most important earthly relationship in your life: your marriage – and make definite plans together for your Home-land security!