North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Many people tend to think it is. There seems to be an instinctive idea in our minds that what we don’t have is better than what we do have. The laws of attraction come into play when we realize we can’t always get what we want. We become disappointed and we don’t like it. Because of natural desire, anything we can do to satisfy our greed, whether it’s right or wrong is going to be an option. This struggle for “forbidden fruit” is no stranger to man or woman. Adam and Eve faced temptation before any of us (Gen. 3:6). Like them, we find ourselves fantasizing about worldly things not meant specifically for us. Forbidden fruit has been defined as any object whose appeal is a direct result of knowledge that cannot or should not be obtained or something that someone may want but is forbidden to have. Why is it we find it so hard to resist these things? The primary reason is because of our selfish nature. We want it because it will satisfy our craving; or so we think. Often, the attainment of something gives way to more desire or an even greater desire. This is true with most type of addictions.
The term “forbidden fruit” generally refers to any indulgence or pleasure that is considered illegal, immoral, and potentially dangerous and usually relates to human sexuality. In the Old Testament, Genesis 2:16-17 says, “…the Lord God told man, you are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but do not eat from the tree of knowledge (forbidden fruit). For the day you eat from it you will die for sure”. In Proverbs 7 we are told: “…keep My Words, and hold to my teachings. Keep My words and live.” This chapter speaks of a young person who is naive and lacks wisdom and understanding. It explains how a sensuous woman can seduce him, distract him (v.11), and make him want her (v.13). This passage uses a number of excuses and justification to fall into the trap of sin. She makes herself conveniently available (v.14-15) and it’s a very calculated entrapment (v.16-20). Like a hunter sets a trap for the prey, so she makes it hard for him to resist (v. 21-22). This scenario is all too familiar and can happen with the woman being the desire of a man also.
There isn’t a man or woman alive who hasn’t been tempted to sin. Chances are we can’t resist on our own, especially when it sounds so good. Satan knows your weakness and it’s his number one target. To ignore your temptations or to minimize its power is to not know your enemy. This is dangerous and can leave you unprepared. The devil will strike when you least expect and it’s often times subtle. Like a soldier on watch, we must be on guard (1 Cor. 16:13). God is not so much interested in keeping us free from the thought and knowledge of temptation and the forbidden, as He is in building courageous men and women with full knowledge of the world’s sin and the world’s enticements. Indulgence in the forbidden always leads to temporary satisfaction and thrills, but when the feeling fades; either conviction and guilt follows or the need to do it again becomes stronger. Perhaps all three take place at the same time. God did not intend for our minds and emotions to be in such a tug-of-war.
You need to know what sin can do to you. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Your life will be dead, leading to no salvation according to God’s standards. The world’s idea of living a life of sin, indulgence, and never-ending fun is very shallow and certainly one that will end with nothing to show for it. Good deeds only are never the way to get to heaven. Jesus is the only way. John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the way…No one can go to the Father (heaven) except by me”. God is a god of law and justice. Generation follows generation and all go their way to God. Yet, God’s law and justice are always tempered with the assurance of His love (Rom. 5:5-10).
What causes you the most trouble when it comes to sin and the forbidden? It can be overcome with His help and it’s available for you. What good news we have in the area of our eternal destiny! The gospel of John marches to the beat of eternal hope. Look at these verses: “For sure, I tell you, if anyone keeps My Word, that one will never die” (John 8:51); “For sure, I tell you, he who puts his trust in Me has life that lasts forever” (John 6:47); “For sure, I tell you, anyone who hears My Word and puts his trust in him who sent me has life that lasts forever. They will not be guilty. They have already passed from death into life”; “Jesus said to her, I am the One who raises the dead and gives them life. Anyone who puts trust in me will live again, even if they die (physically)” (John 11:25).
Desire to overcome temptation and the spark of God will remain in you. If you’re willing to let him, the passion of God can become a living flame inside of you that never dies. The flame of God can purify your heart and your faith even in the struggles of life. Let the power of God transform your weak mind into a mountain of faith. If anyone person be in Christ, he or she is a new creation, old things have passed away (2 Cor. 5:17). We are a generation without excuse. Help is available in overcoming your weaknesses and sin spots. Take away the terror of temptation by looking to Jesus. Find your strength in Him and exercise it. Believe in God and believe in yourself.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Apr 7 2013. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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