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The Spiritual Mechanics of Faith

When I was a young Christian, I was puzzled about why faith was such a big deal. When Jesus said, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he sent,” (John 6:29), I thought, “Really? That’s all? I can do the work of God by just believing? Why is that such a big deal? Can’t I just do good deeds, like being kind to old people and animals?” Years later it finally came to me. The spiritual mechanics of this concept go all the way back to the Garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). He even attached a warning to it: If you do that, “you will certainly die.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

So, what happened? Along came the serpent, who said, “Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1) That is the essence of all temptation: did God really say that? It didn’t really matter what the serpent said after that. It’s always something similar -- a used car pitch: “Tell you what I’m gonna do, the boss would fire me if he knew I was doing this…” In this particular case, he twisted what God had said, changing one key word, asking Eve if God had really said they couldn’t eat from any tree in the garden. She spoke truth to the serpent, setting him straight in verses two and three. Then in verse four, the serpent takes it a step further and says, “You won’t certainly die.” Then he paints a beautiful picture of how they can be just like God, if only they eat of the tree. Eve bought into it, seeing that the tree was “good for food, and pleasing to the eye…”

Adam and Eve knew the truth. They fellowshipped with The Truth every day as He walked with them in the garden. You’d think that after Adam had seen first-hand all that God had done, he wouldn’t need any more proof of who was telling the truth and who was lying. But both Adam and Eve weighed each side of this argument, and somehow came to the stupefying conclusion that the serpent was more to be believed than was God. Incredible as it may seem as we look at it, I have to believe that they looked at God, then at the serpent, and just decided that the serpent had more credibility. That decision broke the fabric of the world, bringing death, disease, and a terrible curse on all living things.

So now, when we today are confronted with the way, the Truth, and the life, the key aspect of every person’s decision is exactly the same as that of Adam and Eve. Do we believe the Creator after all we have been shown, or do we believe the serpent, who says God can’t be trusted? Nothing has changed during the millennia between them and ourselves. It still depends on how we exercise the spiritual mechanics of faith.

©2017 by Darvis McCoy


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