One of the best example that we have been given in Gods Word to help us understand the cunningness of the devil and his continuious assualts against believers to steal Gods word from their hearts is found where it all began, Genesis. Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. and the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:15-17)
This is a very clear and concise word that God gave to man. It was not figurative, it was not a parable, it was quite literal, very easy to hear and understand. Now if Adam were in a sinful enviroment like man is today, then maybe this command from God could be miss understood. However, he was in an enviroment where sin was completely absent. Adam did not know good and evil, he only knew God. Eventually God saw that is was not good for man to be alone so He made a helper for him whom Adam called woman.
We do not know the communication that Adam and Eve share with one another nor do we know the communicvation that God had with them, what we do know is that Eve had an encounter with the serpant, the devil. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1) We see that it was the devil who intitiated the conversation with Eve. His cunning approach to Eve was to get her to reason as to what God had said.
Eve's response, And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" (Genesis 3:2-3) The first thing that we notice is that she adds to God Word "nor shall you touch it." This was possibly the very opportunity that the devil was looking for to cause Eve to doubt God as well as His Word. Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5)
Two things have now unfolded. Eve's interpretation of Gods Word and the devil's twisting of Gods Word to generate doubt. If the devil cannot steal the Word of God from the hearts of believers, he will try to twist it. If he can get believers to doubt Gods Word then the privledges and promises that God has given to them in Christ will never manifest because they can only be received through faith. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Ephesians 6:10-12 reveals the battle that believers are in. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy to "fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12) Believers are in a noble conflict against Satan. The conflict is centered on who shall have the authority and is directed at believers because we know that ALL authority has been give to Jesus in heaven and on earth. Satan will try to either steal the word from a believer’s heart or twist the word to get believer’s to compromise or have doubts about God and His Word. Believers can no longer afford to sleep in the sense of not being watchful…Peter says it this way, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (I Peter 5:8-9)
The devil may roar, but his power has been stripped from him by Christ through the cross (Colossians 2:15) Jesus would not have made as many statements as He did concerning how faith through His name saves, heals, delivers, secures and prospers, etc. if it were not so, then and now. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1), He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:13) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8). If Jesus is the Word of God and He has not changed which means the Word has not changed, then why does it seem that most believers struggle with recieving the privledges and promises that God has given them in Christ? If you do not have an answer to this question, then you might want to read "Hearing and Believing", parts I, II and III again.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)