Life lessons from The A-Team
I wonder if any of the Apostles could be nicknamed ‘Faceman’?
A few weeks back while watching “The A-Team” I got one of those mini revelations that God sometimes gives us. Much like the life-view He gave me one day while picking weeds, this one came right out of nowhere.
At the end of the 2010 movie, Bradley Cooper’s Templeton Peck, aka Faceman, devises a plan to capture the bad guys and clear the team’s name. As he describes it to Hannibal, BA and Murdock, he says the key to it is “Distraction, Diversion & Division”.
During his explanation there were grand explosions, gunfire and pyrotechnics. This is a very low budget blog, so you’ll be getting none of that here.
But it hit me that using those very same tactics is how Satan comes after us each and every day.
When we look at the things we do that eventually turn into sin, don’t they all start with some kind of small distraction? Maybe it’s a comment, a picture or some innocent happenstance that gets us to stop looking at God and wondering, “What the heck is going on here? I think this needs fixing.”
It wasn’t much different in the Garden of Eden when Eve saw the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ~ Genesis 3:1-5
Satan planted the seed with what may have appeared as a fairly simple question. And even at that point, like many of us today, Eve still knew what was right and what was wrong. She quoted right back to him what God had told her and Adam, only to have Satan deepen the distraction by assuring her that God just didn’t want her to be like Him.
Now we don’t know where this whole conversation took place. Seems like every time we see it in a movie that the serpent and Eve are standing right at the tree. That may be the case, but we just don’t know. But it doesn’t seem to me that at this point Eve was looking at the fruit or had even seen it. But that was about to change.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. ~ Genesis 3:6
So once her attention wasn’t fully on God, Satan got her looking at the actual item. He progressed the temptation from a distraction to the diversion. This is why I think their initial conversation may not have taken place at the tree, as Eve seems to have not been fully thrown off course by the question itself. But the sight of that fruit, whatever it was, seems to have been the tipping point for getting Eve to sin.
How many times have we been tempted by something, knew it was wrong, and ended up going to take a look at it just for the sake of seeing it? And when we get there we suddenly find we’re hip deep in whatever it was we were going to steadfastly avoid, before we even know it?
But for Satan to get us where he wants us, he needs to get us off by ourselves and way from God.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” ~ Genesis 3:8-9
The tree gave Adam and Eve the knowledge that they had done wrong as soon as they had eaten the fruit. And they knew that God was going to come looking for them and they hid. Satan had converted the final leg of the triangle – Division. And it is that division, that sin, that each and every one of us has inherited from that day forward. It’s part of our nature and it’s that trait that we must fight every day as we walk with God.
Fortunately, God knew ahead of time what was going to happen and had planned in advance how He would redeem the world to Himself. He knew the cost would be high and that more would reject it than those that would accept it, but He did it anyway.
That cost was the pain, suffering and eventual murder of His Son, His only Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross at Calvary.
As we walk through this life we must be careful what we put before our eyes and ears, as what goes in them can lead us to become distracted. And that distraction can lead to the diversion and division that draw us away from the relationship that God wants to have with us.
When we follow God in our daily walk and eventually arrive at Heaven’s gate, He’ll greet us with open arms and say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
And God and the angels will rejoice because they love it when a plan comes together!