Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1).
Satan ever seeks to plant doubts about Gods word in mans mind: Yea, hath God said . . . ? That his tactics work becomes readily apparent when we study Eves response to the serpents question:
First, Eve omitted the word freely when she quoted Gods instructions about what they could eat in the garden. Doing so focused on Gods single limitation, rather than on His generous provision. Secondly, by adding the words neither shall ye touch it to Gods prohibition, Eve made God appear harsh in His demands. Lastly, when she changed Gods ye shall surely die to the less-definite lest ye die, Eve weakened the consequence of disobedience. All Eves focus was negative.
When Paul warned the Corinthians that as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (II Corinthians 11:3), he expressed his fear that believers were vulnerable to this temptation as well.
The remedy? Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5).
We need a renewed mind (Romans 12:2), a mind willing to focus on the positive, not the negative. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8). BJC