Genesis 3:14-15 "The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
Many people have been taught that if everything were back and white, making a choice, and choosing correctly would be easy. The difficulty, according to the world, is that there is no real black and white, only shades of gray. According to the world, our choice is not between good and evil, but to choose the lesser of 2 evils. Is there something wrong with this picture? You bet!
Jesus tells us that He is the way the truth and the life. Jesus cannot be gray. The devil is cursed by God, and although he may be able to deceive people by appearing as an angel of light, there is no light in him, for he is evil. So just about everything can be boiled down to a simple question - Who was behind what you did? Good things arenít going to come from the things about which is said, the devil made me do it. Good things come from God.
So what about gray? Well, perhaps the best analogy is clouds. Clouds tend to obscure the Sun, and so the devil is at work to obscure Jesus and his word, if our eyes are prevented from seeing Jesus, then it may be that the choices appear to us as shades of gray. It is for this reason, that the scriptures, the sacraments, the church and prayer becomes so important in our lives. Why? Because in them the grace of God shines light on our choices, and the path of salvation is set before us with a light leading the way. Such light is able to dissipate clouds. Why? Because in the conflict between Jesus and Satan, Jesus has already won, he has conquered all our foes, and given us the victory.
If there is enmity between Jesus and Satan, there is also enmity between Satan and all mankind. Satan may offer the whole world in exchange for our soul, but that is not because he loves us, or wishes us well. For Satan, such an exchange is like taking candy from a baby. That is the nature of his evil. We are not equipped to stand against Satan on our own. We are not able to best him in argument on our own. In our dealings with Satan, we are not going to get the good part. Why? He is already accursed of God, and the only thing that is going on, is the question of seeing how many people he can deceive into joining him in eternal misery - misery loves company.
If we cannot stand against Satan on our own, how then can we stand? Seeking the light, we can stand in Christ. Why? Because by grace through faith, Christ has given us the full armor of God, and has enabled us to stand, by faith. Not standing by ourselves, but standing with Christ in the salvation that he died to obtain for us. You see, the full armor of God gives us full protection. Not that we would go looking for trouble - for in the Lordís Prayer, we pray, "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Yet when temptation come our way, we know that the grace of God will give us all that we need, so that we are able to stand steadfast in Christ.
So there is black and white, and there appear shades of gray from time to time, which are not choices, just clouds which block the light. Want to know what to do? Seek Jesus, in doing so the clouds are dispersed, and the true choices are revealed. Nothing new, we learned it first long ago in the sermon on the Mount. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness."
The comforting thing is that we donít need to go looking for the Kingdom of God, for it comes seeking us, calling us by the Gospel, gathering us into the church, enlightening us with His gifts, and sanctifying us, and keeping us in true faith - all this and more is ours, in Jesus name.
The devil eats dust, and we are invited to the Lordís table - this is the grace of God in Jesus Christ, a choice in back and white.