by Neil Anderson
SATAN'S THREEFOLD TEMPTATION
1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
You will be better prepared to resist temptation in your life when you realize that, according to the Scriptures, there are only three channels through which Satan will entice you to act independently of God. They are summarized in John's instructions to believers concerning our relationship to this world: "Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17).
The three channels of temptation are the lust of the flesh , the lust of the eyes , and the pride of life . The lust of the flesh preys on our physical appetites and their gratifications in this world. The lust of the eyes appeals to self-interest and tests the Word of God. The pride of life stresses self-promotion and self-exaltation. Satan confronted both the first Adam and the last Adam through each of these three channels of temptation.
Notice how Satan used precisely those three channels to deceive Eve: "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food [lust of the flesh], and that it was a delight to the eyes [lust of the eyes], and that the tree was desirable to make one wise [pride of life], she took from its fruit and ate" (Genesis 3:6).
The first Adam failed miserably and we still suffer the results of his failure. But the last Adam--Jesus Christ--met Satan's threefold temptation head-on and succeeded triumphantly. In Him we have the resources and the power to conquer every temptation Satan throws at us.
Prayer: Dear God, please tear down any pride or self-deception I may have concerning Satan's strategies of temptation. I know I can never become complacent about spiritual warfare.
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