September 5, 2014
The Mother of All Temptations
By Skip Heitzig
Ephesians 6:11 exhorts us to "stand against the wiles of the devil." Second Corinthians 2:11 tells us, "We are not ignorant of his devices." But how wise are we about the ways in which Satan tempts us?
In Genesis chapter 3, we see the prototype, "the mother of all temptations." The Enemy uses the same, predictable temptations and tactics that he has always used. Why? Because if something works, why change it?
Notice Satan's approach. In verse 1, he questioned the Word of God: "Has God indeed said…?" He didn't deny that God had spoken—he questioned if that was what God really said, causing Eve to doubt. Whenever the Enemy causes you to question the Word of God, in reality it's questioning the love of God for you: "If God really loved you, would He keep something good away from you?"
In verse 4, Satan denied the Word of God. He said, "You will not surely die." Once you question the Word of God, it's a very short step to just denying it altogether: "No, God didn't say that." Then, in verse 5, he substituted the Word of God with a lie: "You will be like God." He misapplied and distorted the truth and substituted it with a lie.
So, Satan tempts you to question the Word of God, question the love of God, deny the Word of God, and even substitute it with a lie.
In his first epistle, John spoke about "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16). Genesis 3:6 says that Eve saw "that the tree was good for food"—that's the lust of the flesh. And "it was pleasant to the eyes"—that's lust of the eyes. And also it was "a tree desirable to make one wise"—that's the pride of life.
It's the same way that the Enemy tempts us today. The lust of the flesh: whatever you desire at that moment, be it food, sex, or whatever. The lust of the eyes: I liken that to people who live in a fantasy world. Their eyes wander, and they fantasize about certain people or certain objects, their thought life becomes corrupt, they project that into their life, and eventually they follow that corrupt thought life. The pride of life: this could be the pursuit of knowledge, religion, or morality apart from a real relationship with Jesus Christ—anything that keeps a person from repentance and faith in Him.
When I'm being assailed by the Enemy, I always remember what Jesus told Peter when Satan wanted to "sift [him] as wheat": "But I have prayed for you" (Luke 22:31-32). So when I hear Satan's knock at the door of my heart, I just say, "Jesus, would you get that?" I don't try to argue with the Enemy or "bind" him. I am absolutely helpless apart from Jesus Christ. I talk to my Lord about the Enemy and just let Him handle the situation.
That's my prototype solution to the Enemy's prototype temptation. Try it—you'll find it's very effective!
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