As we are in the Lenten days, it is appropriate to meditate the victory Jesus bought for us on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus came out of the grave with victory over Satan, the tempter.
Satan brings 3 kinds of temptation to us.
1. Lust of the flesh
2. Lust of the eyes
3. The pride of life
Eve tempted in the Garden of Eden:
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with God. God walked with them and they had fellowship with Him. They knew God so intimately. But there was an enemy lurking in the garden. Eve gave in to the words of the devil and enticed Adam to join her and sin entered the human race.
The Bible declares in Genesis 3:6, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat”.
In the above verse, we notice that the tree was good for food in the eyes of the woman. That is the lust of the flesh. The enemy first tries to make us feel good. After getting our attention, he pulls us into a sinful world. That is the tactics of the enemy.
The second temptation is the lust of the eyes. We notice that it was pleasant to look at. That is the lust of the eyes. The enemy makes us believe his lies by showing the temporary enjoyment and later puts us in a permanent guilt. That is how the enemy works.
The third is the pride of life. The Bible says that the tree offered wisdom. That is the pride of life. Instead of getting wisdom from God, the enemy brings people and other avenues to offer worldly wisdom.
The enemy has not changed. He came to Jesus to tempt him with the same three temptations. But the difference is Jesus did not give in. Jesus not only resisted the enemy but, made him flee. That is the lesson we learn here. Jesus shows us how to overcome the enemy in our lives. We need to be like Jesus and talk like Him when the enemy comes to us. That is the bottom line.
Jesus tempted in the wilderness:
We see a parallel here. The devil that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden came to temp the Son of God when he was here on earth. Satan tried the same three temptations during his conversation with Jesus in the wilderness. First, he tempted Christ with the lust of the flesh. He said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:3). This is the first temptation of the lust of the flesh.
Second, he tempted Christ with the lust of the eyes. Matthew 4:8 says, “the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory”.
Third, he tempted Christ with the pride of life. Matthew 4:6 says, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: “He shall give His angels charge over you,” and, in their hand they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone”.
The Bible declares in 1 John 2:15 and 16, “Do not love the world or 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, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world”.
God’s word cautions us to be careful in these three areas. We have to make up our mind not to love the world or the things of the world but love the Lord with all out hearts. That is when we will please the Lord.
The enemy still uses the same tactics. But the Lord Jesus Christ defeated the devil on the Cross of Calvary. That victory is available for us today to overcome the enemy in our lives. If the enemy tempted Jesus, we should not be surprised if the enemy comes to us.
Jesus used the word of God when the tempter came to Him. Likewise we need to use God’s word against the enemy’s attacks. The power of the Word of God will defeat the power of the enemy. Amen.
May the Lord help us be victorious over the enemy in Jesus’ name.