June 16, 2012
“The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”
1Jn 2:16 NKJV
Temptation enters through three doors: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” That’s how it entered the Garden of Eden. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and a tree desirable to make one wise (the pride of life), she took of its fruit” (Ge 3:6 NKJV). Satan has no new tricks, he just dresses up the same old temptations in new attire. “The lust of the flesh” is anything you recklessly go into debt for, manipulate for, or violate your integrity for. “The lust of the eyes” has to do with your perception. By the time you start seeing clearly, you’ve lost a great relationship or walked away from an opportunity, only to look back and say, “I was foolish. If only I’d waited.” “The pride of life” is the most subtle, therefore the most dangerous. You need a certain amount of pride to succeed in life. So when does pride cross the line? When you start exalting yourself; when you neglect God and think your success is the result of your own effort; when you can’t admit you’re wrong; when you’re willing to go all the way to the bottom, fighting and blaming others. Someone who cannot repent cannot be restored. After his affair with Bathsheba, David wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps 51:17 NIV).