By Not Known
It is interesting to note that since time immemorial, Satan has been using the same three tactics to tempt human beings. By studying Genesis 3:6 alongside 1 John 2:16 we can identify these three tactics, and that helps us avoid falling into Satan’s trap.
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6).
“For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh and the lust of his eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16, NASB).
The first phrase ‘was good for food’ implies that Satan was employing a tactic that targeted the lust of the flesh. When John mentioned the lust of the flesh, he was referring to any desire of man that was rebellious against God. It may be a plan that is shaped by our own impulses but not by the Spirit of God. This is Satan’s “Tactic Number One” which preys on the lust of our flesh in our hearts.
The second phrase ‘pleasing to the eye’ tells us that Satan employed a tactic that targeted the lust of the eyes. When John mentions the lust of the eyes, he was not only referring to a tendency to be captivated by seductive appearances, but also to a greed for the possessions, that is, materialism. Possessions in and of themselves are not wrong but once we desire to have more and more, comparing ourselves to what others have, then that becomes greed. God will supply our needs but He will not pander to our greed. This is Satan’s “Tactic Number Two”, which preys on the lust of our eyes in our minds.
The third phrase ‘desirable for gaining wisdom’ tells us that Satan employed a tactic that targeted man’s boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). Pride is self-reliance and self-sufficiency. We pride ourselves in relying on our own values, being self-assured in life and not relying on God. We see things only in our own light rather than in the light of God. This is Satan’s “Tactic Number Three” which preys on the boastful pride of life.
Rick Warren suggested the following three ‘antidotes’ to counteract Satan’s traps.
Antidote #1: Integrity
Integrity is doing what is holy, and that includes our whole life, touching on every aspect of our being. Daniel and Joseph of the Bible could counteract the lust of the flesh because they had integrity before the Lord.
Antidote #2: Generosity
Every time we give to God and others, we break the temptation to accumulate possessions. The Apostle John said, ‘If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?’ (1 John 3:17). Be generous, then!
Antidote #3: Humility
Humility is being honest about our weaknesses. Humility is being teachable. Humility shows our dependency on God.