Pride of Life
Lust of the Eyes
Lust of the Flesh
These three attributes of the devil fall in line with the three aspects of the human soul: the will, mind and emotions, as well as the three aspects of man's susceptibility to temptations in his fleshly appetites. (See Man's Flesh, Temptations)
He makes accusation against the righteous, those who have made right choices in living a life of faith. Believers who, in the will of their soul, have made a decision to trust and obey God’s best for their lives, are accused by the enemy through people as being ‘holier than thou’. They are ridiculed, mocked and persecuted, sometimes in veiled hostility and sometimes in open vehemence. The tactic here is to get the steadfast to compromise. If one who is righteous (in Christ, not in human performance) accepts the devil’s accusation as ‘truth’, it will lead him to compromise what is really true in his life. However, if the upright remains steadfast in his conviction, unmoved by the accusation, he will ultimately come out of the heat victoriously. If he stays strong, the persecution, lies and ridicule that he endures will only serve to make him stronger.
God has given a part of Himself (the Only Sovereign) into our wills (which are also sovereign). Ultimately, the choice to stand strong belongs to the individual. Choices, however, are empowered by right thinking and balanced emotions. Right thinking comes under attack through deception, while balanced emotions come under siege through temptation. A successful will is under-girded by a successful mind and successful emotions.
The devil uses deception to come against the mind of the believer. The only shield against this tactic is the Word of God. Notice that Jesus, the Word of God, is categorically (by Trinity pattern) in the same line as the mind of the soul. When we put God’s Word into our minds, we become immune to the deceptions of the enemy. The power to withstand deception is not within the natural human condition. The only way out of it is through God’s supernatural influence. It could come by a revelation of God’s love and grace in an individual’s life through people or through the inspirational truths seen throughout God’s creation, but ultimately, the clearest exposé of truth is found in Scripture. What a gift it is to have thousands of years of documented supernatural revelation of God’s dealings with humanity!
When a believer meditates (lit. thinks upon, revolves in his mind like a cow chewing the cud) the truths found in Scripture, he immunizes himself against the deceptions of the devil. The bait the enemy uses is to get us to come to a place in our lives in which we believe that within our own insight and capability we have the power to see life as it truly is. Metaphorically, it would be a lot like taking a walk in uncharted territories, thinking that you know what’s coming, when getting up in a helicopter would really let you know for sure!
Gaining a higher perspective is what will shield from deception. When we are in the midst of battle, involved only in that which is ‘up close’, we have a tendency to lose perspective. Only when we gain objectivity, can we truly evade the tactic of the enemy’s deception. The influence of God’s thoughts in our lives does exactly that. It brings us the objectivity to view life as He sees it from a heavenly (outside of time and natural space) point of reference.
Temptation relates to the emotions of the soul, as temptation draws upon the physical ‘hungers’ of the human body. The emotions are closely related to the body’s natural hungers and desires. Temptation endeavors to hi-jack the wholesome desires of procreation, obtaining food for sustenance, and defense against natural attacks, to pervert them. The ability to procreate through the establishment of family, when it is perverted, becomes fornication and adultery. The ability to obtain food for sustenance, when perverted, becomes gluttony and dissipation. The ability to defend one’s self against attacks, when it is perverted, becomes uncontrolled rage and murder. The emotions that come from these activities, through chemical releases happening within our bodies, whether it be of sexual pleasures, satisfied hunger or released adrenaline in a ‘fight or flight’ situation, originally are by God’s design for our benefit and preservation. Temptation, however, brings an overly-focused imbalance of these things in our lives.
There is a remedy, however. The Spirit of God (which is categorically in line with the human emotions in Trinity pattern) can bring a greater fulfillment than that which comes from the natural realm. The Scripture admonishes “do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:19) The Spirit of God not only replaces the temptations of imbalance and perversion, but actually goes way beyond in satisfying the human soul.
The will of the believer, staying steadfast upon righteousness, as it is under-girded by a mind immersed in the Word of God and emotions that are saturated by the Holy Spirit becomes an impenetrable shield against “all the flaming missiles of the evil one.” (Eph. 6:16)
(for more study, see the Trinity Concepts Key)