Page 8 - August 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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ore often than not, a fisherman’s   aspirations of the proud and sinful heart:
                 favorite lure has at least one   “These three temptations have to do with
        Mthree-pronged hook. This is          the lies that feed our fleshly desires: We
        usually found right after the shiny, color-  can do what we want (lust of the flesh); We
        ful, glimmering and (for the fish) irresist-  can have what we want (lust of the eyes);
        ibly attractive part. The deadly barbed   We can be what we want (pride of life).” 3
        ends of temptation are also manifested in   In the Garden of Eden, the serpent’s
        triplicate. Their sinister cooperation can be   subtle deception of Eve produced the
        described as “the true ‘Axis of Evil’ … [in   desired three-fold persuasion that what
        which] three enemies have an unholy al-  she was contemplating was indeed the
        liance to ruin your spirituality.”  They are   best possible choice in the moment. Eve
        most commonly known as the world, the   was unaware, but the triple threat was
        flesh and the devil. We see them exposed   in full attack mode as she pondered both
        together on a number of occasions in the   the serpent’s words and the forbidden
        Scriptures and in several ways.       fruit. “So when the woman saw that the
          John  calls  them  out  as  he  cautions   tree was good for food [lust of the flesh],
        against  allowing  our  affections  to  be   and that it was a delight to the eyes [lust
        drawn away by these threats which oper-  of the eyes – the world], and that the tree
        ate in the worldly realm. “Do not love the   was to be desired to make one wise [pride
        world or the things in the world. If anyone   of life – the devil], she took of its fruit and
        loves the world, the love of the Father is   ate, and she also gave some to her husband
        not in him. For all that is in the world – the   who was with her, and he ate” (Gen 3:6).
        desires of the flesh and the desires of the   In the Lord’s wilderness temptation, we
        eyes and pride of life – is not from the Fa-  can again see the three prongs of attack as
        ther but is from the world” (1Jn 2:15-16).    the devil relentlessly assails from every
        Author Mark Shaw helpfully links them
        with the dangerous and corresponding   angle, searching, hoping for a chink in
                                              the armor. In spite of the Lord’s extremely
        ¹ John Dennison, “Tough Topics for Teens: The   hungered state, both Matthew and Luke
        Temptations You Conquer,” Truth & Tidings,
        May 2006.                             ³ Mark E. Shaw, Understanding Temptation: The
        ² Bible quotations in this article are from the   War Within Your Heart (Focus Publishing, 2014),
        ESV.                                  7.

        232 TRUTH kTidings   August  2023
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