Understanding Temptation


(This is blog 21 in the series “Names of Satan.”)

It’s been said that sin is meeting a legitimate need in an illegitimate way.  We have many real, authentic needs: for significance, meaning, purpose, companionship, peace, etc.  God doesn’t always instantly meet these, though.  He wants to teach us to trust Him to meet them in His way and time, but many times we don’t want to wait so we grab for the first substitute that seems like it will help.  Satan is a master at putting these in our way.  That’s how he tempts us.  It is imperative we learn how he works to tempt us so we can have victory over them (2 Corinthians 2:11).

The Bible says our temptations come from one of 3 sources: the flesh, the world or Satan.  The flesh refers to our sin nature (Romans 7:14-15) which works from within.  It can lead us to sin without any influence from Satan or demons.  Satan, on the other hand, works from without and incites people to follow their sin nature. We are tempted by the world to conform, achieve, partake of its sinful pleasures and focus on ourselves only (pride).

1 John 2:15-17 says temptations from these can take one of 3 forms:Do not love the world, nor 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 and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”  Adam and Eve were tempted in these 3 ways (Genesis 3:6) and Jesus (Matthew 4:11) were tempted in these same ways.

1 John 2:15-17 Lust of the Flesh Lust of the Eyes Pride of Life
Genesis 3:6 Good for food Pleasant to see Pride of life
Matthew 4:11 Stones to bread Saw all the kingdoms Cast self down
Focus Sensual man Lusting man Religious man
Examples Eating too much or wrong food or drink, sex outside marriage, etc Greed, materialism, always want more, never have enough Run own life, pride & self-centeredness, think about self first
Sin Try to meet legitimate physical need by acting independent of God Desire what world has to offer above our relationship with God Not trust God to be god in our life.  Control own life


Study the chart above to look for clues as to your own weakness to temptation.  If everyone is hit in one or more of these areas, where are you most susceptible?  What do you need to do to protect yourself?  Spend some time praying and asking God to reveal insights that can help you live a more victorious Christian life.

Monkey trappers in North Africa have a clever method of catching their prey. A number of gourds are filled with nuts and firmly fastened to a branch of a tree.  Each has a hole just large enough for the unwary monkey to stick his forepaw into it. When the hungry animal discovers this, he quickly grasps a handful of nuts, but the hole is too small for him to withdraw his clenched fist.  And he doesn’t have enough sense to open up his hand and let go in order to escape, so he is easily taken captive.  This is a picture of many Christians.  The devil with his crafty devices tried to ensnare them.  He appeals to the appetites of the flesh which can lead to their spiritual downfall.  As long as they hold on to worldly bait, they cannot escape from Satan’s trap.  But he keeps on urging, “Don’t let go! Enjoy the pleasure of your sin just a little bit longer!”


Christian Training Organization 



(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

Copyright © 2021


Have you wondered what the Bible had to say about a certain subject, but didn’t know where to look?  Perhaps you wanted to read verses helping with discouragement, or find proof that Jesus is God, or promises to use in difficult times, or prove Jesus will be coming back.  I started collecting verses for various topics when I was in Bible college and have been expanding and adding to it over the years.  TOPICAL INDEX OF BIBLE VERSES is now available.  If you’d like a copy, you can download it at  https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/india/books/ and click on “Topical Index of Bible Verses.”  Or you can email me, Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org, and I’ll send you a PDF by email.  We need to turn to God’s Word now more than ever!

Christian Training Organization
| ChristianTrainingOnline.org
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2021