by Neil Anderson
1 John 2:16
The lust of the eyes . . . is not from the Father, but is from the world
The second channel of temptation through which Satan came to Adam and Eve related to his lie concerning the consequences of disobeying God. God had said that death would accompany disobedience, but Satan said, “You surely shall not die!” (Genesis 3:4). He was appealing to Eve’s sense of self-preservation by falsely assuring her that God was wrong on the issue of sin’s consequences. “Don’t listen to Him; do what’s right in your own eyes,” he urged. The forbidden fruit was a delight to her eyes (verse 6), so she and Adam ignored God’s command in order to do what appeared to serve their own best interests.
The lust of the eyes subtly draws us away from the Word of God and eats away at our confidence in God. We see what the world has to offer and desire it above our relationship with God. We begin to place more credence in our own perspective of life than in God’s commands and promises. Fueled by the lust for what we see, we grab for all we can get, believing that we need it and deceived that God wants us to have it. Wrongly assuming that God will withhold nothing good from us, we lustfully claim prosperity.
Instead of trusting God wholeheartedly, we adopt a “prove it to me” attitude. That was the essence of Satan’s second temptation of Jesus: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down [from the pinnacle of the temple]” (Matthew 4:6). But Jesus wasn’t about to play Satan’s “show me” game. He replied, “It is written, ‘You shall not put the LORD your God to the test'” (verse 7).
God is under no obligation to us; He is under obligation only to Himself. There is no way you can cleverly word a prayer so that God must respond to it. That not only distorts the meaning of prayer but puts us in the position of God. The righteous shall live by faith in the written Word of God and not demand that God prove Himself in response to our whims or wishes, no matter how noble they may be. We are the ones being tested, not God.
Prayer: Forgive me, Father, for the times I have listened to the enemy’s lies and tried to meet my needs the way I saw fit. You are God, not me. I look to You to supply all my needs in Your own way.