1 Peter 5:8

According to 1 John 2:15, there are three basic temptations in life: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

These were the temptations to which Adam and Eve fell in the Garden. The fruit was “pleasant to the eye” (lust of eyes), would taste good (lust of the flesh), and was supposed to make them “like God” (pride of life).

Jesus Himself conquered all these when He was tempted by the devil after those 40 days of fasting and prayer in the Judean wilderness. “Turn these stones into bread in order to still your hunger” (lust of the flesh), “Jump from the Temple to you’re your power since Scripture says that the angels will catch you” (pride of life). “I will give you all the kingdoms of the world if you will fall down and worship me. You won’t have to go to the cross (lust of the eyes). 

I have found both through personal experience and through observing others, that we are most susceptible to these temptations when 1) we are very tired, 2) when we are “very high,” 3) very stressed and self-medicate, and 4) when we are in a strange environment.

When we are very tired, we may let down our guard and defenses, and begin to think, even subconsciously, that we deserve a break. That “break” can lead us to indulge ourselves in things we would not do if we were alert.

When we are “very high,” not necessarily on some substance, but just high on life, things are going well for us, maybe we’ve received a promotion, or received some honor, or maybe we’re even “high” in the Lord, feeling so close to Him that we feel almost invincible and are not expecting temptation to be lurking.

When we are very stressed, we do not go to the source of our comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) but self-medicate to avoid the Lord’s presence. Even as we are stressed, are we standing on God’s Word?

When we are in a strange environment, we do not have around us the people who often help to keep us focused. 

In those moments, we can be the most susceptible to areas of failure, expressing itself in some form of lust, self-focus, self-elevation, maybe an outburst of anger, perhaps an offense because we are not appreciative, or some other unexpected enticement.

In such cases, Peter’s word is the word for the moment: “Be alert!”

Yes, Lord, may we accept this God-given-Peter-phrased advice, always relying on Your help so that, even in those times, we walk forward in strength.