There exists a fatal flaw in human nature that dominates and drives us into the reckless pursuit of fame, pleasure, power and all sorts of ungodly things.
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life [John 2:16] are the three deeply rooted impulses which lead us astray in every way. Virtually every base motive and action we engage in derives from one of these three dark forces at work in each one of us. Though the things which seduce and drive us vary, whatever tempts us to do bad things derives from one of those three impulses.
It is essential to point out these sinful traits because they are the ultimate source of destruction and pain both individually and societally. To understand our deeper selves is crucial because we have an adversary who is an expert at exploiting these inclinations and manipulating them to our own destruction. It is not necessary for you believe in the devil [Satan] because your opinion is irrelevant to the outcome. His very real impact on believer and unbeliever alike is both undesirable and unavoidable.
First, we must understand our personal, negative proclivities are rooted in the “fallen” or “sin” nature inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, who sinned and “fell” from their state of innocent perfection. As their progeny we have each been born cursed by that inherited, fallen nature that compels us to commit sin. [Romans 7:14-25]
To commit sin comes as naturally to us as breathing because it is a feature of our natural condition. We are not sinners because we sin. We commit sin because we are naturally born sinners. That is our nature. And, regrettably, we do what comes naturally. [Galatians 5:19-21]
Our adversary, Satan, understands this very well. He was there when Adam and Eve first sinned and he’s been around ever since. He uses his intimate knowledge of our natures to further his own evil agenda which is nothing but to steal, kill, and destroy. [John 10:10; Luke 22:31; 1 Peter 5:8]
We are his unfortunate targets. While God has a wonderful plan for you, if people would only turn to Him for help, the enemy of your soul has a wicked and horrible plan for you that ends with your utter destruction.
Consequently, it is critical for both believers and non-believers to understand the way the devil works. Think of the devil as the fisher, while you are the fish. The devil has been a diligent student of his “sport” from the beginning. He studies his quarry [you] with malevolent dedication. He knows your habits, your strengths and weaknesses, and your likes and dislikes, what motivates you and what turns you off. He knows how you tick and he makes lethal use of that knowledge to carefully craft a lure that will appeal personally to your inner nature – your likes, preferences, and proclivities.
What appeals to you, will “naturally” attract your attention and entice you to take the bait. Your desire for the specific bait blinds you to the danger. All you sense is your “lust” for what the lure promises you. Without that internal desire, the bait would have no basis for appeal and therefore no ability to exert any influence on you whatsoever. [James 1:14]
Now the purpose of bait is two-fold. First, it is intended to appeal to you by stimulating and enticing your desire and luring you into the trap. Second, the bait distracts, camouflages, and conceals the deadly hook that captures you and takes you places you never wanted to go. Once helplessly hooked you are powerless to prevent whatever follows. By accepting his empty promise of a perceived pleasure, you have been seduced into a Devil’s Bargain and have been taken prisoner by a brutal, merciless captor who was murderer from the beginning. [John 8:44]
The result is inescapable – spiritual death. It is called the Second Death [Revelation 2:11] which is eternal separation from God.
When it comes to a holy God, a sin is sin whether it is a great one or a small one. Therefore, it only takes one sin to separate you from Him because holiness cannot abide sin. To sin against an infinite God is an infinite offence. That is why it only takes one sin to keep you away from God and out of heaven.
That is why you need a personal Saviour who can rescue you from your captivity. That is why you need Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. [Isiah 59:2; John 1:12; 3:16-17; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:15; Acts 4:12]
He takes your sin and judgment upon Himself and bestows His righteous virtue upon you in exchange. He forgives your sin, cleanses you, and restores you to right relationship with Him. He reverses the Devil’s Bargain and sets you free.
And that is a bargain which you can happily live with forever!