Understanding Evil Desires – The Similarities and Differences

Our Three Spiritual Enemies

Evil Desires Are Distinguishable From One Another

We live in a wonderful, diverse world! God has blessed us with incredible beauty and variety in creation. Two examples come to mind, birds and trees. There are over 900 different wild bird species in North America, north of the Mexican border. How many of those do you think you could identify?

Understanding types of birds is like understanding evil desires

Did you know this is a Rose Breasted Groesbeck? Neither did I!

Then there are trees. Do you think there are more or less different kinds of trees than birds? There are more! There are almost 1000 different species of trees in North America. How many of those do you think you can identify?

Years ago I studied trees as part of a horticulture class in college. Sadly I’ve forgotten much of what I learned. I do remember learning how to identify trees primarily based upon the shape and size of the leaves. When you learn the criteria you can identify any tree.

Understanding Evil Desires

There is a parallel when it comes to understanding evil desires. By that I mean it’s possible to learn how to recognize the source of the evil desires that attack us. We have three spiritual enemies, the flesh, the world and Satan. They each attack us differently.

You might be thinking that understanding evil desires is not a big deal. You may think we should treat them all the same. Perhaps you think we just have to turn to God and pray and everything will be fine. On the one hand how could anyone argue with that? God will help us when we truly need Him, won’t He? On the other hand we’ve all struggled with overcoming evil desires.

What if God has told us how to handle the evil desires other than pray? Don’t misread what I just said! We should always pray! We also need to think and act.

Understanding evil desires and recognizing them is a lot like bird watching. Everyone knows what a bird looks like. Everyone knows what an evil desire looks like! But do you know which enemy attacked you and what to do about it? No, I’m not saying birds are enemies! 🙂 The reason why understanding evil desires is important is that God has given us a different defense to use, depending upon which enemy attacks us.

Here are the defenses God has given us.

  • Our defense against the flesh is to say “No” to it and play dead Romans 6:11-12. Then walk in the Spirit Galatians 5:16.
  • Our defense against the world is to stop loving it 1 John 2:15. Then we are to renew our minds Romans 12:1-2.
  • Our defense against Satan is to resist James 4:7. We are to put on the armor of God Ephesians 6:10-18.

These are distinctions the Bible makes. Be like the Bereans Acts 17:11 and search the Bible to see what God says!

Understanding evil desires starts with understanding they are not all the same. In the next post we’ll examine what the Bible says about the evil desires of the flesh.

Do you have a question or comment? Please leave it below. I’d love to hear from you!