On a trip to Alaska some years ago, I went fishing for king salmon. In one spot, our group used bright orange salmon eggs as bait. But in another place, we used another type of lure.
In the same way, the devil uses different kinds of bait, different lures to pull us in. And he works with two close allies in our temptation: the world and the flesh. Every temptation falls under one of three categories: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The Bible says, "For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world" (1 John 2:16). When Eve was tempted by the devil at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, she faced all these temptations. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree desirable to make one wise,
she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate" (Genesis 3:6, emphasis mine).
The lust of the flesh is the gratification of physical desires. Eve saw that the tree was good for food. The lust of the eyes is mental temptation. Eve saw that it was pleasant to the eyes. The pride of life is a craving for honor. Eve saw that it was desirable to make one wise.
It is good to recognize that these are the temptation strategies, or bait, the enemy uses in our lives. It helps to know what our enemy is up to, because then we can avoid his lures.