“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.”
the lust of the eyes,
Satan uses the avenue of the eye to incite us toward illicit things. This usually takes the form of excessive materialism. This is the idolatry of possessions. It is not the actually consumption of sin but the contemplation of it that is in view.
The lust of the eyes is the idolatry of deliberate lust for what others have.
Some believers operate on the philosophy of materialism lust. They define themselves by their status symbols. They do not do service as unto the Lord but for status. Somewhere along the line they get their feelings hurt in church, “No one spoke to me at church today. No one recognized me. This is an unfriendly church.” The church is not a lonely-hearts club. The issue that should dominate the local church is the glory of Christ. It is not primarily a social institution.
The lust of the eyes is insatiability stimulated by what we see. Some seek to satiate themselves in pornography. These are people captivated by outward stimulus. Eve looked at the banned tree as a “delight to the eyes.” David lusted after the beauty of Bathsheba (2 Sa 11:2). All of this is lust separated from love.
Many Christians are very sly about their sins. They would never commit overt adultery but they commit adultery in their minds. They would never think of murdering anyone but they commit murder in their hearts. Some Christians are full of envy and sour grapes. What goes in my eye affects my attitude and outlook on life.
2 Sa 11: 2 “Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.”
Mt 5: 27 “”You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
Plucking our eye out is metaphorical, not literal. Jesus did not mean to physically pluck out our eye if we commit the sin of lust. The idea is that we are to deal radically with lust. We cannot give it any room or it will violate us. God expects us to deal with mental adultery in a very radical way.
Do you allow your eyes to fall on any and everything? Carnal Christians do not discipline their eyes under the power of the Holy Spirit. Some things enflame our passions and if we do not check those passions, we will have a great fall.
The eye is equivalent to that which pleases the self. God sets limits on what we see. The eye of the flesh wants to see more and more. It is never satisfied. That is why we want to “keep up with the Joneses.” We want things that we do not need to buy things with money we do not have in order to impress people that we do not like!