Satan’s Temptation Tactics
“The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John NIV)
Friend to Friend
Adam and Eve had a wonderfully fulfilling life. They lived in God’s presence. He walked and talked with them in the cool of the evening and He met all of their needs.
I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food. (Genesis 1:29)
God placed only one restriction on the pair. “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
In Genesis chapter three, we see where our ancestors made a grave decision that affected every person born thereafter. Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent and tempted her with the one restriction placed on her by God. How did he do it?
1. He questioned God. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2. He denied God. “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
3. He caused her to doubt God’s justice. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Satan is the great deceiver who takes what worked in the garden and continues to use the same tactics today. He is not very creative, but he is highly effective. It is very important to understand his tactics in order to recognize and defeat them. Paul said he was not ignorant of the devils schemes (2 Corinthians NASB) and we shouldn’t be either. Satan tempts us to question God. Has God said you must stay married to a man who doesn’t meet your needs? He tempts us to deny God. God wouldn’t count it as a sin for you to seek happiness elsewhere. He tempts us to doubt God’s justice. What kind of God is He who would deny you the right to find happiness in the arms of a different man who appreciates you? These are lies, my friend. And just as God warned Eve, they will lead to death.
The basis for Eve’s temptation and for ours as well, is the lie that God is somehow holding out on us. Think about it. Can you think of any temptation that does not have its root in that lie? Eve had it all! And yet, Satan came to her and whispered, “God is holding out on you. There’s more to be had than your perfect world. You can be like God. You can be in control.”
Girlfriend, do not be deceived. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He still tells lies today. He still deceives those who will listen in the same way he deceived Eve. So recognize the lies when you hear them, and stand on the truth of God’s Word to watch him flee.
Dear Lord, Thank you for giving me everything I need for a life of godliness and the truth (1 Peter 1:3). Help me to be keenly aware of Satan’s lies and recognize them for what they are. When I have a tempting thought, I pray that the Holy Spirit will remind me of the promises of God. I want to be like David who said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
I asked a question earlier, but let’s think about it again.
Can you think of any temptation that is not based on the lies that God is holding out on you?
How did Jesus fight Satan’s temptations when he was in the desert? (Matthew 4)
What did Satan do after Jesus answer him with Scripture?
What will Satan do when we fight him with Scripture? (James 4:7)
More from the Girlfriends
Satan has a whole bunch of lies to try to make us girls feel inferior, insecure, and inadequate. If you would like to learn how to fight the enemy by understanding who you are in Christ, what you have in Christ, and where you are in Christ, see Experience the Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes.
Girlfriends in God
Matthews, NC 28106
Originally published Tuesday, 13 March 2007.