Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to resist temptation? In this three-part series we will look at where temptation comes from, what we can do to prepare for it, and how we can resist it when we are being tempted.
If we look around the world today, we will find evil in almost every corner. Why? The wickedness in this world comes from choosing to follow the easy path that Satan sets before us. Satan and his angels tempt us to sin, and then we have a choice to make. Will we listen to them or to the Savior? They cannot force us to sin; they can only tempt us. We don’t have to yield. We don’t have to sin. So why do so many people yield? It is because they are not connected with heaven’s power. In our own strength we are not capable of resisting the devil. So we are the other part of the reason for the wickedness in this world— we yield to the devil—but don’t be discouraged. We are going to discuss some of the ways that Satan attacks us and how we can victoriously overcome him through Christ.
First, let’s look at why and how Satan tempts us. To put it simply, Satan tempts us to sin because he is miserable, and he knows that if he gets us to sin, we will be miserable too. It sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Sadly, it is true. Satan knows that one day his existence will be cut off, and he wants to take as many people with him as he can. He is very determined to destroy us. The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
As we look out on our world, it seems that he has been very successful too. How does he do it? How does such a cruel leader have so many followers? One of his most powerful weapons is deception. Satan lies to tempt us to follow him. We’ve all heard, and even believed, some of his lies. They go like this: “You’ve tried to be a Christian, and it hasn’t worked. It never will. It’ll work for somebody else but not for you. You might as well give it all up and do your own thing. It’ll be more fun.” Have you ever heard those kinds of words? I have, and too often I’ve believed them. They’re falsehood. Does he really not want you to be a Christian because you’re not good enough? No, of course not. He tells you that others are better, not because that’s what he thinks, but because he wants you to give up. While he’s telling you you’re not good enough, and that it works for others but not you, he’s telling the others that they’re not good enough either. His words of temptation are lies. Jesus said, “When he [Satan] speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44 NKJV). Does he tell you his way is more fun because he really thinks it is? No. He tells you that because he really knows the Christian way is the way to happiness, and his way is the way to misery and emptiness—he wants you to be miserable. So the first way Satan works to tempt us is by telling us lies.
We must also recognize that sometimes Satan mixes truth into his temptations so that we accept them. So how do we discern between these temptations and what God wants us to do? We can know that anything that has falsehood mixed with truth is not of God, for God’s will is always the straight truth—with no lies mixed in. And whatever God is asking us to do will be in perfect harmony with the Bible, which is another good reason to spend time studying the Scriptures to learn what God wants us to know.
The next way Satan works is by tempting us when we’re at our weakest. When Jesus was here on earth, Satan tempted Him to use His miracle-working power to turn the stones into bread. Do you think Satan tempted Jesus to do that when He had just eaten? No, obviously not because it would not really be a temptation. He went to Jesus when He was hungry and had no food, but Jesus resisted that temptation. Since He was to be our example, He knew that we could not turn rocks to bread, so it would not be right for Him to do it either. We can resist even when Satan attacks us at our weakest moments. This is the second way Satan tries to tempt us.
Another of Satan’s lies is when he tries to deceive us by making us believe that he is not very powerful, or that he doesn’t even exist. He attempts to make us think that we can overcome him without much help from heaven because he knows we can’t. He trembles as we put our trust in the Lord, asking for His strength because then Satan knows he will be defeated. Satan’s temptations are snares to catch us and make us miserable.
In this post, we’ve looked at why Satan tempts us and how he does it. In the next post in this series, we will look at what we can do to prepare to meet and overcome Satan’s temptations in Christ’s strength.
Hannah Rayne is a young person who is passionate about her Savior Jesus Christ and she wants to share His love not only for teens and those struggling, but with everyone she meets! She believes that God’s plans are the best and only plans and wants others to experience for themselves what it truly means to fall in love with Jesus!
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