Satan’s Strategy: Temptation


Today we will be discussing Satan’s strategy of temptation. We are unmasking the enemy so that we will not be unaware of his schemes. His four main tactics are deception, accusation, temptation, and control. Each one is addressed separately, and we are focusing today on how the enemy places thoughts into our minds to cause us to fall into sin.

Satan’s Strategy: Temptation

  • The enemy attempts to cloud our minds. He specializes in stirring up emotions and old thought patterns to cause us to go under and be discouraged and defeated. The enemy brings thoughts back that you’ve already handed to the Lord. If you are obsessing about something, this is always the enemy. Throw the thought out as soon as it comes. When the thought comes into your mind, you have not sinned yet. This is a temptation. Throw the thought out immediately, and you can walk in victory. You are not in chains any more. You are free. Walk in that freedom.
  • Within the flesh (often described as the old nature) resides the worst forms of evil. You are capable of greater evil than you could ever imagine if you give yourself over to indulging your flesh. The enemy will have you compromise little by little so you don’t notice to what extent your depravity runs. Do NOT allow your sinful flesh to rule over you. You are a new creation with the desire to do right. Choose right. Do not walk in darkness.
  • Suggestions are planted in the minds of Christians; we think they are our ideas, and we say them, little knowing they are straight from the enemy. (We give Satan control of our minds.)
  • Satan is the attacker of our minds. “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” II Corinthians 11:3 NASB If you can capture the thoughts of a man, you can control him. If you can plant ideas in his mind, he’s yours. We are pawns or puppets in the hands of the enemy when we don’t notice what he’s doing to us.
  • If Satan has the power to take the truth away, then he has access to put suggestions into our minds. “…the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.(Matthew 13:19—the Parable of the Sower)
  • Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?” Acts 5:3 NIV Satan can fill people’s hearts with evil.
  • Besides Ananias and Sapphira, Satan also put thoughts into the minds of David (I Chronicles 21:1) and Judas (John 13:2).
  • Satan uses Christian people to say things to other believers that stab them to the core or that tempt them to open the door to evil in their lives. It doesn’t even sound like them. That’s because it’s not them.
  • When you catch yourself thinking evil thoughts beyond what you would normally think, know that you are being acted on from the outside, and that the thoughts are being imposed from the outside. For example, one time I was thinking of a woman who had hurt me deeply, and I suddenly felt hateful and venomous. I was shocked and bewildered at my own thoughts because that’s not my personality at all! I instantly recognized that these were not my thoughts. (Sometimes he does pander to your weaknesses and it does seem like your personality, and those are harder to detect.)
  • Just because an idea pops into your head doesn’t mean you have to indulge in that idea. You don’t have to accept every idea that occurs to you. Gain discernment to see what would lead you down wrong paths.
  • The enemy knows the secret longings of your flesh, and he will pander to them to make you fall into sin. You won’t resist them because you secretly want them. They key to overcoming is to be consumed with your love for the Lord. Desire holiness more than life, and you will be filled with a greater empowering of the Spirit, which will enable you to walk in greater victory. Do not let the enemy gain a foothold.
  • Satan will even use godly ambition to get us to stumble. He will put a godly twist on our sin to cause us to think we are doing something righteous when we sin.
  • “If you don’t conquer Satan’s temptation right at the threshold of your mind, you will begin to mull his thought over, consider it an option, and eventually choose to act it out.” – Neil Anderson
  • Their thoughts were speculations, empty speculations. Because they embraced them, these thoughts became strongholds of wrong thinking. As a result, they couldn’t believe or wouldn’t be convinced they were wrong… These are fortresses of wrong thinking which need to be torn down, destroyed.” -Kay Arthur. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” II Corinthians 10:5 NASB Wrong thought > wrong action > appetite > weakness > habit > oppression

The printable about God’s voice vs. the enemy’s voice that I mentioned in the video is here: How to Hear God’s Voice.

To keep up with this series, like my Prayer page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter below. The next video will be “Satan’s Strategy: Control,” in which I will address how the enemy tries to rule our lives in specific areas of sin where we grant him jurisdiction.

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14 Responses to “Satan’s Strategy: Temptation”

  1. Heather Hart says:

    Satan is so devious! We have to be alert at all times.

    • Susan says:

      Being alert for the purpose of prayer is half the battle. If we aren’t aware of what’s going on, we can’t do battle against it!

  2. He is our enemy and we need to be aware and alert. Thanks for the reminder. – Amy

  3. Terri says:

    He knows just what to do to upset us, we have to be prayed up at all times

  4. Andrea says:

    We have to stay 20 steps ahead of the enemy – so that he don’t take us down!

  5. Tara says:

    I need to reread the Battlefield of the Mind. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we can think we have overcome something and the old thoughts creep back in.

    • Susan says:

      It’s hard to dislodge old thought patterns. We must establish new thought patterns to replace the ones that were wrong.

  6. Kristi says:

    Satan knows scripture and loves to twist it. If he can make it sound close enough and we aren’t aware of what it really says then we can “justify” something that’s evil as good. We must stay close to God and his Word.

    • Susan says:

      Yes, Satan twists Scripture all the time. We must never justify sin. If we are continuously making logical explanations for what we are doing, that could tip us off that we are rationalizing.

  7. Temptation is such a key topic to discuss! A lot of people feel condemned when they are tempted but the temptation is not a sin, it’s agreeing with it that is. Even Jesus was tempted. But we learn from His example not to dwell on temptation and to cast it down. “Resist the devil and he will flee.”

    I also love how the Bible notes that God will never tempt us with evil, but when we are tempted He will provide a way out. And He always does! We just have to look to Him and His Word for our deliverance from tempting situations. Just like Jesus did.

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